Eliza
Eliza's Story
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Eliza

When I was 5 years old I became really ill and soon after I lost nearly all my hearing. One day I met someone in town who was able to help me find a deaf school and I started there when I was seven. Before that I had gone to a normal primary school, but I was unable to understand anything because the teachers did not know any sign language. When I finished in 2003 I waited for my results but unfortunately I had failed my exams. However soon after leaving, the school contacted me about a possible job opportunity at Neema Crafts, so I went to Iringa to find out what it was about. I was scared at the beginning because I did not know how to make anything but there were three others already working in my department who taught me how to make the crafts. I learnt how to make books and albums and I was also taught to put beads onto sandals, which I really enjoyed.

I am really happy to work at Neema Crafts and cannot think of any place I would rather be. I have food, an income and joy here. Before Neema became known in Iringa, hearing people would ignore me because I am deaf, but now they know I work here, they communicate with me and are happy to be seen with me. I am part of the community where I live, and I have friends and a family here. It has given me experiences I could never have had otherwise, including going to the UK with the deaf dance troupe. God has helped me in the past and I pray that he will continue to help me in the future.