Placed at the Indiana Institute on Disability and Community, Brian Malika will be working toward developing a system for collective advocacy on behalf of people with disabilities during his fellowship in the US.
Brian’s work in inclusive employment has been motivated by two central goals: first, that “every employee should have a positive working space that is accessible at all times, upholds human dignity, and is motivating”, and second, that “work environments should open up for scrutiny with the aim of opening doors for creativity and innovation through technological, infrastructural and social ideas which will help employees increase their production capacity at work with ease.” These goals have been of fundamental importance to his current work as a trainer at Vijana Reloaded in Kakamega Town, Western Kenya. Brian educates young people who are living with various disabilities about the current laws pertaining to the registration of businesses, the making of business plans, and the government welfare systems that are available to them.
Brian’s holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work and Community Development, which he has proved instrumental to his success in training people with disabilities to empower themselves economically. His skill set was similarly useful in previous roles that he held at the British Council Next Generation Program, the Kenya Association of Investment Groups, Voluntary Service Overseas, and the Global Peace Youth Corps. Brian’s PFP-IDE Fellowship will mark his first visit to the U.S. and he is excited for the opportunity.
Brian intends to use his PFP-IDE Fellowship experience to plan a project that aims to register a trade union that will advocate for the interests of workers and jobseekers with disabilities. The organization registered through Brian’s project will also play a critical role in engaging businesses and educating prospective employers about the value and profitability of hiring people with disabilities. Brian will broaden the organization’s clout through collaboration with multiple specialized disability advocacy groups in Kenya, including but not limited to the Albinism Society of Kenya, the Deaf Society of Kenya, the Kenya National Society of People Living with Disability, the Office of Kenyan Parliamentarians Living with Disability, and other various community advocates.