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The Uhuru Centre

A collaborative work and training space for young adults with impairment. Providing technical training in Art, Science, and Technology.

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What problem does your idea solve?

People with disability have lower earnings and lower educational attainment because they are less able to access technical training. The informal and formal sectors or vocational service providers do not offer sufficient resources to support them and such individuals do not reach their occupational potential, and are unable to contribute to the economy and commercial value chain. Uhuru aims to provide functional and technical training to those with impairments to live a fulfilling life.

Explain your idea

The Uhuru Centre is a workshop and training space for young adults with impairments. Our students undertake courses within the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Maths) areas of study. We identify raw skills in these areas and translate them into saleable skills that contribute towards financial independence, empowerment, and economic inclusion. Our idea has two components; the physical space and the educational programme. The programme consists of 5 key stages. Identify We work with our students to assess and identify opportunities which align with their passions, skills and abilities. Learn Students can enrol on courses within the STEAM areas of study, to build the necessary knowledge base, develop functional skills, and gain valuable experience. Apply Students work on projects to develop and perfect their skills through artisanal and technical approaches, learn from success and failure, and positively impact the wider community. Collaborate Working with other students is vital for building their confidence and realising their self-worth. Thus, the projects are designed to incorporate interprofessional collaboration. Platform We provide a platform for our students to capitalise on the skills they have developed at the centre through physical and digital marketplaces. We also help them identify opportunities, or bring opportunities to them via a Careers and Recruitment arm.

Who benefits?

According to the World Report on Disability, there are over 25 million individuals in Nigeria living with physical, mental, visual, and psychosocial impairments. Young adults between the ages of 15-24 account for around 20% of this. As a result of stigma towards those with impairments in Nigeria, support systems are limited or non-existent. Through the Uhuru Centre, we aim to tear down stereotypes to prove impaired people are just as capable as those without impairments, if not more so.

How is your idea unique?

Training in the STEAM areas of study are rare and highly sought after. Yet, there are no organisations exclusively offering training in these areas for those with impairments in Nigeria. We also provide a pathway for entrepreneurship, so our students can become freelancers, contractors, or artisans. The centre combines both functional and vocational training according to the student needs. We aim to change perceptions of people with impairments by supporting their ability to reach their potential. We view our students as equals and encourage people to see beyond their disability and appreciate their abilities. This should reduce stigma that employers have in hiring and investing in those with impairments. The main impact will be the creation of financial independence from improved earning potential, increased household income and purchasing power .

Tell us more about you

We are a team of 4 social entrepreneurs based in the UK and Nigeria. The UK team are graduates of the University of Portsmouth. Our backgrounds include business management, industrial and product design, software engineering, and marketing. We are passionate about supporting the unserved, underserved and the marginalised.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

How can we tackle the status quo in education and training to provide a more applicable skillset for students in both a local, and global context? How can we design an educational programme to cater for a broad range of impairments without sacrificing the level and quality of what is being taught? How do we provide access to the service we are delivering? What types of delivery are required and where/how is flexible delivery required? What role could software development play in the effective delivery of our programme for a wide range of impairments?

Where will your idea be implemented?

  • Nigeria

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 not registered but plan to in the future.

Idea Maturity

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

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The Uhuru Centre Beneficiary Journey


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