Implemented under its IT Bridge Academy initiative, Sightsavers operates across African countries including Ghana and Nigeria, where it describes its partnership with the DBI as helping to broaden its “fight for the rights of persons with disabilities amongst other things.”
The partnership with the Nigerian government allows the international organisation to use the DBI centres in both Kano and Lagos to host beneficiaries of the IT skill training programme at no cost as the initiative is fully funded by Sightsavers.
“We empower persons with disabilities to live independent lives. The IT Bridge Academy is an initiative of Sightsavers to train persons with disabilities who qualify in IT as that is a very lucrative skill to have. The IT Bridge Academy will harness the world-renowned CISCO Networking Academy curriculum, meticulously tailored to cater to the unique needs of individuals with disabilities. This will see them equipped to compete favourably in the tech industry,” said Country Director of Sightsavers in Nigeria and Ghana, Sunday Isiyaku.
Adding: “Located in the vibrant cities of Lagos and Kano, the Academy will serve as a haven for aspiring young talents from every corner of Nigeria. Over the course of three semesters, spanning a total duration of nine months, students will immerse themselves in a transformative learning experience. Each semester will offer three months of intensive training, equipping participants with cutting-edge IT knowledge and practical skills.
“Upon graduation, these exceptional individuals will emerge as certified Cisco professionals, armed with the expertise and confidence to flourish in Nigeria’s ever-evolving tech industry. But the journey doesn’t end there. Sightsavers, true to its commitment, will go the extra mile to support graduates in securing meaningful employment opportunities within organizations that share their passion for inclusivity”.
The nine months rigorous training in Kano and Lagos with 25 PWDs for each state constitute the initial step followed by internship and then paid jobs for the PWDs affording them opportunities to leap above skill, social and economic limitations including employment barriers.
According to Rasak Adekoya, Economic Empowerment Program Development Advisor at Sightsavers, “The IT Bridge Academy is an incredible journey where technology and inclusivity converge. Upon graduation, these exceptional individuals will emerge as certified Cisco professionals, armed with the expertise and confidence to flourish in Nigeria’s ever-evolving tech industry. But the journey doesn’t end there. Sightsavers, true to its commitment, will go the extra mile to support graduates in securing meaningful employment opportunities within organisations that share their passion for inclusivity.”
Communications and Media Officer for Sightsavers Nigeria, Joy Tarbo, said the organisation focuses on neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), eye health, and disability inclusion to underscore its commitment to the IT capacity initiative for PLWDs.