Improving income for deaf people

DDIA, Ethiopia

2015-2018, with the support of Medicor Foundation

The Medicor Foundation funded a 3-year Deaf Development and Information Association (DDIA) project to enable deaf and hard of hearing (HoH) young adults to learn new skills and develop sustainable and profitable enterprises.

Barbershop in Hawassa

12 groups of young adults were trained in barber and hairdressing skills and provided with the necessary equipment to set up small businesses. As deaf people they faced many difficulties in negotiating the hearing world which does not understand their needs at the best of times; in the face of various challenges and obstacles, some groups switched to catering or café enterprises which have proved to be more successful.

Project activities have been completed with additional training and provision of new capital items such as generators. DDIA convened a stakeholder meeting with government officials who could offer support to disabled people’s enterprises, and negotiated an agreement with the Addis Credit and Savings Institution for lending to deaf enterprises.

Some groups have made a real success of their enterprises and are the role models that DDIA had hoped they would become.