A Civil Society Organization, D-Ability Initiative, has flagged off entrepreneurial skills acquisition training for some 30 deaf women and girls in Rivers State.

The training was initiated with support from the European Union, Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation and the British Council.

Speaking at the occasion, Executive Director of D-Ability Initiative, Dr Kingdom Nwanyanwu, said the goal of the training is to improve the financial wellbeing of deaf women and girls in the State.

Nwanyanwu stated that the training would last for six months. He went on to explain that fashion and design, was chosen because it’s a skills that allow designers to show their creativity and is easy to start.

According to him, “People with disability are marginalized, but when it comes to the world of disabilities, the deaf are the most marginalized. They are the most vulnerable because they can’t express their situation.

Nwanyanwu notes that being women and deaf makes individuals more vulnerable as they face many forms of neglect.

“So when we give them these entrepreneurial skills that will enhance and bring their creativity to bear, it will bring about their financial independence.”

“After this training, we are going to set up a hub, where all of them are going to work. Imagine having a hub where all the fashion designers working there are all deaf people who are creating innovative fashion designs. That is our target. We want them to put the training into use under our supervision, so that we will achieve the aim of the training and extend same to other people.”

Kingdom called on the government to support and partner with the D-Ability Initiative in order to give a sense of belonging to people with disabilities.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Ms. Uche Micah, who spoke through a sign language interpreter, regretted that the society does not provide any special attention for deaf people.

She said “after the training I’m expecting to be self dependent, to sew clothes for people and make money. I am very happy because this is the first time that this kind of program is coming specifically for deaf women, mothers and girls. I expect more of this project.”

Also, a parent to one of deaf beneficiary, Mr Jimoh Salaudeen, commended the European Union, Agents for Citizen-Driven Transformation, The British Council and D-Ability Initiative for the empowerment programme.

Jimoh stressed that Deaf people have been grossly marginalized therefore Government at all levels should intervene and see how they can improve the wellbeing of these people.

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