Digital employment training for persons with disabilities co-existing with COVID-19

Thirty-nine students with disabilities will develop digital skills to be able to take digital employment opportunities, thus living independently with dignity, supporting their families, and contributing to the digital economy.

New ways of working could help many persons with disabilities to improve their income opportunities and continue to make significant contributions to Vietnam’s economic recovery. Source: UNDP

This is the objective of a five-month “Digital Employment Training Program for Persons with Disabilities Co-existing with COVID-19”, launched on November 5 with the collective efforts of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the Government of Japan, and Hanoi-based Will to Live Centre.

Two of the key findings of UNDP’s recent study on employment policies and their implementation for Persons with Disabilities are that reasonable accommodations have not been stipulated in the Law, and Persons with Disabilities have not been trained in new jobs to meet the demands of the new labor market.

Moreover, people with disabilities were among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, said a rapid assessment announced by UNDP in May 2020.

In this project, Will to Live Center can become a role model of making reasonable accommodations and providing the latest digital skills for Persons with Disabilities to integrate into the dynamic economy of the Industrial Revolution 4.0.

“This is what we are contributing to the increased equal employment opportunities for persons with disabilities - the indicators of the Article 27 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and the Sustainable Development Goal No.8 on Decent Work for all,” said UNDP Resident Representative Caitlin Wiesen.

“We must ensure that the existing inequalities and risks faced by persons with disabilities are not further deepened by COVID-19, and we can together Build Forward Better toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19 World, which will also be the theme of the approaching International Day for Persons with Disabilities,” she said.

“Each people has her/ his own ability and value,” said Co-Founder and CEO of the Will to Live Centre Nguyen Thi Van. “We need to create equal opportunity for everyone to unleash their own potential”. She gave flower seeds to all students for planting and wished the students the strength to overcome all barriers and move forward.

One of the trainee, Nguyen Thi Suong from Ha Tinh shared: "Before this, I still went with my friends to perform art in the provinces, but since the social distancing due to COVID-19, I stay at home. I want to change this situation. I decided to go to the Will to Live Centre. I and a friend applied to study here, but due to the flood in Central region, my friend could not come."

Another trainee Nguyen Thi Hoi, 26 years old, from Bac Giang said, "I tried to work as a tailor, but not succeed. Now I am still living with my parents. I learned about the course through Facebook page and Youtube channel. I have difficulty traveling, so the Centre helped me find a place to live. I have just gotten acquainted with the computer for 2 days. I hope that after 5 months of learning, I will have have a job and a stable income to support myself."

“I wanted to go to the university but there is no elevator there and my mom can’t give me a piggyback ride climbing the stairs to my class every day so I have to stay home,” said Vo Thi Mien, 19 years old, from Ha Tinh province. “I was sad and wanted to integrate into the society. This digital skills training opens the second gate for me. I hope that I will have a decent job after graduation to support my family.”

 Tu Pham