William's Story

At the age of one I become ill and soon after lost all my hearing. Until I was10 years old I lived in isolation because I could not communicate with anyone. My father died when I was young and my mother tried to find a deaf school for me in my home town Mbeya, but there wasn’t anything in the area. It was not until I was ten years old that my mother received a call to tell her about a deaf primary school in Iringa. It was there that I learnt sign language, and it was a good school because the teachers were patient and helped us a lot. However when I finished my primary school I went to a normal secondary school and that was really tough for me. The teachers spoke too quickly and there were no translators. I left there and went back to Mbeya and trained at a vocational school in 2005 where I studied to be an electrician. I excelled at the practical side of the course and easily passed the first 2 years but unfortunately the written tests were too hard in the final year and I failed. During this time my mother also died, and my brothers did not help or support me in anyway. I looked for electrical jobs but no-one wanted to employee me.

Sometime later I heard about Neema Craft and decided to move to Iringa. I did various odd jobs to get enough money to pay for the bus fair, and when I arrived I enrolled on the tailoring course. In 2009 I started in the tailoring department but I was not as good as the others so I was then trained in the café as a waiter. I enjoy my work a lot because I like communicating with the guests and serving them. We are a good team and we are all friends.

Neema has helped me because now I am married I can provide for my family. I am able to save some of my earnings in the bank, in order to send my daughter to school when she grows up. In the future I hope to build a house and continue working at Neema because I really love it here and I want to provide for my family.

You can find out more about William and our café here.