Zawadi's Story

I didn't learn sign language for six years because I did not know anyone else who was deaf. I only started learning it when I came to Neema Crafts in 2007. I could hear for the first 26 years of my life but then became ill, which caused me to lose the hearing in both of my ears. Soon after my fiancé left me with 2 small children and I came to Iringa to live with my brother.

I have completed my primary school education but my parents could not afford to pay for me to go to secondary school. I found a job in Dar Es Salaam washing up plates but then everything changed in 2001, and my life became really tough. I couldn't find any more work and I it wasn't until I applied for a job at Neema Crafts then things improved. I came for an interview and was accepted onto the tailoring course. I had always wanted to sew and when I was offered the chance I took it up immediately. It was fantastic to learn new skills and soon after I was offered a job at the centre. I really love my job. I continue to learn sign language when I am here, and now I can communicate with others around me. My daughter is in secondary school and I can contribute towards her school fees, as well as looking after an orphan. I do not know what the future holds but I know I have a good job which I love and I am not alone.

Zawadi now works in our cafe making our amazing cakes and cinnamon buns, find out more about the cafe here.