This year, Manos Unidas vocational training program, Phawarispa, sought out an inclusive partnership with a local vocational training school for our youth. INCA EDUCA and Manos Unidas have launched the first cohort of vocational training for youth with disabilities in the region of Cusco.

Phawarispa focuses on preparing adolescents and young adults for successful job insertion. Over the last 4 years Phawarispa has been operating within Manos Unidas school, Camino Nuevo, as a highschool program.

But families wanted more. They wanted vocational certficiation. And WE wanted more. We wanted desegregation.

How could we prepare youth with disabilities for entering the public workplace while educating them in segregated settings totally isolated from the public?

March 12, 20 young adults ages 16-25 from all over the region of Cusco enrolled in Manos Unidas-Inca Educa vocational training program. The students will spend the next 2 years studying housekeeping and hotel work and restaurant/bar modules, receiving official certification upon successful graduation.

The partnership offers youth vocational certification with an additional curriculum written for youth with disabilities for pre-vocational training. Skills such as public transportation, social skills and money handling are taught as well as a sexual abuse prevention course for youth and their families. It is important to teach our youth the complimentary skills necessary for their job success, not just the skills for the job!

Thank you Dorothea Hauss Ross Foundation and the Intrepid Foundation for supporting this iniciative!

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