Lydia’s beautiful bag

In Uganda, people with deafblindness/ MSI face many barriers including communication, accessibility, social stigma, financial pressures and accessing healthcare.

A girl stares closely at the bag she is crafting

Lydia is 17 years old and lives with her sister Gladys in Uganda. She was born with partial hearing and sight. Lydia was enrolled in Sense International Uganda’s vocational training programme for a course in beading in 2019. As Lydia progressed through the programme, she did exceptionally well with her beading training.

She was top of her class and her instructor told Sense International: “No student has ever made such a beautiful bag”.

Lydia was also supported to undergo a medical assessment where she was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome, a progressive condition which affects sight and hearing. Lydia has been provided with a white cane to support her ability to navigate independently.

Lydia had already started selling her products to fellow young people and their parents before she graduated from her programme as her work showed such creativity.

Following her graduation, Lydia and her sister Gladys were supported by Sense International Uganda with a start-up grant to buy materials that can be used in creating crafts to sell. Lydia and Gladys plan to move to an area with a bigger market so that they can grow their business.

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