David's Story


If Neema wasn't here I would be sitting at home doing nothing. I was born deaf, and my parents took me to the hospital but the doctors said there was nothing they could do for me. When I was around four years old I went to a hearing school but it was very difficult for me to learn anything as no-body knew any sign language. Then from the age of twelve I went to the deaf school in Iringa and there were 10 others in my class. It was there that I learnt sign language, which meant I could finally communicate with people. I could also understand what was being taught for the first time! In 2003 I finished school and started to look for work, but jobs were scarce and I found no one would employ me because I was deaf.

I then heard about Neema Crafts and after applying I started work with 2 other people who I had studied with. I have now stayed and worked at Neema for over ten years. I found that I was particularly good at making lamps and covering notebooks and have trained many of those who joined the centre after me. I also met my wife at Neema and we got married in 2006. We now have 2 daughters and I am able to provide for them to go to school, as well as paying for bills such as rent, electricity and water. In 2008 I wanted a new challenge and asked the director if I could work in the new weaving workshop. She agreed and I now work there which I really enjoy.

Neema has helped me in so many ways but life can still sometimes be hard. My mother is often sick, but at least I am able to pay for her medicine and transport. However the best thing about Neema is that I now have respect in town. Many people who in the past wouldn't communicate with me are now my friends. I have a job, which I really enjoy, and a family which I would not have had if it were not for Neema Crafts.