Persons with disabilities have been urged to set aside their disability and its challenges and work to become extraordinary entrepeneurs.
The call was made by The Country Director of Sightsavers International, Mr Sunday Isiyaku on Friday during the vocational skills training graduation for 30 PWDs, in Abuja.
Isiyaku in his opening remark urged the beneficiaries to leverage on the training their have acquired to become self reliant business owners and contribute their own quota in the nation building.
He also said that disability should not be a hindrance towards attainment of greatness. He urged them to be good example to others and use the skills acquired and the starter pack give to them to create wealth for themselves.
“We know there are thousands of formal employments in the informal sector and as a result of this training, we believe persons with disabilities can begin to earn a living, feed their family, and contribute to the nation socio economic growth”.
“I, therefore, admonish you to apply the knowledge you have gathered during this training to start your business. I will be glad you start small and grow big. We will be excited to see you employing additional persons in your business endeavour. Do not be distracted by the society.”
The Director General of Industrial Trust Fund (ITF), Joseph Ari in his remark, regretted the levity of stakeholders in the empowerment of PWDs, but expressed hope that with commitment towards advancing their course, PWDs can contribute greatly to the GDP of the country.
He encouraged PWDs to be best in their chosen businesses. He said “you are a person with disability but your product is not disabled. Let people patronize you because of the qualify of your products not because of your disability”.
Rasak Adekoya, a program officer at Sightsavers International told TQM that the expectations of the organization is to see these PWDs become business owners.
He also said that it was a rigorous training which he believes that the participants were given the required skill-set to start business and run the business. They were trained for 12weeks (3months) and Sightsavers International took care of the transportation expenses and starter packs were also provided for them.
It took the organization about four hundred thousand naira (N400,000) covering their transportation expenses and starter packs” he said.
Some of participants who spoke to us expressed joy and promised to apply the knowledge acquired.
Mrs. Victoria Sani, a person with physical disability who was trained in photography told TQM that she will use the skills acquired to make a landmark in photography.
Vincent Okoye, a person with albinism who was trained in computer repairing, told TQM that this is like a dream come true because he has been interested in ICT so with the quality training acquired. He believes that he will start up his own business in ICT.
TQM reports that Sightsavers International carried out this empowerment programme in collaboration with Industrial Trust Fund ITF under Model Skills Training Centre, Abuja and the participants who were drawn from different cluster of disability learnt skills such as Catering and Event Management, Photography, Computer Hardware Repairs and Maintenance and Phone Repairs.