Please allow me to share a sampling of emails of introduction and the beginning of exploring ways to build linkages between and among our groups. What follows in this post is the phenomenal work being done in other parts of the world- both entrepreneurial and innovative- in advocating better employment and life options for people with disabilities. These photos and text come from the company's website and their emails seeking to find common ground. Enjoy and be inspired!

alt text image "Southern Socio-Economic Development Program" in Bangladesh

Southern Socio-economic Development Program- the Bangladesh voice of the people with disabilities for equalization of rights and opportunities

Bangladesh

I am Habibur Rahman , Executuve Director of a local Disabled People organization Called SSDP , working at the coastal area of Bangladesh to promote and protect rights and dignity of the coastal PWDs. I am really thankful for an initiative to create new areas for the person with disabilities through Global Network for Entrepreneurs of Disabilities ( GNEWD) . We want your or any other source of cooperation for the rights-based program for the PWDs in the coastal area of Bangladesh where only SSDP perform the rights-based program with PWDs for community-based rehabilitation. As a Person with disability I have always believed that without education there are no rights or participation and ability to self-sustain. To fulfill this, we always encourage the PWDs with their familiy members for inclusive education.

So we are doing this:

Confidence building-

Inclusive Education-

Capacity training- self employment and then social inclusion and enterpreneurs.

Through this process we have obtained a good result for the person with disabilities.

Again thank you and your team members.

With best wishes

Habibur Rahman

Executive Director SSDP Bangladesh

web site: www.ssdpbd.org

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The National Federation of Cooperatives for Persons With Disability (NFCPWD) is the only Secondary level Cooperative organization owned and managed by person with disability (PWDs) in the Philippines today with a nationwide presence. As much it is also the oldest and the biggest. It is possible that it is the only one of its kind in Asia and, probably in the world. In short, it is a pioneering enterprise, which cuts across the PWD, the cooperative, the SME and the labor sectors. Read more

Philippine Islands

Just for your information there are over 300 persons with disabilities and individual entrepreneurs waiting to tap and organize into the Network. In the meantime, the group that I am working with since 1990 is continuously providing livelihood 0pportunities to person with disabilities in the regional capital of Philippines aside from our work nationwide. I am handling community-based livelihood enterprises for persons with disabilities for over twenty years and we are engaged in several small businesses such as furniture and carpentry, sewing of assorted bags, school and office uniforms. We are also engage in recycling and organic farming.

Indeed we are very excited.

Kind regards,

Richard Arceno

Founding Chairman

Bigay Buhay Multipurpose Cooperative

Hi, I'm a consultant for the National Federation of Cooperatives of Persons with Disability (NFCPWD) a (secondary) cooperative registered in the Philippines in 1998. NFCPWD has 16 primary coop members (owned and managed by PWD) mainly manufacturing school furniture but also doing other smaller scale business (pls have a look at our website: nfcpwd.coop)

Would you be interested to expand your network to a developing country? Hoping to hearing from you.

Peter Hammerle, CBM

alt text image "Guy Davies at 2010 World Cup stadium in South Africa"

Guy Davies enjoying accessible seating at 2010 World Cup venue in South Africa

South Africa

I am interested to find out more about your organisation. I run an access consultancy in South Africa,and I am also a Director, and International Associate of the UK's Employers Forum on Disability (I see my colleague, Susan Scott-Parker, is already involved!). I became disabled (paraplegia - Spinal Cord Injury) in 1999, and since that time, I have been able to form Disability Solutions Ltd, which is the leading Accessibility Consultancy in South Africa. I have also in the same period undertaken training with the Centre for Accessible Environments in London & completed my MSc in Accessibility & Inclusive Design through the University of Salford (via distance learning). Presently, aside from running Disability Solutions (we have recently been involved with ensuring that several of the FIFA World Cup stadia are fully accessible, along with different parts of the transport infrastructure), and I also lecture part time, on accessibility & Inclusive Design, at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

Guy Davies, MSc

Let's work together to help each other!

This emails are just the tip of the iceberg... within the first 10 days of the website going live, we have begun a worldwide movement! We have also received many personal stories and emails for membership requests.... the needs and desire for self-improvement are well-known by us all.

The Network will soon have a membership page and Forum up on the main site, and invites submissions of articles related to conferences & summits for PwD, success stories of entrepreneurism, and linkages to best practices. Please send us your contact information and stay connected while we build the organizational infrastructure.