Skills are not in the hearing but in the hands

….says a nineteen year hearing impaired young man, as he recounted his story to the Danish Minister of Trade and International Cooperation, Morgen Jensen and the members of the Danida Grants Committee when they toured the Glenview Complex in Harare.

News | 06 November 2014
Contact(s): ILO Harare Country Office, Block 8 Arundel Office Park, Norfolk Road, Mt Pleasant, Harare. Tel +263 4 369805-12, Email harare@ilo.org
Born in a family of six, with limited resources, he still managed to attain secondary school education but could not find any reasonable trade to engage in. He was then trained under the ILO programme on Skills for Youth Employment and Rural Development. He trained as a carpenter and together with six other hearing impaired youths, they are making wardrobes, kitchen cabinets and coffee tables. They work under the mentorship of Farai – who is older than the rest of the group members. Farai borrowed the start-up money from his parents, which he has long repaid. He has been asking those who join their group to contribute some money to ensure commitment to the group.

When interviewed, Farai bemoaned their failure to communicate their needs with clients and service providers as the biggest challenge. He said that they are the last to get information on everything, including the possibility of accessing funding because the non-disabled competitors will pass on information among themselves, leaving them out. Whilst they are grateful to the Highfield Council for making them pay only $3.00 per month for renting the shade they operate from, Farai said if they were to access more funding, they would be able to move from the $400.00 a month per person they are making. His vision is to train those under him to enable them to be independent and set up their own enterprises whilst he takes on a new set of trainees.