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.