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Kenya has a youth unemployment rate of 40% according to the World Bank report of October 2018. Young graduates are unable to find jobs. It is equally hard and more frustrating to get a job for youths who have disabilities. Agency for Disability and Development in Africa (ADDA) together with her partner, Cheshire Disability Services Kenya (CDSK) attempts to bridge this gap of unemployment of YWDs in a program called EmployAble.  In this program, ADDA and CDSK  have partnered with several training service providers that equip the youths with market-driven skills to increase their employability potential; the institutions facilitates the training. In this era of globalization, there is increased demand for skilled and multi-skilled persons for the industry.

It is in this noble regard that ADDA has partnered with Generations Kenya, who is currently implementing the Sewing Machine Operator (SMO) Program in Athiriver Export Processing Zone. -  Generation Kenya targets high-growth employment sectors with skilled labor shortage, including consumer packaged products, financial services sales, manufacturing, retail, and hospitality. It operates in partnership with National Industrial Training Authority (NITA) to ensure their trainees are certified on completion of their courses. 

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Getting a job in Kenya is a nightmare. A World Bank country 2016 reports that 40% of Kenyans have no jobs. Over 70% of these are youths between ages 18 and 35 years. Although there no data on how many youths with disabilities (YWDs) are in the job marketplace, this number could higher.

Many factors contribute to high unemployment of YWDs. These may include marginalization, stigma, low literacy skills, lack of 21st-century skills and corruption.  Junior Achievement Kenya, a non-profit organization based in Nairobi is addressing the challenge of youth employability through offering market driven skills that inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy.

Junior Achievement has partnered with the EmployAble Programme, an innovative skills to work program implemented in Kenya, Rwanda and Ethiopia to provide entrepreneurial skills to youths with disabilities. The training covers key elements such as financial literacy, entrepreneurship and access to finance. The objective of these training is to empower YWDs to create jobs for themselves and their friends.

So far the EmployAble program has placed 2 cohorts of a total of 44 youths with disabilities in JA training. The youths, who have different disabilities, have since graduated from JA. Some have started small businesses while others are in groups where they are saving with a view of accessing credit. 

Wilson Macharia, a youth with visual impairment who attended and graduated from the first JA cohort, says that the JA training has literally opened his eyes. He is a leader in one of the groups formed after graduation. Wilson says “The training brought me out of my comfort zone. I now save and I have been retained to manage my brother’s farm. More importantly, the training exposed me to several networks that now allow me to attempt tendering for government services. This is something I always thought was out of my league. ”. Another group from the 2nd cohort has operationalized a business idea started during training. JA and EmployAble also links youths with financial partners to access further support.

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EmployAble II Launch

The EmployAble II project was launched in July 2017 during the inaugural meeting that brought together disability actors from both the public and private sector in Kenya.

EmployAble Project is designed to work with mainstream Vocational training Institutions and employers to facilitate access to market driven skills by youths with disabilities in Nairobi. The EmployAble II is follow up to EmployAble I (see EmployAble I Publication). The EmployAble project is funded by Light of the world Netherlands.

The EmployAble project facilitating partners, Agency for Disability and Development in Africa (ADDA) and Cheshire Disability services Kenya (CDSK) work with implementing partners to encourage and promote access by youths with disabilities to education and employment.

The inaugural meeting was organized jointly by ADDA and CSDK Kenya and was attended by among others representatives from the ministry of East Africa and labor, COWA, K-REP Bank, St Kizito Vocational Institute  international researchers from the Netherlands and other disability actors and community organizations.

A summary of the EmployAble II partners was presented based on the findings of a study commissioned by EmployAble project. According to the study, which polled 65 youths living with disabilities in Nairobi, only 27% of the youth polled are in any form of employment against the national average of 39.1 national unemployment rates. The poll also looked at skills and found out that among the youths employed, 46% are unskilled, 24% are semi-skilled and only 30% are skilled. On the frequency of job application, 47% said they do not apply for jobs.

Find the full report here.

Author: Peter Muasya

Edited by: Alfred Asande

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Disability Assessment Report - Nyanza

Three key ‘ingredients’ are necessary for developing inclusive services that can adapt, grow and survive in a range of contexts: a strong framework (values, beliefs, principles and indicators of success) implementation within the local context and culture (taking account of the practical situation, resource use, and cultural factors) on-going participation and self-critical reflection (who should be involved, how, what and when).

This report presents

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People with disabilities share!most basic needs with other people in society, and so mainstreaming disability has been recognized globally, regionally and nationally through CRPDs and other instruments as the most cost effective and efficient way to achieve equality for persons with disabilities.

It! is! important! that! efforts! for!disability! inclusion!begin!with!analysis!of! the!general! situation,!barriers!and! careful!planning.!Putting!disability!inclusion!into!practice!is!often!thought!to!be!just!about!introducing! specific!techniques!and!methods!to!enable!individual!persons!with!disabilities!to!actively!participate!in! development!work.!These!methods!have!their!place!and!can!provoke!a!deeper!debate!about!inclusive! development.! But! on! their!own,! they!will! not! lead! to! appropriate,! sustainable! inclusive! development! programmes.!!

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EmployAble II Partner Mapping Report

EmployAble Project is designed to work with mainstream Vocational training Institutions and employers to facilitate access to market driven skills by youths with disabilities in Nairobi. To this end, Agency for Disability and Development in Africa (ADDA) and Cheshire Disability services Kenya (CDSK), EmployAble II project facilitators, with funding from Light of the World and Liliane Fonds commissioned a partner mapping exercise to identify TVET providers, Employers and youths with disabilities who will benchmark the education, training and employment situation of youth with disabilities in Nairobi. Results show that the access to TVET education and employment remains low in spite of adequate policy and legal instruments.

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Inclusive Project Planning and Management

This course will empower participants to understand the entire inclusive project planning and management cycle and enable participant to acquire timely and responsive skills to effectively and efficiently manage and implement inclusive projects.

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Disability Glossary

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