Sightsavers’ Rasak Adekoya has been named as a One Young World ambassador for his work tackling the barriers faced by people with disabilities.
A group of ambassadors are selected each year at the One Young World summit, which aims to connect the world’s most dynamic young leaders to create a better and more responsible world. The summit hosts more than 1,800 young leaders from more than 190 countries.
Rasak is the programme officer for Inclusion Works in Nigeria, part of the Inclusive Futures initiative. He is being recognised for his work within the programme, which addresses the barriers that prevent millions of people with disabilities from finding mainstream jobs.
Rasak said: “I’m super excited to be selected. This is one of the most outstanding global platforms where the work of young people is recognised for the impact they are contributing in solving the most complex challenges.”
This year’s summit was held in Munich, Germany on 22-25 July, where Rasak joined other global One Young World ambassadors to share his experience and work supporting the Inclusion Works programme. He said: “Ensuring people with disabilities have equal access to livelihoods is a right, not a favour. Therefore, every young business leader should understand the business and ethical rationale for mainstreaming disability inclusion and its benefit to their business growth.”
At Inclusion Works, Rasak helps jobseekers with disabilities to gain the relevant skills to find and secure jobs. He also promotes disability-inclusive workplaces and helps to influence the national government to ensure disability rights.
Outside of his role at Sightsavers, Rasak currently serves as the Speaker of the Nigeria People’s Disability Parliament, has written four books, and co-founded Africa Volunteering Week and 360 Connect Champion – a social enterprise that builds the technological capacity of people with disabilities.
Sightsavers chief executive Caroline Harper said: “I was so pleased to hear that Rasak has been selected – this is a huge achievement. It is wonderful that he will be able to represent Sightsavers and the Inclusion Works programme at the summit. We are all so proud of him and the hard work he has done for disability rights in Nigeria and beyond.
“Rasak is a powerhouse when it comes to advocating for a more inclusive society, from authoring books to founding social enterprises – he never seems to stop! 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.”