Sunday, 21 April 2024
Sunday, 21 April 2024

Empowering young women with disabilities to acquire vocational skills in Uganda

FEED the Minds and Namayingo United Women Group (NUWOG) in Uganda have recently implemented a new project on empowering young women with disabilities to acquire vocational skills in basic computers, functional English, retail, basic management, and soft skills to enable them to improve their employment prospects.

This project was conceived after realising the challenges persons living with disabilities faced in securing formal employment. Persons living with disabilities participated in the design of this project and particularly in the development of e-learning materials. They also contributed to creating a disabled-friendly toolkit on Information Technology and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) for entrepreneurs and employers.

The project aims to empower 100 women living with disabilities by providing them with computer skills to enhance economic competitiveness.

Challenges faced by women with disabilities in Namayingo

The project has been implemented in the Namayingo district in Eastern Uganda, Busoga sub-region. The district is dependent on subsistence agriculture, which employs approximately 75.5% of the total population.

According to Namayingo District Local Government Statistical Abstract of 2017, 32,183 people in Namayingo district have disabilities related to vision, hearing, or mobility. The percentage of those who are disabled is higher among women (15%) than that of men (12%) according to the Uganda Population and Housing Census (2014). Additionally, women with disabilities experience disadvantages associated with their gender such as sexual and gender-based violence, limited access to education opportunities, limited economic opportunities, and lower income.

During the vocational training, employers will identify and facilitate job placement and self-employment opportunities for 100 trained women living with disabilities.  Literacy lessons will be delivered to improve the literacy skills of trainees to speak functional English, developing their confidence in wider economic opportunities.

Socio-economic empowerment for women with disabilities in Namayingo

The literacy training will target both non-visual and partial-sight women. A computerised Braille press will be utilised to support participants who are in need. There will be a transcription of print materials such as books, journals/periodicals, and other necessary documents into Braille in at least three languages such as English, Samia, and Lusoga. Braille books and other materials in Braille will be produced.

The outcome of this project will contribute to understanding how the socio-economic rights of Women living with disabilities can be strengthened in Namayingo. The acquisition of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) skills will open employment opportunities for disabled women. This will build the capacity of women living with disabilities in the long term, increasing their ability to secure employment. As a result, women living with disabilities will have access to secure, sustainable livelihoods and increased incomes. Indirectly, this project will support family members through increased household incomes.

We are honoured to collaborate on this new project with NUWOG, a non-government organisation operating in Uganda with over 10 years of experience delivering vocational skills training such as tailoring and hairdressing including ICT training since 2018 to young people in 8 sub-counties in Namayingo district.

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