The Liberian government, through the National Commission on Disabilities, in collaboration with School to Work Africa, has conducted a three-day workshop on job aspiration for youths living with disabilities.
The three-day workshop was held at the Samuel Kanyan Doe Sports Complex. It brought together 150 young people living with disabilities from various colleges, universities and high schools.
In an interview with Mr. Myer N. Nifor, Deputy Director of Administration at NCD, he said the organization was interested in opening a resource center for college students with disabilities, but was not fruitful due to lack of finances.
He said the organization needed US$75,000 to build the resource center, but they could not raise the money themselves.
“We need that resource center to help build the capacities of disabled youths around the country. Despite all of our awareness campaigns and fund rallies, we could not raise that amount.
So we had to look for a plan B. That was how we decided to organize this workshop in order to build their skills and prepare them for the job market,” he explained.
Mr. Nifor said the organization chose to build the capacities of disabled youths because of the continuous challenges they face at school and home.
“These young people are faced with many challenges on a daily basis. So we wanted to be creative and innovative in addressing these problems. We also want them know how to start up their own business.”
“At the end of training we would love to see potential university and college students walking out of here,” he said.
Francis Sibley, a senior student of Mass Communications and Public Administration at the United Methodist University and participant of the workshop, expressed his thanks and appreciation to the NCD.
“This workshop is very educative, and I must say that we are all appreciative of this. Many times people have looked down on us; others feel that we are not good enough to work at government institutions and NGOs.
But I hope after this workshop we will be thought of for what we can provide to society, and be better prepared for the outside world.
The National Commission on Disabilities— created in 2005— was established with the oversight responsibility of seeking and protecting persons with disabilities in Liberia and to influence policies that affect the lives of said persons. The organization was established by an Act of the National Legislature under the Agenda for Transformation (AFL).