David Elias's Story
I was 7 when I lost my hearing. I got sick with bad back pain and had to stop going to school. When I recovered I realized that I could no longer hear anything and so I couldn’t go back to the same school. Thankfully when I was 8 years old I had the opportunity to go to a deaf school and completed my studies there. I went on to a mixed secondary school, but I was grateful that there were other deaf students there and so we helped each other. I finished there in 2012 and that is when I heard about Neema Crafts from my friend Shukuri, who worked in the Neema Café.
I was given a job and worked here for 3 years making many different things including jewellery and the vitenge alphabet letters. However unfortunately at this time I had a problem with drinking and after having several accidents related to this, my parents decided that I needed to leave my work in Iringa. I went to live with my uncle who is a pastor, and he taught me a lot. I worked as a barber during this time and slowly my life changed. In 2017 I was able to go back to work at Neema. Now I work in the carpentry department making lampstands, which I really enjoy. I have many friends here and like the community. In the future I have a dream to work as a barber again and I would love to have my own farm one day!