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Flower of Vocational Rehabilitation in Nepal Has Bloomed And Bears More Fruits
2022.12.29 2784

Trainees with disabilities from VOICE center in Nepal

 

In Korea, the vocational rehabilitation of people with disabilities is so-called ‘the Flower of Rehabilitation’, which means that it is the jewel in the crown of the rehabilitation for people with disabilities. This is because it does not only teach people with disabilities about vocational skills, but also gives them the foundation for their independent lives in a holistic way. Here, we would love to present you the story of VOICE center in Nepal, whose flowers are to bud.

 

Vocational Rehabilitation, the First Step of Independent Lives of PWDs in Nepal


Miral Welfare Foundation has started VOICE project to provide holistic rehabilitation for PWDs, help them have their independent lives, and to achieve social inclusion of them in Nepal since 2018. It has started with the financial assistance of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and has been providing the vocational trainings for PWDs in partnership with Spinal Injury Sangh Nepal (SISN)    

 

Almost all the trainees in VOICE center in Nepal got their disabilities by getting injured, such as from industrial accidents, car accidents, or falls. VOICE center provides them the opportunity to get vocational skills, psychological and social skills, and holistic rehabilitation with four months training for them not to get discouraged when they face any barrier from life. Furthermore, it also supports them to start their businesses or get jobs when they go back to their own community, by providing them reward packages they can use and creating a barrier-free environment for wheelchair users.

 

 

 

Trainees are getting reward packages of sewing machine at the closing ceremony 

 


The passion of trainees with disabilities has never ceseased not only after the graduation but even after they got their jobs or started their own businesses. They strive to learn better vocational skills and achieve more by investing their own incomes to their businesses, as they also strive to improve the working environments more disability friendly and inclusive. Miral Welfare Foundation has met one of the trainees who graduated Basic Sewing couse in 2021 and now opened his own business. 


Shree Krishna Nagarkoti (Graduated Trainee from 2021 Basic Sewing Course) 

 


“I learned sewing skills from the VOICE for the first time, so I was worried if I can really do it. 

However, when my neighbors saw me working, they offered me to work together first. 

So, now I'm making Topi for export by cooperating with my neighbors. 

Though I am so busy from 6AM to 9PM due to all the orders I get, 

I'm really glad I can work and design my own life


- Shree Krishna Nagarkoti (Graduated Trainee from 2021 Basic Sewing Course)  


 

Another Flower Bloomed After Vocational Rehabilitation: PWDs have become Trainers 


After 'the Flower of Rehabilitation', which is the vocational rehabilitation, has bloomed in VOICE center, there has bloomed another flower, which is the dissemination of skills by trainees with disabilities. Through the Advanced Sewing course, which is raising trainees with disabilities as trainers, by teaching them advanced sewing skills along with design, marketing, and teaching skills. 





A graduated trainee (Right) is disseminating the sewing skills as a trainer to neighbor (Left)



Due to its geographic circumstances, there are many limitations for those who live far from the cities in Nepal to access to vocational trainings. To overcome this situation, VOICE center in Nepal has started 'Advanced Sewing' course, which is raising trainees with disabilities as trainers. 


As a result, within a year, 19 trainees who graduated Advanced Sewing course since 2021 have disseminated their skills to 35 neighbors in their own communities so far. Likewise, trainees who have disabilities have become 'teachers' and 'trainers' of their neighbors and vulnerable people, such as women and teenagers who need skills. And it has made another healthy cycle of independence, both for trainees with disabilities and local community people.  



 

Trainer with disability (Left) and his student (Right)

 


“My friend and I dropped out of school when we were 11 years old.  

We didn't know what to do for the future because we don't have any other skill or knowledge. 

But since we started to learn the sewing skills from my teacher whenever we have time after work, 

I got to have a dream for my future about opening my own store and having my own business like her"  

                

- A Student of 2022 Advanced Sewing Trainee 



Beyond VOICE, Beyond Disability


As much as we pour our endeavors for people with disabilities to get vocational training through VOICE center and become trainers who can disseminate their skills, we acknolwedge that it is important for all people with disabilities in Nepal are assured to have access to any learning opportunity. To see this happen, the local community, government and TVET centers need to have better awareness about disability and enhanced capacity.   


Thus, Miral Welfare Foundation has established 'Disability Inclusive TVET Guideline' to make sure that the voice of people with disabilities for thier rights to get vocational training anywhere can reach all over Nepal. 




 

TF members of Disability Inclusive TVET Guideline 



To establish 'Disability Inclusive TVET Guideline', many specialists such as those who are from CTEVT (Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training), NFDN (Nepal Federation of the Disabled-Nepal), Leprossy Mission Nepal, and SIRC (Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Center) have gathered for a year.    


As a result, on December 25th, 2022, the very first 'Disability Inclusive TVET Guideline' in Nepal has been published. From 2023, Miral Welfare Foundation is planning to teach and advocate with this guideline, towards other TVET centers and government boides to advocate the right and the opportunity of people with disabilities and make sure that this would be applied in many other TVET centers beyond VOICE center.  



 

 

Cover of Disability Inclusive TVET Guidline 


 

We Hope and Expect the Social Inclusion of People With Disabilities in Nepal to Come


The seed of vocational rehabiliation Miral Welfare Foundation planted in Nepal has bloomed now and led other flowers to bud in the way of expanding the social roles of PWDs in their community and assuring their rights for accessibility and opporutinity. Until there comes a fruit of 'Social Inclusion of PWDs' in Nepal, until there comes a day when both people with and without disabilities walk in steps together, Miral Welfare Foundation will strive and endeavor.    


VOICE trainee who is sitting on a wheelchair and savoring the landscape  






Written by Shinyoung Kim

Pictures by Miral Nepal (VOICE)