“I need to show my best side, so companies recognise the value of people with disabilities”
Binetou is a 36-year-old lawyer who works for the Ministry of State Investment, Partnerships and Teleservices Development. Her physical disability used to be an obstacle to finding work, which she overcame with help from Handicap International (HI). She talks about her experience below.
Binetou Toure, beneficiary of the EMPHAS programme | © HI
Although I was awarded a Master’s degree in Judicial Law in 2006, I wasn’t able to find a job to match my qualifications. I spent years doing traineeships and odd jobs.
In 2015, I joined the Employment for People with Disabilities programme (EMPHAS) run by HI. The same year, I was offered a position in the civil service as a lawyer. The following year, I was transferred to the Ministry of Investment, Partnerships and Teleservices Development.
HI helped me a lot psychologically and technically just as I was starting to despair.
I consider myself to be an ambassador for people with disabilities within my department; I need to show my best side, my high standards and professional approach, so companies recognise the value of people with disabilities and change their attitudes towards disability.”
HI and inclusive employment in Senegal:
Since 2014, HI has promoted the inclusive employment of people with disabilities through the EMPHAS project. The organisation starts by arranging an interview with a social worker and a recruitment advisor for the person with disabilities. After a skills assessment, it then draws up an action plan with the person in question, based on their aspirations and needs, to ensure they receive tailored assistance, which includes training, internships and awareness-raising for potential employers.
HI works with a local network of more than 90 employers and around a dozen bodies active in the field of employment and training. The organisation helps partner businesses adapt the workplace to make it accessible to people with disabilities. It also raises the awareness of other staff members to better integrate disabled employees. Lastly, it monitors people who have found employment through its programme to ensure that everything is going well in their new work environment.
 EMPHAS: Employment for People with Disabilities in Senegal