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Impact of KBTA's Employability Programs on Youth with Visual Impairments: A Year in Review

It has been a year since Kilimanjaro Blind Trust Africa ( KBTA) embarked on the 3rd pillar of its program: Employability Skills Training program. Through the generous support of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, KBTA has significantly impacted youth with visual impairments through the completion of four successful cohorts. The program is meticulously designed to address the unique challenges visually impaired individuals face in the job market, empowering them with the skills, confidence, and opportunities needed to thrive in professional environments.

The program recruits graduates with visual impairments for a 3-month intensive training in-house followed by a 3 months internship placement subject to the availability of positions in the different partner organizations. This is to allow the trainees to apply their skills in real job settings, gain valuable experience, and build their professional networks.

The employability skills program is implemented through various technical and soft skills training modules. Technical training includes adapted ICT skills, use of assistive technologies, and specific job-related skills. Soft skills training focuses on communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and interview techniques. The trainees are provided with mentorship support to enhance their confidence and assist them in overcoming the challenges of entering the workforce.

There has been a profound impact on the youth with visual impairment who have gone through the program. Many have secured internships, and job placements in various industries, demonstrating their capability and reliability as employees, increased confidence and independence, and most importantly community and peer support.

KBTA has successfully established partnerships with organizations through this program, creating sustainable pathways for ongoing employment opportunities for visually impaired youth as they transition into permanent employment. The success of these four cohorts highlights the potential for continued growth and broader impact, paving the way for a more inclusive future for visually impaired individuals in the workforce.

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