A project aimed to help young PWDs was recently celebrated. Called the Forward Together project, it’s a partnership between Pan-Asian insurance company FWD and non-profit organization Humanity & Inclusion (formerly Handicap International). Together, these organizations unite to help young people with disabilities find opportunities for employment, not only in the Philippines but throughout Asia.
Through the regional partnership initially announced by the insurer in the first half of 2018, both organizations will work towards advocating equal opportunities and empowering people with disabilities in Asia. With FWD Group investing USD 1million, the Forward Together project will train at least 380 youth with disabilities in the Philippines and Indonesia and help them secure sustainable employment or business opportunities.
At the event, we met Raphael Torralba, DFA Assistant for Programs for PWDs. Faced with challenges as a person with disability, Mr. Torralba shared his personal experience how he felt alienated in the workplace. I admire his strength of character to rise above the situation and succeed. Now he’s working with PWDs. I hope the other branches of the government has programs to help young PWDs as well.
“FWD Life Philippines aims to end the stigma that disability corresponds to inability,” FWD Life Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Grimes said. “Through our partnership with Humanity & Inclusion, we hope to provide a platform for people with disabilities to showcase their strengths and abilities. We want to encourage everyone to help create a future with a difference for people with disabilities with opportunities to become valuable and equal contributors to the community.”
“Developing countries are encouraged to invest in youth, but unfortunately, young people with disabilities are usually overlooked in employment and entrepreneurship opportunities,” said Bryan Andrew Marsalis, Humanity & Inclusion Regional Operation Coordinator. “That is why we are very delighted to have such strong support from FWD Group in our advocacy of improving the lives of youth with disabilities. Through this project, we will work with selected employers – including FWD Group – across the two target countries to improve their capacity to employ youth with disabilities.”
“At FWD, we are committed to promoting social inclusion and active participation of persons with disabilities, and are very excited to kick-start our work with Humanity & Inclusion,” said FWD Life Philippines Head of Marketing and Community Care Country Lead Roche Vandenberghe. “With the Forward Together project, we are enabling businesses and organizations such as ours to become catalysts for quality job creation.”
The Forward Together project by FWD Life Philippines and Humanity & Inclusion to help young PWDs is a move in the right direction. In the past, I’ve shared about the call for inclusion of people with special needs. The world will be a better place for everyone if all these efforts become successful.