At a time when over 40% of youths are unemployed, getting gainful employment for youths with disabilities becomes much more difficult.
This is why Crimsonbow Sickle Cell Initiative, a non-governmental organization, organised a seminar in Lagos to encourage youths with sickle cell disorder to summon the courage and go for self-employment.
The seminar featured two panels of experts who in spite of being sickle cell carriers have made an impact in their chosen endeavours.
All the five speakers in the first panel are married women who, in spite of having sickle cell disorder, started a business or a career and made meaningful progress.
Mrs Olusola Akinfola, managing partner, Conxton law firm and legal adviser to Crimsonbow Sickle Cell Initiative, told the youths that there is no legal inhibition on the way of sickle cell carriers if they want to start a business.
She said they should refuse to be intimidated by their disability.
Mr Aderonke Kester, a human resource consultant who is the Chief Executive Officer of Resume Master, told the youths with sickle cell disorder to avoid self-pity and lamentation or complaints. Rather they should identify their natural talents and make good use of it.
Mrs Banke Alawaye, Chief Executive Officer of Initiative Solutions, recalled that ignorantly people used to discriminate against sickle cell carriers thereby making it difficult for them to get jobs.
She, however, added that more and more organisations are ready to consider just any good hand including youths with sickle cell disorder.
Mrs Ozioku Okwuosa, a human resource manager at GSU Consulting, expressed similar optimism on the fact that it is possible for youths with sickle cell disorder to get a job despite the prevailing harsh economic environment.
Dr Chioba Muoneke, a medical officer at Asaju Medical Clinic Victoria Island, told the youths to be mindful of their health condition while planning whatever they want to embark upon.
Mrs Abimbola Edwin narrated her experiences as a sickle cell carrier who has lived up to 59 years. She is the mother of Timi Edwin, who is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Crimson Bow Sickle Cell Initiative.
She told the youths to know their weaknesses and strengths even as they forge ahead in life.
The guest speaker, Mr Ayodele Martyns, is the Chief Executive Officer of Alakada Educational Group.
He narrated how in spite of the challenges of being a sickle cell carrier he has been able to start his own business. He said his father initially told him to look for wage employment because of his condition.