The Agents for Citizen-driven Transformation (ACT) Programme is supporting Dehat Ability Support Initiative (D-HAT), a CSO in Rivers state, to improve livelihoods for hearing-impaired women and girls. The project is expected to train 30 hearing-impaired women and girls for six months in fashion design in the Obio-Akpor Local Government Area (LGA).
At the launch of the project, the Executive Director of Dehat Ability Support Initiative, Dr Kingdom Nwanyanwu, emphasised that hearing-impaired women and girls in the Obio-Akpor LGA were marginalised and live below the poverty line. He further stated that they find it difficult to earn a living due to lack of life-sustaining skills, exacerbated by discrimination and stigmatisation.
According to him, the hearing-impaired women and girls living with partners or children are not able to contribute financially to their households. Others who live alone or without partners either depend on their friends or parents, leaving them vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse.
One of the beneficiaries, Uche Micah, speaking through an interpreter, expressed dismay at the level of neglect hearing-impaired people face in society. She thanked the Dehat Ability Support Initiative for not neglecting them.
A parent to one of the beneficiaries, Jimoh Salaudeen, commended ACT for the life-changing opportunity brought to his household through the empowerment programme. Salaudeen reiterated, “Deaf people are grossly marginalised. The government at all levels should intervene and see how they can improve the wellbeing of deaf people.” The training is a precursor to the creation of a tailoring hub where beneficiaries can practice their new skills and earn a living as fashion designers.
'After the training, I expect to be self-reliant, sewing clothes for people and making money. I am very happy because this is the first time that this kind of programme is targeted specifically at deaf women, mothers, and girls.'
Uche Micah, beneficiary