The state-owned Fenaka Corporation has hired 100 individuals with disabilities to work at its branches and powerhouses in the atolls.
President Abdulla Yameen and First Lady Fathmath Ibrahim awarded letters of employment from the state utility company to 74 individuals with disabilities on Sunday morning. Some 26 individuals were unable to attend the ceremony held at the Dharubaaruge convention centre in Malé.
“It is noteworthy that Fenaka Corporation Limited employed individuals with disabilities in different regions of Maldives, in line with the president’s vision of on an all-inclusive society where all individuals are given equal opportunities,” the president’s office said.
“During the ceremony, the first lady also presented letters of handing over automated wheelchairs to three individuals.”
The ceremony featured a song and speeches in praise of the president. The stage was also decorated with a large photo of Yameen.
The newly-employed individuals include 79 men and 21 women, including those born with disabilities and those who suffered debilitating injuries.
With its new staff, Fenaka Corporation now employs 2,500 staff in 152 branches across the country. The corporation provides electricity services for 152 out of the Maldives’ 187 inhabited islands.
In his remarks, Fenaka’s Managing Director Ahmed Shareef said a skills audit was conducted to determine the capabilities of the disabled individuals as well as the tasks that they can perform.
“We prioritised assigning a job related to their talents,” he said, adding that training and opportunities for advancement will also be offered in collaboration with state institutions.
Shareef vowed to treat the disabled individuals with “caring and compassion” and assured that they will not face difficulties in the work environment.
Speaking on behalf of the disabled individuals, Ali Faiz, acting head of the Fenaka branch on Baa atoll Dhonfanu, said: “If a child is in a wheelchair or wears a hearing aid is there any reason for the child to be isolated from society? None.
“But how many among us believe that? Most of our children have been left behind, jobless, and without any means to earn an income.”
In her speech at the ceremony, Family and Gender Minister Aminath Zenysha Shaheed Zaki said the government’s aim is to ensure equal opportunities politically, socially and economically for individuals with disabilities.
Zenysha expressed hope that other companies and government offices will follow Fenaka’s example and provide employment for disabled individuals.