Rwanda: Over 1200 Youth Living With Disability to Benefit From New Skilling Project

3 December 2020

Over 1,200 youth living with different types of disabilities will be equipped with technical and business skills as a part of the effort to create an inclusive and enabling environment to access and succeed in employment.

The $1.5 million initiative will be funded by USAID and activity will tackle barriers that hinder youth with disabilities from attaining employment opportunities, addressing both the supply and demand sides of the labor market.

"USAID is partnering with the Government of Rwanda to equip youth with the skills they need for successful employment or self-employment, as well as to create a society in which people with disabilities participate fully," said Leslie Marbury, USAID's Mission Director in Rwanda.

Dubbed "Umurimo kuri bose", the project targets 1,560 youths, including 360 youths not living with disabilities and 60% of the team has to be made up of females.

They must be people between the age of 18-35, in the lower Ubudehe categories and with low levels of education.

Samuel Munana, the Executive Director of the Rwanda National Union of the Deaf, which is one of the projects' implementers, explained, "Our goal is to minimize isolation and ensure that deaf and hard of hearing persons are not left behind".

The two-year project will be implemented in 12 districts.

Speaking to The New Times, Francois Xavier Karangwa, the Executive Director of UPLHS, an advocacy organization for people with disability, said that the initiative will solve the discrimination that has been taking place in some workplaces.

"Beyond the trainings, we will also engage employers so that firms can stop discriminating people with disabilities during the recruitment process," he said, adding that the youth will be trained on soft skills like sign language, work readiness, technical and trading skills like leather works, tailoring, hairdressing, etc.

Karangwa noted that the selection process is kicking off this month, and the concerned districts will be communicated ahead of time.

Recent statistics from the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda's labour force survey place Rwanda's overall unemployment rate to 15%.

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