Innovative Practice 2017 on Employment, Work and Vocational Education and Training

Jobs for the most marginalised people with disabilities

Connecting the Dots is a project initiated by Sightsavers, a UK-based NGO, and is implemented by its branch in Uganda. Connecting the Dots provides individually tailored trainings to unemployed young persons with disabilities, enabling them to participate in the open labour market. Of the 324 project beneficiaries from 2014 to 2016, 278 have subsequently found employment.

“After getting a knitting machine, I will work. I can earn money; I can even get a partner. I can care for my family, and I can help other people.”

Mr. Isaac KirungiKnitting student
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Jobs for the most marginalised people with disabilities
Organisation:Sightsavers – Project Connecting the Dots
Country
of Implementation
United Kingdom and Uganda

FACTS & FIGURES

    • Jobs created in 2014: 134
    • Jobs created in 2015: 120
    • Jobs created in 2016 (to date): 24
    • Of the 324 youth with disabilities who have received vocational skills training, 168 also received on-the-job training
    • 49 per cent of all participants were female

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Most young people in Uganda are ill equipped to enter the workforce. Hence, young women and men with disabilities are further disadvantaged due to lack of accessibility and appropriate skills training.

SOLUTION & METHODOLOGY

The project identifies unemployed young men and women with disabilities in rural districts of Uganda. These young people are from the poorest margins of society and are often illiterate. The project focuses on three main areas:
  • It supports access to employment through targeted skills development, promoting accessible vocational training institutions and mentorship
  • It organizes interventions and responds to the specific needs and interests of the participants
  • For those with severe mobility challenges, they and their families are supported with home-based enterprises

Upon graduation, participants receive a start-up kit and mentorship from a local role model. Women’s equitable access is facilitated through targeted support. Most of the young people are self-employed, doing knitting, mechanics, bricklaying, sewing, etc. Some, however, find jobs with local employers, such as in motor garages, carpentry/welding workshops, and barbershops/ salons.

OUTLOOK & TRANSFERABILITY

“Connecting the Dots” has a cost of approximately US$163,000 per year and is funded by the European Commission. The National Union of Disabled Persons in Uganda, one of Sightsavers’ partners, successfully replicated the project in four additional districts in the country.

CONTACT
FACTSHEET

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VIDEO

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LINKS AND FURTHER READING