This paper presents findings from a community-based participatory study exploring the lived experiences and key livelihood changes post-intervention of a vocational skills training for young people with disabilities in rural Uganda. Twenty-four youth with disabilities who had previously taken the vocational training were trained to become peer researchers and conducted 72 in-depth interviews with a more recent cohort of youth with disabilities.
Findings showed that training in a skill is an important part of the economic empowerment journey for youth with disabilities in rural Uganda. Beyond this, transition from training to work, marketing, proving competence, managing chronic pain while working and probable risk are also areas that need guidance and support. Renewed hope for better livelihood prospects was mixed with a degree of uncertainty. Some were unprepared for the complexities around community respect and had also not considered that their financial situation may get worse before it gets better, as part of the risk of self-employment.