Fatuma
Fatuma's Story
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Fatuma

All I can remember is being in the house alone when my parents went to work. They didn't want me outside the house and locked me in when they went out. I was nine years old when I became deaf and it was really difficult. I had been in school and was a normal child until this point. Fortunately, my father's friend told him to stop keeping me inside the house and try and find a school for me. They searched for a deaf school and finally found one. When I finished school I really wanted to learn to sew and my father said he would help towards it. I am really glad he did, as it meant that when Neema was advertising for a qualified tailor I was able to apply for the job.

Before I joined Neema in 2007, I had been working for some time, but I had to walk 2 km into town everyday. Customers found I could not hear so they used a different tailor instead because they did not think I would understand what they wanted. At Neema Crafts it is great, because I am amongst other deaf people and I like working with a group with friends. Neema has not only helped me financially but also spiritually. We do bible studies every week and one time the pastor of my local church invited me to come and visit. From then I started going to church and really enjoy it. People sign there, and I can understand the talks and the Bible. I married a Muslim, however my husband's parents did not like the fact that I was deaf and so they encouraged him to leave me. My family are also Muslim and do not want me to get baptised into the Christian faith, but I continue to go to church as I believe it and my faith is as a Christian. People in church have explained it to me and are interested in helping me even though I am deaf. I love it.