The Inspiring Journey of Hassan who graduated in a Vocational Skills Training programme with a DIT certificate in motorcycle repair

Hassan Swidk was born with a physical disability and lost his father when he was still 10 years. He dropped out of school in primary 6 because the mother could not afford school fees and repair for his bicycle. “On days when my bicycle would get spoilt, my mother didn’t have any money to repair it,” Hassan revealed.

Despite the numerous challenges he has faced, he never let his circumstances define him. Instead, he saw them as an opportunity to rise above and make a positive impact on his life and the lives of those around him.

In the settlement, a vocational skills training program titled Skills Training for Employment Promotion (STEP) was brought to empower refugees and host communities with practical skills that could enhance their employability and create sustainable livelihoods. Hassan saw this as a chance to break free from the cycle of dependency and make a meaningful contribution to his community.

Despite the initial doubts and scepticism from some community members, Hassan enrolled in the vocational skills training program. The program offered courses in various trades, and Hassan chose to specialize in motorcycle repair.

The training program not only provided Hassan with technical skills but also fostered a supportive and inclusive environment. Hassan’s instructors and fellow participants recognized his abilities, focusing on his strengths rather than his disability. Through the training Hassan is now able to repair his own bicycle and be able to move. He also repairs motorcycles and bicycles of other people in the settlement hence making some money.

“I can buy some of the basics needs I need for myself because of the money I make,” Hassan said. Adding, “I took this course seriously so that I make something better for my mother while she is still alive. Even if I am like this, I know I can do something better for my family,” he noted.

Hassan transition to the field of work is however without challenges. “When people meet me at my workplace, they cannot believe that I can work there.”

Hassan dreams of becoming a motorcycle repair engineer. “I want to continue with my studies so that I become an instructor or engineer. I need support in terms of training that can enable me upgrade my skills,” he asked.

Hassan’s success story serves as a beacon of hope, demonstrating that with the right opportunities and support, individuals with disabilities can overcome challenges and contribute meaningfully to their communities. His determination not only transformed his life but also had a lasting impact on the perception of disability within the refugee settlement in Uganda.

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