Support Inclusion and Effective Practices for Young People with DisabilitiesPublished: Jan 12, 2024 Reading time: 3 minutes
People with Disabilities (PwDs) are estimated to represent 2% to 9.5% of Cambodia’s population. They are more likely to be unemployed, underemployed, or economically inactive than people without disabilities. In addition, women with disabilities have more difficulty accessing formal TVET programs. In order to ensure the sustainable transition to decent and appropriate employment opportunities, it is important to address the underlying challenges and constraints of the vocational training sector and the hiring process of the private sector.
Towards Inclusive Employment for People with Disabilities (PwDs) is a 3 years project (2021-2023), implemented by People in Need Cambodia in partnership with Agile Development Group under the funding of the Czech Development Agency.
Mr. Heang Tanglin, who is 23 years old and a wheelchair user, talks about the event that led to his disability. It started when, around the age of 16, he accidentally fell from a mango tree, which caused him serious injuries and compelled him to rely on a wheelchair for mobility. With many challenges, whether traveling or physical barriers at the school’s premises, Lin had to drop out from high school. After dropping out, as a person with disability with no marketable skills to earn money and relying on support from family, he often found himself discouraged.
Later, with support from an NGO working in his hometown, he was introduced to the JCIA Posen Chey skill learning center, where he got the opportunity to learn electronic repairing skills. Also, he was one of the 30 people with disabilities who had the opportunity to participate in business development and entrepreneurship training provided by Agile Development Group. Furthermore, he was supported with a small grant to start his small business under the project “Toward inclusive employment for people with disabilities” implemented by People in Need Cambodia and Agile. This was in line with the project’s vision not just to provide job opportunities, but also to empower individuals with disabilities in financial independence and to encourage people with disabilities to harness their skills and talents.
With support from the project’s, he was able to start a small business as an electronic repair service and accessories shop in Kampong Cham province. "I wouldn’t have been able to start this small business only with my skills, if it hadn’t been for the support from the small grant”, Tanglin says. This business means a lot to him; it is a way for him to create opportunities for himself. Now, he is able utilize his skills, earn income to support himself and sometimes contribute some to his family's economy. Tanglin also has a plan to expand his business by looking for a new business location that might attract more customers and bring higher income.
Mr. Tanglin shares, ‘I would like to express my gratitude to the project for helping me gain a basic knowledge in business development and entrepreneurship. Thanks to this, I am able to to make living and live my life independently”.