Being alone is not good. I am so happy to be at Neema Crafts where I am with people who are similar to me. Here I am never alone. I work with different departments sorting and organising stock and I enjoy my role as a tour guide. I hope my English continues to improve so that I can speak even more to guests as I show them round the centre.
I started at Neema in 2005 in the paper department; I then moved to work in the office as the cashier. From there I worked in the cafe as well as in the tailoring department before being made storekeeper. Before coming to Neema Crafts I had had many jobs but here was a place that treated me well and understood how to help me work and at the same time manage the challenges of my disability. Before coming to Neema I had been employed to work in a tea plantation, but the manager didn't care that I had no left leg and still demanded the same amount of weeding from me as able-bodied people. Even before that I had completed a carpentry course but it meant that I was standing all day, so that too was also really hard for me.
I lost my leg due to cancer when I was ten years old. At first they only amputated up to my knee, but the cancer spread and I needed further operations to remove my leg to the hip. For thirty years I used a crutch under my left arm, leaving my right arm free but it was hard to do many things. Neema Crafts has changed my life and I am so happy to be here. When I arrived and started work, I went to Dar Es Salaam to be fitted for a prosthetic leg. Now I can move around with no crutches and am free to stand and move both my arms. However Neema has not just helped me physically, but allowed me to be financially secure, which means I am able to provide for my wife, and I have money to spend on rent and food.