Youths with disabilities in the Solomon Islands find it hard to access skills development and entrepreneurship training due to discriminatory treatments.
These were the words of the Pacific Disability Forum’s Youth Co-chair Mr Charlie Maeke.
Speaking at the Pacific Youth Regional Conference on Disability yesterday, Maeke said accessibility to education and employment opportunities for youths with disabilities in the Solomon Islands is a challenge.
“It is a challenge for youth with disabilities in the Solomon Islands to access scholarships for the TVET program and getting enrolled to the program, is virtually impossible as priorities are given to young people without disabilities,” said Mr. Maeke.
While DPO’s plays an important role to lobby for the protection and promotion of the rights and interests of people with disabilities, governments play a vital role in ensuring that persons with disabilities are included in their programs.
Maeke further said that employment is another major challenge as they were not accepted in the work industry due to their disabilities.
“Most of our youth in Solomon Islands wants to start our small business on the trade that we have, but because of our disability we are not entitle for loan scheme and there is limited access to information on skills development that are available for young people,” he said.
Maeke emphasised the need for governments, development partners and stakeholders together with Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs) to include young people with disabilities in skills development and other training programs.
He said it was vital that youths with disabilities be equipped with the knowledge on how to write business plans, be financial literate and be able to develop project proposal for small businesses.