The Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK) in partnership with CBM and other consortium members (Andy, Leonard Cheshire, World Bank, ILO and Plan International) is implementing a three-year DFID-funded project dubbed ‘Innovation to Inclusion’ (i2i) whose main goal is to promote access to and opportunities for apprenticeship, internship and employment of persons with disabilities in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu. The i2i project is a 3-year mulita-country initiative funded by DFID and implemented both in Kenya and Bangladesh. The project will engage through a triple nexus by working with Government, Private sector and persons with Disability and their respective DPOs.
Why i2i Project?
People with Disabilities (PWDs) particularly those with hearing impairments and intellectual limitations lack access to waged employment or when employed, bear the entire burden of the cost of disability. In the same way, public and private institutions particularly businesses and technical training institutions often lack appropriate, programs and technology to support market-oriented skills to enhance access to meaningful waged employment and socio-economic empowerment of persons with disabilities.
The project will seek to enhance access and opportunities for waged employment of persons with disability by addressing barriers to private sector waged employment for persons with disabilities. The project will improve access to waged employment for 3,000 persons with disabilities including a minimum 100 women with disability in Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa. To achieve the project target the project will work closely with Disabled Persons Organizations (DPOs) to ensure they are meaningfully engaged and participate at all stages of project planning, implementation, monitoring of the project.
The project will also lobby critical decision-makers and government agencies to support a conducive policy environment for employment and retention of persons with disabilities. This is a follow up of Kenya’s commitment to the UN CRPD (ratified in 2008) and the recent Global Disability Summit(London, UK, 2018) in which the Kenyan Government made the commitment to improve the lives of persons with disabilities and to enhance opportunities for the development of their economic potential.
Under the i2i project, DPOs capacities will be built to provide evidence-based information relating to existing gaps and opportunities for employment and retention of People with Disabilities (PWD), the project will also engage grassroots DPOs in disability awareness and champion for inclusive local government structures including the devolved units (counties, sub-counties, wards) to develop and or implement programs and services that are responsive to the needs and aspirations of persons with disability. The project will use utilize tested and validated approaches and interventions to promote access to waged employment of persons with disability by borrowing from sharing experiences between the two implementing countries-Kenya and Bangladesh.
APDK’s Role In Accelerating Economic Opportunities For PWDs
Through our three branches-Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu, APDK in close coordination with other i2i consortium members will undertake mobilization of DPOs to identify project beneficiaries, conduct capacity building of DPOs to advocate for employment for PWDs, conduct mapping of TVETS/ VTIS and private sector employers, conduct accessibility audits to enhance access and inclusion of PWDs in policies and programs
The project will design and implement successful interventions that include 3000 people with various disabilities (hearing, visual, physical, mental impairments) who will be identified to undergo basic employability skills in a 5:3.2 ratio: 1500 PWDs in Nairobi, 900 PWDs in Kisumu and 600 in Mombasa respectively. Out of the 3,000 trained, 1000 will be selected to undergo advanced training skills at TVETS/VTIs after which 500 will be supported to directly access employment in the 3 counties based on the 5:3:2 ratio for Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa respectively APDK and ANDY will engage private businesses, vocational and technical centres to ensure they support PWDs sustenance in the job market.