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Project Enable partners Sustainable Hospitality Alliance to up-skill persons with disabilities

Project Enable Africa has partnered with Sustainable Hospitality Alliance to up-skill persons with disabilities in the hospitality sector.

To this end, it has graduated its first cohort of 18 young persons with disabilities who participated in the Youth Employment Program. The graduation ceremony was held recently in Lagos.

In his welcome address, Olusola Owonikoko, the executive director of Project Enable Africa noted the rate of unemployment in Nigeria is now 33 percent, according to the latest release by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics and the data get worse when considering persons with disabilities as they are either unemployed or underemployed, hence the need for the youth employment program.

Speaking also, Deogratius Magero, the partnership manager for Africa at the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance in his opening remarks during the graduation ceremony mentioned that the project aims to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities in the workplace, especially in the hospitality sector.

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The Youth Employment Program is part of the three-year DFID-funded inclusion works project implemented by a consortium led by Sightsavers International.

The Youth Employment Program in particular is supported by the Inclusion Works consortium member, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

The project seeks to up-skill young persons with disabilities and connect them with job opportunities in the hospitality sector.

Since the project commenced in March 2021, a cohort of 18 young persons with disabilities has been equipped with soft and hard skills for the hospitality sector. These participants were trained with a curriculum designed by the Sustainability Hospitality Alliance over four weeks and connected with employment partners for hard skills training for eight weeks.

The implementing partner, Project Enable Africa, is a Lagos-based organisation that bridges the demand-supply gap among talents with disabilities in the formal and informal sector in Nigeria.

“We are proud of the progress that our participants have made in the project. Many of them have demonstrated that persons with disabilities can add value to organisations, proving that disability is productive,” said, Moyin Adelakun, The YEP programs manager at Project Enable Africa.

Similarly, Seyi Adenuga, one of the graduands of YEP Cohort 1, said that his experience while working with BudgIT eliminated his previous experience in workplace disability discrimination as he was fully engaged.

“I am grateful to all my colleagues at Budgit Foundation who have made my stay worthwhile,” he added. Seyi, is one of the other 4 participants that have been retained for a longer-term engagement.

Olajumoke Alagbe, the regional funding manager of Sightsavers who represented Sunday Isiyaku, encouraged the graduates to be hopeful about the future and put all the skills they learnt during the program into good use as they could also create their opportunities.

She also applauded Project Enable Africa for carrying out such an impactful project.

Rex Nijof, chairman of the Nigerian Business Council at Marriott International, and General Manager of Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, said that “we are very happy to have been part of the success story of the maiden edition of the project as the project taught us the importance of workplace accessibility and inclusion.”

He also mentioned that he was very impressed at the performance of the participants who worked at Sheraton Lagos Hotel and he was very excited to be coming on board for the upcoming second cohort.

Special appreciation to all our employer partners who gave the project participants opportunities to intern with at their respective organisations: Nuli Juice, STEMi Makers Africa, BudgIT, Hacey Health Initiative, Burg.co, NIBUCAA, Food Concepts Plc, Folabomi Fashion House, Sheraton Hotel and KFC Foods.

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