• Sunday, May 26, 2024
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Sightsavers to support 2,800 young women with disabilities in financial inclusion


Sightsavers, a non-governmental organisation has expressed its readiness to support 2,800 persons with disabilities in financial inclusion and business education.

Rasak Adekoya, technical advisor, economic empowerment of Sightsavers Nigeria, revealed this while speaking with journalists on Thursday in Lagos at the launch of the Strengthening Access to Business Education and Inclusion (SABI) woman project aimed at building employability and entrepreneurship of young women with disabilities aged 18-24, build the capacities of young girls with disabilities aged 13-17.

The project also targets strengthening people with disabilities in business education and financial inclusion with grants to boost their businesses/careers.

Adekoya added that the young girls with disabilities aged 1,300 aged between 13-17 would be supported while the aged 18-24 would be 1,500.

“There are other programmes we cater for relating to women. We have existing programmes in sightsavers as long as you are 18 years and above,” he said.

Sightsaver is an international non-government organisation that advocates for the rights of women, girls and people with disabilities and helps improve local health services to be sustainable.

The SABI-woman project with its key partners comprising Access Bank, Unilever, Kanawa, Project Enable, and JONAPWD seeks to build the employment readiness and confidence of young women with disabilities to secure jobs or run their micro-businesses working with organisations of persons with disabilities, private sector partners and the Industrial Training Fund.

Jumoke Alagbe, Sightsavers’ institutional funding senior advisor, revealed the empowerment of adolescent girls with disabilities in senior secondary schools to widen their career aspirations through skills development and mentoring.

Speaking on the Girls Education and Skills Partnership, Alagbe noted that it is a public-private partnership between the United Kingdom government and major global businesses to empower young women with skills and opportunities with partners such as Unilever, Pearson, PwC, Microsoft, Accenture, among others.

“The programme sets out to address the challenge of the skills deficit amongst adolescent girls, and the pressing need to diversify education financing,” she said.

Earlier in her welcome address, Dr. Joy Shu’aibu, the country director of Sightsavers in Nigeria appreciated participants, adding that the organisation ensures equal access and other fundamental livelihoods of persons with disabilities.

Amaechi Okobi, Chief Brand and Communications officer for Access Corporation expressed that it aims to inspire adolescent girls with disabilities in senior secondary schools and also nurture their career aspirations through skill development and mentorship opportunities from the amazing Women of Access Women Network.

“This initiative marks a significant stride forward in our unified mission to advance diversity, inclusion, and equitable opportunity for all. Our resolve remains unshakable as we strive to cultivate an environment that welcomes and actively promotes their full participation and engagement,” he said.

James Lalu, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Persons Qith Disabilities (NCPWD), while speaking with journalists after he launched the SABI-woman project, said the Bank of Industry (BOI) has remained committed to providing loan opportunities for the disability community from N1m to N10m.

He added, “We are working right now with the BOI to reduce some of its conditions around it to be able to stimulate persons with disabilities to be active and go receive this type of loan.

“The commission (NCPWD) has personally taken the responsibility to market businesses to persons with disabilities.”