YOUNG TALENT PROGRAMME
Globally, the United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Volunteers have designed a talent programme to enhance the employability and career prospects of young professionals with disabilities by providing them an opportunity to gain work experience within the UN.
As a part of this programme, the UNDP Youth Leads programme saw the inclusion of a young individual with disabilities this year. When Kasunjith saw the advertisement for the programme, he completely dismissed the possibility of him being able to qualify for the position. It was his friend who prompted him to apply for the vacancy. “I couldn’t believe it when I got the callback for an interview”. From then on, everything else just fell into place and the third batch of Youth Leads came on board in August 2018.
UNDP YOUTH LEADS
The UNDP Youth Leads programme was first introduced in 2015, as another step forward in opening UNDP up to young people of the country. A cohort of 4 dynamic young people would be chosen to work within the core areas of UNDP’s portfolio for 50% of their time – such as the governance, environment, and support teams – while the other half of their time would be spent working together as a team furthering the innovation portfolio of UNDP.
Kasunjith as a part of his assignment has worked on mapping the disability sector, the Comprehensive Youth Development Programme, accessibility of the UN Compound in Colombo and is working closely with colleagues working with the Governance and Peacebuilding portfolio of UNDP.
He is proud to be the first person with disabilities in Asia to be working with UNDP as a part of this programme. His teammates describe him as a “passionate individual who does not give up”.