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Creating avenues for employing Persons with Disabilities in Uganda.

Our idea is an initiative to address unemployment amongst PWDs through advocacy, lobbying, skills development and psycho-social support.

Photo of Kabaale Allan
23 11

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What problem does your idea solve?

It solves unemployment among PWDs in Uganda. In the 2014 national census, over 4.5 million Ugandans were found to have a disability.A 2016 Uganda Youth Survey Report commissioned by the East African Institute of the Aga Khan University found unemployment of youths at 52%, and 26% formally employed. The African Development Bank says youth unemployment could be as high as 83%. PWDs is dramatically more vulnerable to unemployment whereby 87% of the 4.5m PWDs are unemployed from CSBERG 2015 report

Explain your idea

We got interested in finding out why there were so many persons with disabilities on the streets and why most PWDs are unemployed? Findings from the field among a number of unemployed PWDs and street dwellers indicate that;  They face considerable stigma, mindsets and stereotypes from both within the PWD community and the society at large which includes both potential employers and the community;  Uncalled for empathy from probable employers and general underestimation of PWDs’ potential;  Skeptical views regarding the extra costs of operation if employers employ a PWD (because they are viewed by the employers as burdens);  They Lack adequate capital to start up their own businesses;  Some do not have the necessary professional or vocational skills to either be absorbed in the work force or to start up their own small businesses. We developed a strong conviction that we can employ the following avenues to address the above challenges;  Stigma and low self-esteem will be addressed through inspirational, motivational, and psycho-social seminars and workshops (capacity building) for PWDs.  Lack of skills among PWDs will be addressed through skills development by offering scholarships to our beneficiaries in our partner vocational institutions.  Skeptical employers will often be hosted to our work stations and also organize seminars and workshops for them to unlock the stereotypes, we shall sign agreements with employers to get them employ more PWDs.

Who benefits?

All PWDs will benefit every year. 100 will be given scholarships for skills development every year, we expect other employers to create 100 new jobs for PWDs every year. 20 people will be employed to make arts and crafts. In the second year, we will employ another 20 people in design…’However the empowerment will be crossing cutting focusing not only on PWDs but other actors in the employment sector. The beneficiaries include the community; by empowering PWDs , they add value to the community.

How is your idea unique?

Despite the many PWD oriented NGOs in and around Kampala, there is no single organization focusing on equipping them with practical and vocational skills to fit into the labor market. Existing NGOs are mainly advocacy based mainly located in the field of human rights and legal aid. None of them is devoted to the goal of ensuring that PWDs get off the streets, secure employment, and become self-reliant and movers and shakers of their destiny. The idea is 100% focused on ensuring that PWDs get employed We are tackling both informal and formal employment by equipping the unskilled with skills through our partners so as they are employed or employ themselves and also to link the unemployed professionals to the available job opportunities. Since our target beneficiaries (elites and illiterates/casauls) are on streets of Kampala and its suburbs, we shall be city centered for easy access of our targeted beneficiaries and perpetrators of unemployment. Some of its promoters are victims

Tell us more about you

Kabaale Allan the chairperson of YODA has a physical disability, a young lawyer, the secretary of persons with disabilities Luwero District and a former Guild minister of students with disabilities Makerere University. Our organization(YODA) was established in 2012 focusing on livelihood, education and health We are 28 in number with ten professionals in different disciplines. We partnered with many NGOs like PLAN, CDFU, DGF, CODI and local government in our previous activities

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

Whether the employers will respond to us by creating vacancies for PWDs; Whether our company for PWD pdts will make sufficient sales and profits to pay for the 100 scholarships (we shall be spending 200 dollars on each beneficiary) to vocational training in our partner institutions; This is a new idea/program (PWD employment advocacy) in our organization. We are skeptical about the responses from all stakeholders despite the few contacted primary beneficiaries (PWDs) being enthusiastic about the project and all its outlined programs. There are questions as to whether we have the full capacity capacity to implement this. We have four lawyers, some of our members are working with big NGOs like SAVE THE CHILDREN, we have willing partners

Where will your idea be implemented?

  • Uganda

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

Expertise in Sector

  • I've worked in a sector related to my idea for more than a year.

Organizational Status

  • We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

Idea Maturity

  • Research & Early Testing: I am exploring my idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it.

How has your idea changed based on feedback?

First instead of us equipping these skills which will be costly to start, manage and sustain, we shall be offering scholarships to the interested PWDs in the existing vocational institutions (our partner institutions), who we shall later employ and we create our brand in selling their products (in our stock shop center) as we think of training them the by ourselves in future. Secondly, respondents vehemently decried the lack of information on available job opportunities. To address this problem, we shall include a vibrant and updated noticeboard and information desk at our offices, functioning website and social media accounts to always avail information on available job opportunities nationally and internationally. Thirdly, the target beneficiaries of our idea also widened. Previously we were focusing on PWDs forgetting their guardians, employers and the government who are whose mindsets have to be changed to ensure PWDs employment. opportunities. We shall market PWDs' products

Who will implement this idea?

All of us plus the 15 full time employees(like; Programs manager, ICT/Information manager, 2 lawyers, accountant, secretary, a driver) to implement this idea. We shall also partner with other NGOs, vocational institutions; government and individuals like M/s Bwire Rosemary a lecturer at Kyamogo University who owns a craft making company and a senior computer lab technician at Makerere University have pledged their human resource for materialization of PWD employment in their respective fields

Using a human-centered design approach, you may uncover insights that lead to small or foundational changes to your organization’s existing strategy or processes in order to unlock the potential of your idea. How would your organization go about making such changes?

We shall have a programs manager charged with creating space to change elements of our organisation's activities based upon the feedback of our beneficiaries. We shall train trainers (trainer of trainers). These will be our ambassadors in reach out to the so may PWDS out there that we may not be able to meet. If we change one life then that one life will change so many others We shall also focus on the social cycle support touching the mind first. This is premised on the fact that we can’t impact the skill in an unprepared mind to work. We have monthly meetings for the executive so as to make technical and administrative decisions. We also hold general meetings for all members and that’s where most sensitive decisions are reached. All members get involved in decision making

What is it that most attracted you to Amplify instead of a more traditional funding model?

The platform it provides to people to generate ideas which can even be picked on by others to solve the world’s problems and tackling disability issues attracted me. Unlike the traditional funding model where funds are strictly to a given program or activity, this AMPLIFY is very open. Hence it allows the human being to exercise free will, thought, initiative , creativity and even when the very people “owners of the idea don’t implement it”, other people can take it on to generate interventions

What challenges do your end-users face? (1) What is the biggest challenge that your end-users face on a day-to-day, individual level? (2) What is the biggest systems-level challenge that affects your end-users?

1. Unresponsive laws and policies is a great challenge. Since the existing laws are not responsive PWDs continue facing those numerous challenges to be specific unemployment. 2. Lack of basic necessities (food, medication, clothes, descent accommodation) due to unemployment, stigma from the community and inability to sustain themselves due to unemployment. 3. Rigid and unhelpful communities, law and policy enforcers, who sideline the right of PWDS to employment, discriminate against them and underestimate their potential hence denying them jobs. 4. Low self-esteem, stigma and fixation which affect the exploitation of their full potential and productivity. 5.Lack of information on key disability and general economic issues both nationally and internationally

Tell us about your vision for this project: (1) share one sentence about the impact you would like to see from this project in five years and (2) what is the biggest question you need to answer to get there?

In five years 50% of PWDs will be empowered, self-reliant and employable and with capacity to employ others through our employment avenues created. Reducing PWD unemployment by 50%, us connecting 1000 PWDs to jobs annually, our company (stock shop center for PWD products) employing more than 100 employees and over 500 benefit from our scholarships anually. The question then is; how best can all PWDs realize indiscriminate employment despite the meager resources and unfriendly labor sector?

How long have you and your colleagues been working on this idea together?

  • Between 6 months and 1 year

How many of your team’s paid, full-time staff are currently based in the location where the beneficiaries of your proposed idea live?

  • No paid, full-time staff

Is your organization registered in the country you intend to implement your idea in?

  • We are registered in all countries where we plan to implement.

My organization's operational budget for 2016 was:

  • We didn't have an operating budget
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Attachments (8)

yoda certificate.jpg

This certificate is evidence that we are have been legally operating in Uganda since 2012. Therefore we have five years of experience


we came up with possible questions and answers regarding implementation of our idea

The pictoral feedback ofour survey.docx

It contains collections from the field reflecting the practicability of our idea

Team work.docx

There was total involvement and commitment of every member from discussions to the field

pwd questionaire.docx

This was helpful in collecting information/getting feedback from inteded benefineficiaries and stakeholders

In the field.docx

We sent our team into the field to get feedback from the intended beneficiaries

Fact files for pwd unemployment.docx

Its contains justifications for our intended activities and programs plus facts and legal framework for employment in Uganda's sense


Join the conversation:

Photo of Jean Louis UWAMBAZA

Although some improvements regarding PWDs rights , their unemployment is still a big challenge , in East African countries. That's why the journey is still long , let's stand together .

Photo of Kabaale Allan

It's still long indeed. Curbing this challenge requires concerted efforts from all stakeholders
Let's join hands in this

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