Fostering family engagement for persons with disabilities


The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon took another initiative to fostering family engagement for persons with disabilities in Jaffna district. Due to cultural barriers, family background and over protection by the parents, persons with disabilities find very difficult to be placed in employment.

The ILO (International LabourOrganisation) LEED (Local empowerment through Economic Development) project is being implemented by The Employers’ Federation of Ceylon since 2011. Now they are implementing the phase 4 of the project. Fostering family engagements workshops were done in Mulativu, Kilinochchi and in Mannar districts few months ago.

In September 2015 persons with disabilities in Jaffna district got the opportunity to develop their skills. The workshop was held at Green Grass Hotel.

Persons with diverse disabilities were selected along with one family member for this workshop. Gender balance was also taken into consideration. Tamil translations were done by Mr. VijayaBasker.

The introduction to EFC Network on Disability was done by Ms. Sonali De Silva. Ms. ManiqueGunaratne did the presentation on “Importance of doing a job”.

Mr. Nesha Kumar from Cargills Ceylon Ltd. Shared his experience in employing persons with disabilities in their company.

An employee with a physical disability from Cargills Ceylon Ltd. spoke about his experience in being gainfully employed.  These two sessions had a very good impact on persons with disabilities who are seeking for employment and I am sure even the family members realized the importance of their child been employed.

Next was the session on how to write a proper CV and interview skills. The session was conducted by Ms. Sonali De Silva, Ms. ManiqueGunaratne and Mr. A. Kirushanthan from EFC. The role play made very interesting for the participants to learn the right skills to develop their confidence to face a job interview.

Participants enjoyed a delicious lunch and thereafter had an interactive session with a parent of a person with a disability who spoke about the impact of having her child earning, supporting the family and being a successful citizen in society.

A person with a physical disability spoke on what is expected from the parents and family, Disability Barriers – one showing how families

Can be a barrier to a person with a disability, even though they have good intentions at heart.

The session on “Changing mind set” was conducted by Ms. Sonali De Silva.

Workshops are a learning flat form for everyone. But this workshop had a difference. All participants including family members had to commit themselves by signing a pledge. The pledge had seven areas each person could commit themselves to work on. Each person committed to do one or more thing in the pledge.

It was a happy end of a workshop with smiling faces where all took a photograph holding the pledge.


Picture descriptions:

1 An employee from  Cargills Ceylon sharing his experiences.

family workshop cargills employee

2 Manique handing over the cheque to a small business holder.

family workshop cheque to business

3 Group photograph of the participants.

family workshop group

4 Role play of interview skills.

family workshop interview skills

5 Manique making a presentation on importance of doing a job.

family workshop manique presentation

6 Nesha Kumar doing a presentation.

family workshop nesha kumar

7 Participants of the workshop.

family workshop participants

8 Sonali making a presentation.

family workshop sonali presentation


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