Program Helps Beggars Become Entrepreneurs
August 9, 2004
MTWARA, TANZANIA--Seven years ago, there were an estimated 60 beggars with disabilities on the streets of Mtwara town.
The non-government organization, CHAWATA, came up with a plan for a solution that would last longer than simply giving them money.
First they invited the beggars in and taught them about their rights. Then they helped them learn how they might earn a living outside of begging.
Fifty-three of them identified self-employment projects they wanted to try.
Then CHAWATA helped them learn how to get business loans and grants.
According to a story in The Guardian, the program has been successful because it focuses on the "how" -- rather than the "what" -- of development.
It has also worked to educate and sensitize the region as to the rights and values of having people with disabilities included in their communities.
"Chawata, NGO for disabled that teaches beggars business" (The Guardian via IPP Media)