Home made beaded sandals, Slippers and handbags My Craft, My Passion

Regina Afanwi Young
Posted September 6, 2020 from Cameroon

In 2016 when I was still thinking on how to change the economic situation of girls and women with hearing impairment. I was looking for fast and affordable income generating activities. At the same time lockdown had just been implemented in the two English speaking regions of the country. I was also looking for an activity which could keep me busy during those days. I learned a skill in beaded sandals and Slippers. It became my passion. I could raise money for running some activities in my organisation. Then I introduced the idea to some girls living with deafness I was working with. They learnt the trade also and I provided them with start up capital.  Later on I also trained them on how to use digital tools to sell these products. The idea was to bridge communication gaps as they would be communicating with buyers mostly by text. It would aslo increase visibility in their business.  I can now boast that this skill has impacted their lives in that most of them have been able to acquire android phones from sales to continue with their digital skills and also  operate savings schemes from sales of their products. There is an improvement in their livelihood and the number of deaf girls who use to beg on the streets have reduced remarkable. Incidences of GBV cases due to lack of economic empowerment  involving these girls have also reduced.

These girls have been participating in public exhibitions and these have changed the perception of the public about persons with disabilities to an extent.

More of these girls have regained their self esteem and can activity support their families financially thus ending them more respect. On my personal life bead making has become my passion . It has improved on my creativity as I love to try different designs and colour combinations.

It also acts as an additional source of income for my family. 

My children especially my daughter has acquired a skill at the age of 10yrs as she loves producing them during holidays period. 

It keeps me occupied during lock down periods.

My sincere thanks to the Lady who taught me this skill as I am able to impact the lives of many women with disabilities. That gives me plenty of and fulfilment

I look forward to extending my work to young girls in my neighborhood who have dropped out of school due to the sociopolitical crisis at the request of my  daughter Therese . She has promised she will be helping me on that during her holiday period as she is already doing so with two of our next door neighbour's children who are her play mates.  

This story was submitted in response to From Poetry to Paintings .

Comments 8

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Tamarack Verrall
Sep 06
Sep 06

Dear Regina,
Just...Wow!!! The photo grabbed me as these sandals and slippers are so beautiful, and have such unique styles. But then reading how your plan emerged, your loving thinking behind each step, the priority to make such enormous change happen for women and girls with hearing impairment, and now you are a mother-daughter team. What great news, impacting so many. This is grassroots change being made, and keeping women and girls not only safe, but with income. Giant congratulations!

Regina Afanwi Young
Sep 07
Sep 07

Thanks so much mum Tam. You are such an amazing encourager. Ooh my God you have added more Value to BT work by your comments. Its my pleasure to better the lives of these girls and women. Thanks a million for your time

Nini Mappo
Sep 06
Sep 06

Those are so beautiful Regina!! You are multi talented with a very creative eye:)

valem
Sep 06
Sep 06

Dear sis Regina, how is your family and yourself?
congratulations you have seen a sustainable vision for a girl who face unmentionable challenges of domestic violence..

Jill Langhus
Sep 07
Sep 07

Hello Regina,

Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring backstory and lovely photos:-) I love the colors so much and that you're empowering all these women and girls, too. It's so sweet that Therese is helping, too.

I hope you and your family are safe and well, honey:-)
XX

Isata Kabia
Sep 07
Sep 07

This is such an amazing story. At a time when the world was retreating and shrinking, to expand your talent and the income of so many vulnerable people is such an accomplishment. This is what happens when even in difficult circumstances people are able to the glass as half full and not half empty. You inspire me!

Hello, Regina,

These are lovely artworks. I love the design, dear. You're such a diligent leader who always seeks opportunities to improve the lives of women and girls. I'm glad that you're a fast learner and an effective teacher. So sweet of your daughter Therese to help you with these creations. What a lovely mother-daughter bonding, not just with Therese, but with the rest of the women and girls you actively support. Thank you for inspiring us with your passion to help women and girls, dear sis!

rebecca.tang
Sep 15
Sep 15

Thank you for sharing. All these products have a nice design and great craftsmanship. Appreciate the great work of all the girls and woman!
Stay Safe! May Almighty God bless you all!