Friday, September 22, 2023

PTCL and Deaftawk set to launch ‘Justuju’ program to upskill persons with disabilities

Pakistan’s largest telecommunication and ICT services provider, PTCL Group signed an agreement with the Network of Organizations Working for People with Disabilities Pakistan (NOWPDP) and Deaftawk to launch the third cohort of its flagship skill training program, Justuju for professional development of persons with disabilities (PWDs).

For the 3rd cohort, the program duration has been extended from six weeks to six months with two months of soft skills training and four months of on-the-job training to allow extended mentorship and learning for professional success.

Justuju internship program is one of the most sought-after internship programs, designed to bridge the gaps in society through social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities. Talented individuals are prepared for careers through robust training and hands-on experience under expert mentorship at PTCL and Ufone offices.

The program will be implemented in collaboration with NOWPDP, which works to promote socioeconomic inclusion of persons with disabilities, and Deaftawk which bridges the communication gap between individuals with speaking and hearing impairment and the rest of society through qualified interpreters and digital tools.

Shoaib Baig, Group Chief People Officer, PTCL & Ufone, Muneeba Haroon, Chief Operating Officer NOWPDP, and Tehmina Zafar, Project Manager, Deaftawk, signed the agreement on behalf of their organizations.

“Justuju is one of the key business initiatives by PTCL Group to promote diversity and inclusion within our own ranks and across the corporate world. Nearly 6 percent of Pakistan’s population has some form of disability and excluding them from our socioeconomic system can deprive the country of a valuable talent pool. Justuju was conceived to do our humble part by helping include differently-abled people in the process. We are grateful to NOWPDP and Deaftawk for their continued support that helped this program see the light of day,” Shoaib Baig said.

“Deaftawk is proud to be a part of this landmark initiative to help change the course of life for special persons in Pakistan,” Project Manager, Deaftawk, Tehmina Zafar said, “We have been working to promote inclusion of special persons through specialized interpretation services to help in their daily lives. As before, we will facilitate all the training sessions by providing qualified sign language interpreters to help both the interns and trainers communicate. We hope our contribution will ease the process of learning and growth for the interns.”

Chief Operating Officer, NOWPDP, Muneeba Haroon said, “We are excited to collaborate with PTCL and Ufone to enable and empower persons with disabilities. Justuju is a successful model and the conducive work environment and support system PTCL and Ufone provide to the interns at the workplace have driven its success. As before, NOWPDP will help identify suitable candidates and provide disability sensitization training to PTCL and Ufone teams, so they are able to fully support the initiative.”

Encouraged by the resounding success of the previous cohorts, the partnering institutions decided to restructure the program and extend its duration to allow for enhanced learning and skill development of the interns.

Nuxhat Khurshid
Nuxhat Khurshid is a passionate writer, reader and documentary-maker. She mostly writes on environment, climate change and development issues for Islamabad Scene.

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