In October 2016 DST recruited nine candidates for its new ICT training in Intermediate Level. This training is targeting some of the candidates who have completed the Basic ICT course and will provide skills suitable for the now well-established DST Employment Bureau. Training will include modules such as employability skills and entrepreneurship, to support our students to gain internships and employment when they have completed their training.
We go through a rigorous process of interviews and assessment to select our trainees. The training will last for seven months and DST will spend up to 32 million Leones (£4,600) on this programme.
Here’s some photos of the new recruits outside our Freetown office, and starting their training:
The British High Commission, which sponsored the creation of the DST Employment Bureau, completed a review of the Bureau. The report concluded with the following summary, and an endorsement of DST:
“The Dorothy Springer Trust (DST), a modestly-sized NGO that punches above its weight when it comes to promoting disability rights in Sierra Leone, has a strong track record for delivering value for money. DST’s project was designed to be sustainable and offer longer-term benefits after completion. The Employment Bureau provides a means to support its ‘graduates’ as they enter the local job market and, as DST’s reputation for providing good-quality candidates builds among local businesses, they should be well placed to expand support for persons with disabilities (and, in slower time, off a similar service for able-bodied ‘graduates’). Their efforts to tackle the stigma of persons with disabilities will help make Sierra Leone’s labour market fairer and, ultimately, will support the Government’s post-Ebola recovery efforts to develop the private sector.”
The Employment Bureau has also received formal recognition from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security through an attestation letter from the Minister, noting that; “As the Ministry responsible for facilitating job creation, we appreciate your initiative and assure you of our support and cooperation in the successful operations of the facility. It is indeed a noble intervention worthy of commendation for which my [Minister of Labour...] extends its profound gratitude to the pioneers of this project”.
DST continue to partner with other organisations to deliver training and advocacy work on behalf of people with disabilities:
• Joined partners in a consortium of Non-Governmental Organisations, led by Sightsavers, who have won a multi-Euro project to develop an Inclusive Education Policy for the government of Sierra Leone Education Ministry.
• Commissioned by Irish Aid, to identify and profile successful disabled people as role models for other disabled people. The aim is to change the negative perceptions of society towards people with disabilities.
• Donating computers to the Freetown Cheshire Home for disabled children and setting up a computer hub in the Home’s Vocational Skills Centre, to enable the residents to learn more about computers.
• Delivering ICT training to driving staff of a German Aid Agency (GiZ).
We are seeing more results from our Employment Bureau, which officially opened in March 2016. The project has already seen four out of the six test cases now in employment, through internship and entrepreneurship. Pictured below is DST graduate Kadiatu Mansaray, who has commenced an internship with the British Council.
In June 2016 Dr Abs Dumbuya, the DST CEO was appointed by the President of Sierra Leone as the Disability Lead in the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). This is a good governance body for the entire African continent. On 22 August Abs travelled to Nairobi, Kenya, to the National Governing Council of the APRM. Abs made strong contributions that any country governance system should also consider disability issues, and Sierra Leone was highly commended for bringing among their delegation a person with disabilities who could speak expertly on the subject.
Photo of the APRM Sierra Leone Delegation all seated for the APRM Pre-Summit Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya - 23.8.16. The delegation is led by Hon Minister of Political and Public Affairs, Madam Nanette Thomas, and Abs was also accompanied by Prof. Osman Gbla, Hon. MP JB Mansaray and Alphonso Manley.
On 10 March 2016 the new DST Employment Bureau Desk was officially opened by the British High Commissioner, His Excellency Peter West.
The creation of an Employment Bureau has been sponsored by the British High Commission. It supports graduates from the DST training scheme with job searches, CV creation and cover letter writing. We provide training in interview techniques such as coaching, mock interviews, etc.
The Employment Bureau is a fundamental part of the DST strategy for persons with disability (PWD) in Sierra Leone. DST trains people for a purpose: to enable them to gain employment, leading to independence and transformed lives.
DST has created a brochure describing the services offered by the new Employment Bureau. See the photo of our first six cohort candidates for employment. They all went through intensive training on employability skills and five initially secured jobs.
|Employment Bureau Opening Ceremony||Pictured here are the first six DST graduates ready for employment through the new Employment Bureau.|
On 14 January 2016 Sierra Leone was declared Ebola Free. The epidemic lasted for almost two years and was the source of much tragedy and disruption. DST persevered during outbreak, continuing to deliver training to persons with disabilities.