who we work with: ADD International

The organisation

ADD International fights for independence, equality and opportunity for disabled people living in poverty in Africa and Asia.

Disabled people are among the most vulnerable and discriminated. Often, they have no access to basic human rights, education and opportunity to earn a living. 

Through local organisations of disabled people, ADD International provides the tools and resources for disabled people to fight for their rights, such as the right to an education and the right to work.

We worked with ADD in India from 2009 to 2014 with great success, so were very pleased to kick off our third project with them in 2014 in Cambodia. ADD has been working in Cambodia since 1995. During that time, they have made a major contribution to improving the quality of disabled people’s lives through the development of self-help groups and Disabled People’s Organisations and creating livelihood opportunities for disabled people to improve their household incomes. In particular, they focus on improving the economic and social well-being of the most vulnerable - disabled women, children, and people with intellectual disability.

The project

It is estimated that there are two million people with disabilities in Cambodia, and the vast majority live in poverty in rural areas. People with disabilities are regarded with fear and mistrust due to the common belief that disability is the result of a personal failing either in this life or a past one. Women with disabilities are doubly disadvantaged in a culture which emphasises the status and authority of men.

In Cambodia, pork is a very popular food, and so raising pigs is an important way to earn income. The objective of this three year project is to reduce the poverty and hunger of 227 extremely poor women with disabilities living in 20 villages in Chumkiri district which is in Kampot province. The women will be provided with a loan for the purchase of piglets and feed, and they will be trained in pig raising and basic financial management and planning. The project will also engage family members, local authorities and disabled people’s organisations as ADD's experience has shown that this increases the likelihood of success.

Case Study

Heang is a single mum with 4 children to look after. She has an intellectual disability and her neighbours used to treat her badly. Through the project Heang bought a sow, and raised and sold 8 of her piglets. She then repaid the project loan and as a result was able to obtain a loan from a local lender for the first time - she and her brother bought a mini-tractor, which she rents out to other villagers. She has also learned how to vaccinate pigs - other villagers now pay her for this, and she runs a laundry service and makes cakes. So, over a few months, she has built a whole range of businesses – all from the initial project investment. The sow is pregnant again – so Heang is planning to expand. The project has made a big difference - Heang now has respect in the village, and her improved income means her children can go to school regularly.