Second cohort of re-skilled youth living with disabilities graduate |01 April 2023
Michael Raoul wins best performer award
A group of 13 deserving young graduands, all living with disabilities, yesterday received their certificates, after successfully completing the second re-skilling programmes and short courses organised by GEM Consultancy, in collaboration with various local professional centres.
Among the group, Michael Raoul who successfully completed a short course in motor vehicle mechanic at the Seychelles Institute of Technology (SIT) received the best performer’s cup, while Rico Freminot was awarded the trophy for best effort.
Yesterday’s graduation which took place at the Seychelles Tourism Academy (STA) at La Misère was attended by the Minister for Youth, Sports & the Family, Marie-Celine Zialor, principal secretary for Family Clive Roucou, member of National Assembly (MNA) Naddy Zialor, director of the STA Terrence Max, executive director of the GEM Consultancy, Marie-May Leon, along with parents and relatives of the graduates.
The GEM Consultancy offers training for people living with disabilities so they can join the world of work and be independent citizens, while the aim of the training programmes is to give the young people living with certain disabilities an opportunity to develop their potential, live a decent life like all citizens and bring their contribution to society.
For successfully completing the re-skilling programme, certificates were awarded to Michael Andrew, Daniel Choppy, Jean-Marc de Silva, Rico Freminot, Reuben Moncherry, Michael Raoul, Marie-Michelle Sophola and Ingrid Toussaint.
Raoul, Andrew and Toussaint, along with Angel Fred, Juliette Rachel, Rico Freminot, Andy Labrosse, Annick Matombe and Jenifer Romain also received certificates for successfully completing level one and two training in literacy and numeracy at the Seychelles Institute of Distance and Open Learning (Sidol).
Juliette, Fred, Freminot and Matombe also received certificates for successfully completing training in creative craft sewing, also at Sidol.
Addressing the graduands, PS Roucou congratulated them for the effort and achievements, while commanding GEM Consultancy for the initiative, as well as the management and staff of the professional centres for opportunities offered to the young people living with disabilities, allowing them to develop their potentials, which in return enable them to integrate within the society, thus contributing towards the development of the country.
He said yesterday’s graduation was proof that the government, along with committed individuals have the wellbeing of people living with disabilities at heart, on behalf of the Family department, he pledged continuous support towards the cause.
“Nothing can stop you from achieving anything that is within your reach and ability if you have the determination and willpower to do so,” added PS Roucou, who portrayed MNA Zialor as the perfect example.
He also thanked the parents to believe in the initiative, and also in the ability of their children, while encouraging others to follow in that footstep, allowing their children the opportunity to grow and play their role in the society.
Encouraging the new graduates, Ebrahim Dodin, a member of the programme’s first cohort, and now a student at the STA, reassured them that with determination, they will reach their goal in life, despite certain restrictions due to their disabilities.
He also thanked the GEM Consultancy and the professional centres and other institutions for providing the platform for them to develop further, grow and get closer to their target.
He reminded them that despite the available avenues, things will not always be easy, but through perseverance and good fighting spirit, they will definitely reach the finishing line.
On behalf of his fellow graduates, Rico Freminot thanked all those, who in one way or another helped them to get to where they are now.
Special mention went to the teachers, parents and the GEM Consultancy for being patient, taking time to steer them towards their goals.
Mrs Leon explained that the concept for GEM Consultancy was inspired during the Covid-19 when a lot of people were losing their jobs, impacting on families, especially those with members living with disabilities.
The re-skilling programme, she said, was a pilot project to try to empower people with disabilities, allowing them to contribute, not only towards the wellbeing of their families, but also the country, boosting the existing workforce which was being affected by the pandemic.
Photos by Joena Meme