“I need something to keep us going. I want to start up a small business. Before the accident I used to cook snacks like chapatti and samosas so I’d like to do this again.” (Shamimu Swalehe, peer training participant, Arusha.)

Tuesday 24th October

Today the Big Lottery Fund (BLF) announces eight charities that will all receive grants to run projects focused on empowering disabled people to access, and benefit from, livelihoods programmes. Motivation is thrilled to be one of the recipients of this first round of ‘test and learn’ grants, part of the BLF’s new international grants strategy.

Rebuilding Lives: Growing Livelihoods is a two year project that will start next month and will work with people with spinal cord injuries in North East Tanzania, so that they build the skills, confidence and knowledge to access income generation activities.

Motivation will work with local partners, the Kilimanjaro Association of Spinal Cord Injuries (KASI) and Moshi Cooperative University (MoCU) to deliver the project and promote greater economic empowerment for disabled people in our target regions of Kilimanjaro and Arusha.

Lucy Norris, Motivation’s Peer Training Co-ordinator explains: “the project builds on existing Peer Training networks using Motivation’s unique peer-to-peer approach (i.e. wheelchair user to wheelchair user) to empower existing members of this network to access vocational skills and livelihood opportunities, which in turn will lead to growth in household income and improved quality of life for both the individual and their families. We will also galvanise networks of disabled people to advocate with government agencies in Tanzania and wider community groups for the better inclusion of disabled people in income generation activities.”

Head of Fundraising & Communications at Motivation, Joanna Hall explains why this collaboration with BLF is more than just a financial grant: “From the outset BLF has made it very clear that they want to be more than just a donor. They want to partner with organisations like Motivation, and emphasise the importance of testing, learning, and taking shared responsibility, even when things don’t go according to plan. This is really refreshing and means we can have an open and transparent dialogue with the funder, and can really identify what works, what’s sustainable and most likely to have a long term impact on increasing the economic inclusion of disabled people in Tanzania.”

BLF’s new strategy focuses on “putting people in the lead” – and this is absolutely what this new project is about as disabled people will be driving the project forward from co-design of the activities, to delivering the training and leading on the advocacy work to influence the change they wish to see within their communities. Our role will be to share our expertise and learning as well as provide capacity building for local disabled people’s organisations and networks so they can take forward the project once funding comes to an end.

One of the key outcomes of the project will be to improve the household income of, and increased livelihood opportunities for, disabled men and women in Arusha and Kilimanjaro, supporting people like Julius and Shamimu:    

My dream is to start my own business and take responsibility like I used to. My level of injury is very high and I was using it as an excuse. Thanks for opening my eyes.” (Julius Ngowi, peer training participant, Kilimanjaro).

I need something to keep us going. I want to start up a small business. Before the accident I used to cook snacks like chapatti and samosas so I’d like to do this again.” (Shamimu Swalehe, peer training participant, Arusha.)

Imaya Asayya, Head of International Funding at Big Lottery Fund, said: “We’re excited our new international programme will focus on supporting disabled people in Tanzania and Uganda - putting people in control so they can tackle the issues that are important to them. Based on previous feedback, we believe this targeted approach will allow us to maximise the impact of National Lottery funding and help to ensure that the local communities are fully equipped to deliver a real and lasting change.”

Further information

For more information about the forthcoming project please contact Lucy Norris or Joanna Hall

About Big Lottery Fund

Big Lottery Fund, which distributes this funding from the National Lottery, has worked with experts and other funders such as the Department for International Development (DFID), BOND and Comic Relief to develop the new international funding approach.