Inclusivity empowerment vital for disabled
15 Nov 2023
Thuto Boswa Rehabilitation Centre in Ramotswa recently celebrated 20 learners who were trained for 3 months in a business incubation and mentorship project by Thuto Boswa and SOS Children’s Village.
The day not only celebrated the completion of the incubation journey but also appreciated SOS Children’s home and Standard Chartered Bank as sponsor of the incubation programme, also to appreciate mentors for their support.
Speaking at the ceremony, Ministry of Youth, Gender, Sports and Culture (MYSC)’s District Coordinator, Ms Minkie Bokole, applauded Thuto Boswa for investing in equipping young people living with disability with vocational skills to ready them for the labour market.
Ms Bokole said MYSC was mandated to ensure development of youth through various avenues, and through affirmative action the ministry has taken a deliberate move to not subject people living with disability to rigorous adjudication during application processes for programmes like YDF that aid young people’s businesses. She emphasised the affirmative action taken by government ensured that 25 per cent of funds awarded for each financial year was given to differently able people, and women to ensure empowerment and transition into independent life.
Ms Bokole said in “2021 Botswana ratified United Nations Convention on the rights of people with disabilities, and this is a call for all Batswana to work together and ensure that the requirements of the Convention are met and that youth living with disabilities can also reach their dreams”.
She encouraged the centre and graduates to embrace the mind-set change initiative and partake in business ventures and tenders.
Ramotswa District Council has taken a deliberate move to localise production and supply of school uniforms and school feeding programmes, and this has ensured that your businesses has a market”.
Thuto Boswa Rehabilitation Centre executive, Ms Gosego Mmeanyana, said the centre was a non-governmental organisation in the disability education subsector offering vocational training and rehabilitation to learners with intellectual and learning disabilities.
Ms Mmeanyana said through the rehabilitation unit, people who are differently abled were equipped with life skills to ensure that they become well-rounded graduates who can partake in growing the economy, community and sustain their livelihoods through employment, business opportunities and other community engagements.
She said the three months business incubation project was meant to equip learners with business skills under the mentorship of community business people who were generous to offer their time and impart knowledge, giving the graduates an opportunity to be set out for success in various areas of interest in business.
The business incubation comprised; Saloon and Beauty, poultry, horticulture, secretarial duties and dress making, and “at the centre we extended to piggery, seeing that Ramotswa is an area with many pig farms”, she said.
Kgosi Mosadi Seboko of Balete urged stakeholders to partake in investing on empowerment and education of those living with disabilities to help unleash their talents and abilities giving them an opportunity to participate in daily developments.
She said the district had made efforts through SESAD project to ensure that living with disability can have a chance to use their skills and participate in food production.
She said SESAD was aimed at food production run by differently-abled persons, adding that with relevant support and assistance from stakeholders, the project could aid in food security and localising food production.
Giving a testimony, one of the graduates in dress making Koketso Selebo said that during her incubation period, challenges they came across were no less than challenges faced by abled persons, “despite the challenges we met we learned a lot of skills which we believe will take us to greater heights.” ENDS
Source : BOPA
Author : Itumeleng Naane
Location : RAMOTSWA-
Event : INTERVIEW
Date : 15 Nov 2023