There is limited data available that demonstrates the high rates of unemployment among deaf youth in Eswatini, however this can be projected based on the low attendance rate in the education system (see chart below). Very few students are able to attend secondary school, excluding deaf youth from acquiring the certification needed for the majority of jobs in the country.
In order to achieve goal number 5, DOW seeks to establish a robust internship and apprenticeship program that will provide critical exposure to the world of work for deaf youth across Eswatini. These apprenticeships will help deaf youth apply the theories of career development into practice as they are mentored on how to thrive in the work environment across a wide range of career and job opportunities. We also hope to connect our students to job shadowing opportunities starting in the 10th grade.
Through partnering with government agencies, businesses and local NGOs, we hope to expose organizations to deaf people and deaf culture, and eliminate discrimination in the workplace.
Deaf youth face many obstacles and barriers to finding employment, in particular stigma associated with their capabilities and how they can work effectively within the workplace.