Kenyan organization offering employment opportunities to people living with disabilities

Kenyan organization offering employment opportunities to people living with disabilities

Kenyan organization offering employment opportunities to people living with disabilities

To Fredrick Ouko, experiencing rejection while looking for employment had become almost a regular occurrence. He remembers the numerous times that he lost potential job opportunities due to his status as a person living with disability. “This gave me a first-hand experience on the challenges that people living with disabilities face as they seek employment in both formal and informal settings,” he says.

He narrates: “No one could grant me a job interview, mainly because of how I looked and how I appeared at the job interview. Many employers do not understand that the way one appears in a job interview; whether in a wheelchair or with any other assistance for disability, does not define their competencies or qualifications. I felt a strong need to address this notion by employers towards people living with disabilities. That is how Riziki Source started.”

Fredrick is the founder of Riziki Source, a social enterprise that helps people with disabilities find job opportunities as well as prepare them for those opportunities. The organization offers soft skills training, with the aim of preparing Kenyans living with disabilities connect with the job market. Besides, Riziki Source also offers potential employers alerts about the existing talents and skills among people living with disabilities

To date, Riziki Source runs a database of about 1,400 jobseekers living with disabilities. These are people with various qualifications drawn from all 47 counties in Kenya. Using social media, word of mouth and traditional media appearances, the organization hopes to reach more people with this initiative.
Riziki Source uses social media marketing to reach our target audience. We’ve also used word of mouth and media appearances.

Success Stories

According to Fredrick, one of the greatest success stories for the organization is seeing someone on a wheelchair being hired by an international telecommunications company and performing so well in her duties. “Ordinarily a company would would easily dismiss such a person as unfit to work. We supported in helping this employer understand how they could provide this individual with reasonable accommodation and support in the workplace.We saw the candidate go through the interview process with success. Today, over eight months later, the firm is happy with her and they are looking at getting more talents from us. We are also discussing ways on training human resource professionals to accommodate professionals living with disabilities.”

Over 1.3 billion people across the world live with some form of disability

Currently, Riziki Source has a fully fledged disability inclusion training for human resource department that handles disability training for human resource; equipping human resource practitioners with tips on how to approach employees with disability. This training was necessitated by the need to equip HR departments on how to interview or involve people living with disabilities at the workspace. “We believe that this training will continue to give confidence to HR leads to hire people with disabilities. This is a gap we want to continually fill. We are partnering with many companies to equip them with skills on how to hire, interview and accommodate people with disabilities at the workplace.”

Social Entrepreneurship Alumnus

Fredrick is an MBA in Global Business and Sustainability – Social Entrepreneurship graduate from Tangaza University’s Institute for Social Transformation. What started as a pitching session for social innovation ideas saw Fredrick win a scholarship in the MBA programme.

The MBA programme taught me the many things that I needed to work on for my social enterprise to scale and ways to raise resources for that scale-up process. I also got to learn how we could market the concept to attract more employers to give us employment opportunities ~ Fredrick Ouko

The programme offers a personalised teaching approach hence giving the students an opportunity to work on their social enterprise ideas. For Fredrick, the need to develop a clear business  and marketing plan for his business was his priority.

I want to be remembered as a serial social entrepreneur who started this brand that persons with disability can go to when they are looking for employment; something that allows people to access a pool of professionals living with disabilities ~ Fredrick Ouko