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    Jobs and Skills for PwDs Project Closing Ceremony Holds

    Cairo, 9 March 2017

    The closing ceremony of the “Jobs and Skills for PwDs with Focus on ICT-Based Solutions” Project was launched today, under the auspices of the Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser ElKady. The event was organized by Egypt Information and Communication Technology Trust Fund (ICT-TF), affiliated to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), in partnership with the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

    The project pursues MCIT efforts towards empowering People with Disabilities (PwDs) to achieve sustainable development objectives and promote their equal participation in all walks of life through implementing a clear strategy that entails providing training, education, qualification, employment and health care based on ICTs. The project aims to raise the skills of people with physical and visual disabilities—using ICTs—to find suitable employment opportunities in the ICT and tourism sectors.

    Representatives from government agencies, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), training institutions and recruitment entities took part in the ceremony. This is in addition to beneficiaries of people with physical and visual disabilities, and the project partners who took part in order to exchange experiences and explore best practices in the area of supporting, integrating and employing PwDs using ICTs, and discuss key challenges and solutions for qualifying and employing PwDs through community participation.

    The National Director of Egypt ICT Trust Fund Hoda Dahroug said that the project started in September 2014 to conduct a needs assessment covering people with physical and visual disabilities, civil society and the private sector, under the theme "your skills are your key to work" in 12 governorates including Cairo, Giza, Qalyubia Dakahlia, Alexandria, Ismailia, Port Said, Minya, Assiut, Beheira, Beni Suef and Menoufiya. The appropriate training content of these two PwDs categories has been developed in Arabic in several areas including entrepreneurial skills, computer basics, call centers skills, design and graphics skills and computer maintenance.

    She added that in line with MCIT keenness to develop human resources and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship for young people, the ICT-TF developed programs to raise awareness of the culture of self-employment and entrepreneurship, and support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), thereby contributing to increasing the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and creating jobs that in turn will address poverty and unemployment in remote and marginalized areas.

    For his part, the Director of ILO Cairo Office Peter Van Rooij hailed the positive interaction of all the project partners, addressing the remarkable driving force in Egypt towards the inclusive practices that facilitate PwDs daily life.
    Moreover, the UNDP Resident Representative in Egypt Richard Dictus said that all partners shoulder a key responsibility towards PwDs and that, during the coming phase, empowerment must be derived from the concept of investment, not charity.

    During the ceremony, a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the ICT for Comprehensive Community Development (ICT4CCD) Project, the ILO and the National Council for Disability Affairs. The MoU was signed by the Council Head and General Supervisor Ashraf Marei, the Director of ILO Cairo Office Peter Van Rooij and the National Director of Egypt ICT Trust Fund Hoda Dahroug. The MoU aims to pursue concerted efforts for the duration of the project to promote PwDs rights to work in various fields across governorates of Egypt.

    Participants showcased key and best experiences of government agencies, CSOs and international institutions in raising PwDS awareness on capacity-building and employment. This is in addition to presenting a documentary film that illustrates the achievements of the project, and a number of success stories. During the ceremony, a number of sessions on opportunities and challenges facing PwDs in training and employment in the ICT and accessible tourism fields were held.

    Moreover, a number of the best trainees, trainers and associations were honored, for their success and excellence during the training period, contributing to the provision of training using ICTs among more beneficiaries to qualify them to join the labor market. Winners in the accessible tourism contest that targeted hotels and providers of tourism services to PwDS were honored as well.

    Key Project Achievements:
    A number of workshops to train the trainers —55 trainers— were held in a number of training areas, to support each institution or association to achieve its targets. The project achieved its main targets through providing training to 600 trainees from people with physical and visual disabilities. Two workshops on innovative thinking were held in Cairo and Alexandria with the participation of the Information Technology Institute (ITI) and the Bibliotheca Alexandria (BA) in order to find innovative technological solutions to facilitate the work of PwDs, bringing about 12 ideas of innovative applications to overcome some of the challenges PwDs face.

    The ILO launched the accessible tourism contest for the first time in Egypt, targeting hotels and tourism providers who exerted outstanding efforts in facilitating the arrival and departure of to tourist attractions; providing PwDs with job opportunities in the tourism sector; and establishing the first Egyptian network of companies that promote inclusion of PwDs—comprising 12 members to date—from service and production companies.

    Contributing to facilitating independence of life for people with physical disability, Al Hassan Foundation took part in the production of the first series of illustrated episodes in Arabic (26 episodes), to rehabilitate spine injury victims and making these episodes available online.

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