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The Right Path

Mr. Hassan Korashi, a passionate strong-willed 33 years old father for two daughters, struggled for years to advance his skills and work as a diver in the Red Sea governorate located at the southeast of Egypt. Not only he was able to earn well but also saved around 30,000 LE until that day when he had an underwater accident and the doctors saved him by a miracle but unfortunately they were not able to save his legs.

"When I went on my daily diving task, I didn't know that it could be the last. I finished the underwater tour and was dying to go home to have some rest with my family. Instead I ended up resting at the hospital and couldn't even stand up. I screamed and screamed but in vain at that time the doctor came and told me that it was a miracle to save you. Since then, no one has ever heard my screams because my spirit was bleeding silence" he recalled "due to my responsibilities towards my daughters I didn't have the luxury to feel despair, even for a while; I searched for a job for many months, spent most of my savings, and failed to run a private cyber net coffee that left me with loans to some of my relatives and neighbors."

Hassan is one of almost 12 Million Person with Disability (PwD) in Egypt who suffer from the community hindrance as well as the absence of the necessary practical skills that enable their admission to the labor market, and therefore are unable to lead better lives. This could be attributed to the limited number of appropriate training programs tailored to their needs and conditions. Considering these facts and under the framework of the United Nations Partnership to promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Egypt ICT Trust Fund (ICT-TF), and the International Labor Organization (ILO) have jointly launched a common project entitled "Jobs a d skills for persons with disabilities with a focus on lCT-based solutions" in September 2014. This project aims to support private labor market inclusion of persons with disabilities through the use of ICT solutions, with a specific focus on the ICT and tourism sector in 6 governorates which are Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, Red Sea, Dakahliya, and Minya.

The project has successfully opened up new eras of hope for many persons with Disabilities (PwDs) especially in remote areas As Hassan In Quser city south of Red Sea governorate by I) Raising community and employer awareness of the rights of PwDs and the comprehensive employment concepts, II) Developing ICT and mobile solutions that help to overcome decent employment challenges of physical and visual impaired individuals by community members varied from developers, designers, PwDs and experts, III) Building up the capacities of trainers working at local Community Social Associations (CSOs), IV) Enhancing PwDs soft, vocational and IT skills that help them to effectively take control of their lives and surroundings, including equipping them with basic IT, data entry, computer and network maintenance (Cisco Academy courses), graphic design, call centers, customer service and entrepreneurial skills.

Hasan was among the first group to complete their training on computer maintenance. His passion in technologies pushed him to furnish a room in his house and open it as center for computer maintenance. Today, for the first time, after being crippled, he is capable of affording a decent life to his family and even started paying his loans. Hassan's enhanced conditions inspire others to take further steps to change their fates too.

"I wasn't disappointed from my disability, in fact I was full of rage of the community limited resources that hindered my abilities, when I first joined the training and along the way, I was surrounded by positive insights and talented trainers" Hassan said. "All heaven signs told me that I'm following the right path. Now, I can dive in the oceans of knowledge, earn my living and give my daughters a better future".

The success of the project depends on the power of public private people partnerships where all the community member and organizations unified their efforts and strengthen the positive change waves. therefore, the project sustainable impact, by the efforts of local CSOs trainers, has each month graduated hundreds like Hassan who managed to find their ways out of disability by believing in their equalities and potentials in finding new jobs or investing in new business and participating in building their communities.