Sustainable Livelihood

Economic participation of youngsters with disabilities is an important part of the Liliane Foundation’s livelihood programme. Even though the right to work is laid down in the UN Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities, it is estimated that in some countries up to 80 per cent of all persons with disabilities are unemployed. The Liliane Foundation considers a sustainable livelihood as an important and inevitable aspect of disability-inclusive development.

Lack of education limits possibilities

Adolescents with disabilities often have limited opportunities to go to school, attend training courses and develop their skills. Subsequently, this lack of education limits their prospects of finding employment. The ones that do have jobs, often encounter difficult working conditions. The labour market is least accessible for young people with intellectual or psychosocial impairments, and adolescent girls with disabilities.

Call center training in Peru
In Peru, our Strategic Partner Organisation Fundades provides training to physically disabled youngsters to work in call centers. Multiple businesses cooperate in this initiative. While the students are being taught the necessary skills for their future employment, the companies are being involved to ensure adequate inclusion of their future employees. 

Cafebility: hospitality jobs in India
In India, our Strategic Partner Organisation JVS initiated 'Cafebility', a catering business run by young people with disabilities. Visitors see what young people with disabilities are capable of. And that, if they get the chance, they can provide for their livelihood themselves. Cafebility has a big impact on the community and on the image of people with disabilities. 

Employable: economic inclusion
In Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia, ‘Employable’ promotes the economic inclusion of youngsters with disabilities. Through quality vocational training, these youngsters are able to secure a decent income for themselves. The programme targets youngsters with disabilities, local training centers and private sector actors to achieve systemic change. 

Decent work and self-confidence

With our livelihood programme, the Liliane Foundation supports youngsters with disabilities gain a sustainable livelihood, to have access to social protection measures, and to obtain decent work and income. 

Our approach is to:

  • Work on rehabilitation to increase their level of activity, self-confidence and skills; 
  • Support youngsters and their caregivers to become more resilient, and enable them to influence decision-making and to claim their rights; 
  • Support vocational training institutes, workplaces, governmental institutions and financial institutions, to become more disability-inclusive in their policies and practices.

Youngsters with severe or multiple disabilities will not be able to develop a sustainable livelihood or contribute to economic activities. In these cases, the Liliane Foundation invests in daycare activities and livelihood interventions for their caregivers, so that they will become more self-reliant and economically self-sustaining.

Towards Disability Inclusive Sustainable Livelihoods

2020 35 pp

Position paper on Disability Inclusive Sustainable Livelihoods.

Download Disability Inclusive Sustainable Livelihoods

Related project

The following project is related to the theme of inclusive employment.

•  These Shoes


Other areas of expertise

We are continuously expanding our expertise in these themes to facilitate our Partner Organizations.

Community Based Rehabilitation
Inclusive Education
Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights
• Transport and communication​

Theme expert

For more information about our activities on inclusive employment, please contact our theme expert.

Juultje Tulfer
+ 31 73 518 94 20