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By Romina Mayani Nankani, CYE-CYL

How often do we think about those people who are dedicated to constantly making a difference? So much hard work goes into creating awareness for important causes, including being advocates for people who, for some important reason, cannot voice how they feel.

To me, Nicole is extremely knowledgeable. She gives her all in what she believes in, goes above and beyond in her work, and is a compassionate human being. (Again, I must emphasise how these get-togethers last for quite a few hours. I keep thinking i’m very blessed to have met amazing people since CYE-CYL took off.)

“Nicole, I’m super keen to know your journey. We have a few hours no?”

“I have just completed my Postgraduate as a Career Development Guidance Counsellor! It’s been hard work but well worth it.

Let me start by telling you that the issue of disability affected me on a personal level. I’m an active member in The Gibraltar Disability Society, a charity that identified that needs were not being met towards our members, especially with regards to transitioning into the working sector of our community. I became very much aware of the great void in professionals and services, for the training and employment for people with disabilities. And this became my focus!
People with disabilities are considered to be financially disadvantaged worldwide. One of the greatest obstacles that they face is sustaining equal employment within the community and this is the major cause for their lack of economic progression. I truly and strongly believed that everyone deserves to be given an opportunity, to be given choices, to be encouraged to try doing something new and for themselves (provided they are able to do so).

Since January 2017, I have been coordinating career pathways for students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities, engaging with different employers within the community to form partnerships so that we can offer suitable and valuable work experience to our promising school leavers.Forming part of the Vocational Pathways Team, working on re-engagement programmes and provision of bespoke Supported Vocational (Pathways) for students with behavioural difficulties, health issues and those who are generally disengaged from education. We all deserve a chance.”

“We need to continue coming together to uplift, motivate and encourage each other.”

The drive and perseverance in her voice was very evident and it made me think how fortunate we are in our community to have people like her who will give what it takes to help people and somewhat, discard their own inhibitions to do so.

“As a community,” she added, “we need to continue coming together to uplift, motivate and encourage each other. Above all we must be innovative on how we can continue working towards and prioritise inclusivity in our society”.

I couldn’t agree with her more. This fantastic conversation definitely gave me much food for thought and opened up my eyes to how much we can achieve when like-minded individuals come together.

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