Group trains 30 women with hearing impairment on entrepreneurial skills
A group known as D-Ability Initiative, has commenced the training of 30 hearing-impaired women and girls in Rivers State.
At the flag-off of the scheme, Executive Director of D-Ability Initiative, Dr. Kingdom Nwanyanwu, said the goal of the training was to improve the financial wellbeing of deaf women and girls in the state.
Nwanyanwu, who said the training would last for six months, said that fashion and design was chosen because skills allow the designer to show their creativity and also be easy to start up.
“People with disabilities are marginalised, but when it comes to the world of disabilities, the deaf are the most marginalised. They are the most vulnerable because they can’t express their situation. Secondly, being women and deaf makes them the most vulnerable because they face many forms of neglect.
“So when we give them the entrepreneurial skills that will enhance and bring their creativity to bear, it will bring about their financial independence,” he said.
He noted that the scheme was funded by the European Union, Agents for Citizen-Driven Tranformation and the British Council.
He called on the government to support and partner with civil society to give a sense of belonging to people with disabilities.
According to him, “After this training, we are going to set up a hub, where all of them are going to work. Imagine having a hub where all the fashion designers working there are all deaf people, who are creating innovative fashion designs, so that is our target. We want them to put the training into use under our supervision, so that we will achieve the aim of the training, to train other people.”
One of beneficiaries, Ms. Uche Micah, who spoke through an interpreter, regretted that the society does not have any special attention for deaf people.
“After the training I am expecting to be self-dependent to be able to sew clothes for people and make money. I am very happy because this is the first time that this kind of program is coming specifically for females with hearing impairment, mothers and girls, I am expecting more of this project.”
Also, a parent of one of the beneficiaries, Jimoh Salaudeen, commended the funders for the empowerment programme.
“Deaf people have been grossly marginalised. The government at all levels should intervene and see how they can improve the wellbeing of deaf people,” he said.