More youth living with disabilities will be able to acquire technical and business management skills as part of initiatives aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and self-employment among persons with disabilities (PWDs).
The Rwf200 million initiative under phase two of EmployAble ONE project, a multi-country programme is being implemented in Ethiopia, Rwanda and Kenya to promote inclusion of youth in labour market through technical and business skills development.
Speaking at the launch of the project’s second phase last week, Francois Xavier Karangwa, the executive director of the umbrella organisation of PWDs, said 120 youth were equipped with different technical skills during the first phase of the project that run from 2014 to 2016.
The second phase will be implemented in the districts of Gasabo, Muhanga, Rulindo, Musanze and Rubavu between 2017 and 2019, he added.
It targets to train 300 disabled and other disadvantaged youth aged between 16 and 30 within this period. Already, 650 youth have applied to join the programme, he said.
“We will also train employers in inclusive workplace management so that firms can stop discriminating against disabled persons during the recruitment process,” Karangwa said.
He added that the project will enhance the capacity of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) by providing relevant and inclusive vocational skills, as well as promoting equity and inclusiveness in the workplace, especially for disabled young people and women.
Karangwa said the projects targets youth living with disabilities particularly those that dropped out of school at different levels. He added that a needs assessment was carried out in the beneficiary districts, noting that the youth will be trained in their localities as one of the ways to expose their capabilities to the employers and the community.
The activists have for long voiced concern about the huge challenges faced by disabled youth in labour market. They claim that only 56 of the disabled youth trained in the first phase of project were able to get employment. There are over 522,856 PWDs (263,928 females and 258,928 males), according to 2010 census of persons with disabilities.