The Sunshine Model
The Sunshine Zambia Project is a Lusaka based employment innovation for adolescents and young adults with intellectual disabilities. The project, which targets females and males aged between 14 and 25, aims to provide relevant and inclusive education and skills training that will provide these adolescents and young adults with occupational skills for independence or employment within their community.
The project also profiles each member’s needs, identify their aspirations, talents and skills, and beyond the training, find short term internship experience for members to have a real feel of the employment world before accessing a permanent job or setting up a business concern.
Our current training for persons with IDs covers vocational, life, adaptive and social skills and includes lessons in gardening, cooking, crafting, home management, art, drama, physical exercise and life coaching. At present, the life coaching class has begun to address the topic of sexuality, rights and abuse. However, there is a huge need of training for staff members in order for them to adequately support our members and bring about tangible results.
Our members produce various products including but not limited to wine bottle crafts, plastic bottle crafts, pet biscuits and organic vegetables and herbs. Our members are trained in different trade skills (production skills: craft-making, cooking, gardening, etc. and selling skills: weighing products, packaging, counting change, etc.) and rotate between different task in order to facilitate the identification of each members work preferences and career aspirations.
Our products are available for purchase at the Sunshine Zambia Centre in woodlands (https://wordpress.com/page/trialsanisiteorg.wordpress.com/28) and at public events like the flea markets, swap meets, etc.
The Sunshine Zambia Project is a social enterprise that empowers a largely neglected population. The project gives our members a sense of identity, responsibility and independence, aiding them to experience a real job setting while operating within an environment which is not only safe but also cultivates requisite skills for success. By purchasing our products, customers are not only obtaining quality products at competitive prices but they are also playing an enormous role in supporting the Sunshine Zambia Project’s long term plan of providing employment to persons with intellectual disabilities.