In Mauritius, young adults with intellectual disabilities lack training opportunities, especially those that match their needs and the demands of potential employers. They also experience significant barriers to accessing employment in the open labour market, reflected by a low employment rate.
This proposed project, entitled the Callithea Project, will use as basis the Social Enterprise Framework to attempt to address the need for more meaningful and sustainable training and employment opportunities for young adults with intellectual disabilities. The first phase of the training and employment programme will be a 6-month tailor-made foundation course delivered to programme participants on social enterprise development; followed by a one-year novel entrepreneur experience: a socially responsible retail shop employing and run by young adults with intellectual disabilities. Over a period of 1.5 years, it is expected that the project will equip programme participants with the adaptive, behavioural, and technical skills and knowledge to start and/or operate a small-scale social enterprise. Through the empowerment of young adults with intellectual disabilities and the promotion of self-employment and/or entrepreneurship, it is expected that the long-term impact of the Callithea Project will be: improved livelihoods of persons with intellectual disabilities in a more tolerant, equitable and inclusive society.