Name Niroshan Weerathunga
Location Sri Lanka
Aid Helping people with disabilities get a job or start their own business to lift themselves out of poverty.
Niroshan Weerathunga lives and works in Sri Lanka. He works to help people with disabilities to reach their full potential and access services, which is vital in order to break the cycle of poverty of many disabled people in Sri Lanka.
Niroshan joined Sri Lanka Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled (SLFRD) a non-governmental organization in Sri Lanka and he facilitates a project to support people with disabilities achieve economic self-sufficiency. Niroshan helped develop the curriculum for training people with disabilities in ‘Job Seeking and Keeping Skills’ together with the International Labour Organisation. He was part of the team who organized the first and subsequent job fairs for people with disabilities in Sri Lanka and has been lobbying on behalf of people with disabilities. He is now part of the inclusion employment team and has trained over 700 people so far, of which over 40% of them have now got jobs.
While running the programme it became clear that there were many more candidates who want to be self employed and were therefore looking for support in two main areas; skills in how to run an enterprise and how to secure start-up capital. A ‘training of trainers’ course is available to develop the entrepreneurship skills of the team.
People With Faces
If the existing 15 officers including Niroshan are trained as ‘trainers’ the knowledge will be passed on to people with disabilities who are looking to start their own business to lift themselves out of poverty. 15 officers can be trained for £1,125. They will then be able to train at least 200 people by September 2012 and will continue to train many more in the years to come.
Motivation is a Bristol based development organisation that is passionate about the quality of life of people with mobility disabilities worldwide. Motivation's mission is to enhance the quality of life of people with mobility disabilities by addressing their survival, mobility, empowerment and inclusion. The employment programme is funded by USAID and run in partnership with the Sri Lanka Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled.
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