Fikerite Tilahun has had her share of challenges in life. She lost both of her parents as well as her younger brother to HIV. Fikerite was also born profoundly deaf. Since joining the BCI program, her self-esteem has improved and she has learned sign language at a special school.
Sadly, Fikerite has been taken advantage of many times in her life due to her disability. Having a disability is difficult no matter where you live, but those who live in a culture that is less educated about disabilities struggle the most. When Fikerite tried to work as a waitress, the restaurant did not follow through on their commitment to pay her. Without intervention from BCI to help Fikerite find a good working situation, she would have no opportunity for success.
We were thrilled to learn about a newly opened furniture manufacturing company near Debre Zeyit. The owner has a passion for helping the deaf community and has hired deaf staff members. Goldy, our lead social worker, took Fikerite on a tour of the company and the owner agreed to hire Fikerite and pay her a salary. She is starting off by doing clean up and training. The company has also agreed to pay her transportation after school. In God’s perfect timing, He provided an employment opportunity for Fikerite that is a blessing beyond belief.