Special Olympics Nigeria has partnered with seamlessHR, Africa’s HR & Payroll technology company, to launch CODEABLE, an initiative to promote the participation of vulnerable youths in the digital economy.
The program is designed to tackle inequality and exclusion in society by providing quality training in technology for young people, including people living with disabilities and those from lower-income backgrounds.
“The uniqueness of ‘Codeable’ is the provision of unified technology training that allows people with and without intellectual disabilities equal access to skills that enable self and economic empowerment,” Naomi Ejobe, National Director, Special Olympics Nigeria.
Special Olympics Nigeria is part of a worldwide movement (Special Olympics International) that is aimed at changing the misconceptions individuals have about people with intellectual disabilities.
Its mission is to provide various sports training and athletic competitions in a variety of Olympic – type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities thus providing a platform where their abilities are celebrated in society.
For a minimum of three months, both organisations, in collaboration, will help participants acquire basic proficiency in programming, quality assurance, and product management, alongside soft skills to boost their employability and readiness for the workforce.
Codeable will launch on July 14, 2022, with a pioneer cohort of 26 youths. Within the next three years, the Codeable initiative plans to run two annual cohorts with the aim of training at least 150 youth with and without intellectual disabilities who would typically be excluded from accessing quality technology education.
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Also, Codeable will offer participants the opportunities for internship placements at SeamlessHR and various other companies that join the partnership for future programs.
“The participants will earn valuable and relevant skills in demand, improving their chances of finding meaningful employment in technology sectors and beyond,” Adetoun Akinsunmi, who leads the Codeable initiative, said.
With technology fast becoming a pillar of society and everyday life, tech skills are essential for anyone looking to earn a living, be relevant in society, and even participate actively in economic activities.
About one in six people worldwide live with a disability. This segment of the population also faces economic exclusion, and are 50 percent less likely to get jobs. Therefore, they must be provided unique opportunities and training that improves their chances of securing job opportunities.
“As a technology company, we understand the importance of tech skills in the labour market. Codeable helps us give back to society in a significant way-so the project is very dear to us,” Emmanuel Okeleji, SeamlessHR’s CEO, said.
According to the company, without carrying along the disadvantaged section of the population, society will be limiting the contribution of over a billion people to the world’s development.
The International Labour Organisation states that excluding people with disabilities from the workforce can lead to a loss in GDP of up to seven percent.
Similarly, as many as four in 10 Nigerians live below the national poverty line, and ironically, technology has also been highlighted as a vital tool in fighting poverty. Hence, Codeable launches to demonstrate the importance of inclusion and its potential to create a better society.