In a world where barriers often hinder the aspirations of youth with visual impairments (VI), The interns of KBTA's Young Graduate Internship Program for Visually Impaired Graduates demonstrated that determination and resilience can overcome obstacles. This signature program has provided young VI graduates with the opportunity to learn the fundamentals of working in a professional setting over the past three months. They learned digital and soft skills, as well as how to conduct themselves in a professional work environment, preparing them for mainstream employment in Kenya and elsewhere.
We celebrate the remarkable accomplishments and inspiring stories of our VI graduates who have been able to overcome those barriers while pursuing the knowledge that will allow them to have the same opportunities as everyone else. They were able to improve their professional knowledge and skills by using digital assistive technologies. Dedicated mentors and trainers played an important role in guiding them through the challenges of the workplace and becoming well versed in many skills that are often taken for granted and not communicated to those VI graduates who have been focused on completing their studies and graduating from their universities.
This program has an intense focus on the use of technology, provision of the digital tools needed by the VI, skills transfer and an emphasis on the acquisition and knowledge on a wide range of topics that are essential to being an employee in the modern job market. The program also ensures that the VI graduates have time to practice and participate in discussions, research, debate, and other forms of activities to expose them to current trends and practices in a formal workplace setting.
After successfully completing the first phase of the employability program, the interns will be placed in various organizations in the private, public, and non-profit sectors with which KBTA has collaborated to support workplace inclusion. This phase will include another three months of internship, allowing VI graduates to develop and strengthen what they have learned at KBTA in the previous months. It will also provide companies and organizations that hire interns with the opportunity to learn about becoming more inclusive in their recruitment and workplace. KBTA will continue to advise and support the next phase's success.
The success of this program can be attributed to the extensive support and collaboration from partner organizations, mentors, and disability inclusion experts as well as potential employers, who are passionate about creating an inclusive environment in which everyone feels valued and respected. This also is in compliance with the SDGs 4,8 and 10 allowing for inclusive education to employment for all. This program has also established a strong precedent by promoting inclusivity and redefining societal norms. It demonstrates the transformative power of providing qualified VI youth equal opportunities. Cohort 1 has laid the foundation for a process that provides practical solutions for a future in which talent and determination, transcend physical limitations, resulting in a more equitable society.
Congratulations to all the participants of the cohort 1 employability internship program. You are proof that unlimited potential can be unleashed with targeted solutions.