Nigerian Disability Rights campaigner, Rasak Adekoya, has received international recognition for his pioneering work in breaking down barriers which stop people with disabilities from getting jobs.
Adekoya was decorated as an International Youth Ambassador at the ‘One Young World Summit’ held in Munich, Germany on 23rd July. The prestigious award recognizes young people whose projects are transforming lives and helping achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their communities.
Rasak works for international NGO Sightsavers in a project called Inclusion Works in Nigeria. The project aims at crusading against factors which prevent millions of People with Disabilities from getting mainstream jobs. He became blind as an adult and has since worked to use his personal experience in dismantling barriers facing people with disabilities. He helps empower these job seekers with relevant skills in finding and securing jobs, promotes disability-inclusive workplaces and campaigns for disability rights.
Responding to the award, an excited Rasak said, “I’m happy to be selected as a ‘One Young World Ambassador’. It’s amazing to be recognized alongside other outstanding, young people who are contributing to solving the world’s most complex challenges.
“Ensuring people with disabilities have equal access to livelihoods is a Right – not a favour. Every young business leader should understand the business and ethical rationale for disability inclusion and its benefit to their business growth.”
CEO of Sightsavers, Caroline Harper, said of the award: “I was so pleased to hear that Rasak has been selected to be a One Young World Ambassador – this is a huge achievement. We are all so proud of him at Sightsavers and the hard work he has done for Disability Rights in Nigeria and beyond.
“He has inspired so many people to build a better world, as well as making concrete impacts on the lives of people with disabilities and fully deserves this honour.”
Outside of his role at Sightsavers, Rasak currently serves as Speaker, Nigeria Peoples’ Disability Parliament. He has authored four books, co-founded Africa Volunteering Week and 360 Connect Champion – a social enterprise that builds the technological capacity of People with Disabilities.
One Young World is a global forum which works to identify, promote and connect the world’s most dynamic and impactful young leaders. Their annual summit hosts over 1,800 young leaders from more than 190 countries. This year’s summit was held in Munich, Germany from July 22nd to 25th.
Inclusion Works is part of Inclusive Futures, a partnership of 16 organizations committed to discovering what works and what doesn’t in the crusade to include people with disabilities in global development and humanitarian responses.
The Organization operates its programs in seven countries to test-run ‘inclusive approaches’ in health, education, and work – while tackling stigma and discrimination against PWDs.