22 December 2012

Tanzania: Low Interest Loans for the Deaf in Tanga

Tanga — THE Tanzania Association for the Deaf, Tanga branch has hatched a scheme that would assist members access loans for small scale income generating projects in a bid to combat poverty.

Chairman of the Association for Tanga Region, Mr Ali Nassoro said that the fund is expected to come up with solutions on how best the deaf community could access loans easily. He said for many years the major challenge of the disabled including the deaf community has been income constraints.

Mr Nassoro said that the community has the misplaced perception that 'disability is inability' which is wrong because the disabled once empowered can do wonders and contribute to the country's development. According to Mr Nassoro, contributions from the fund would come from regional development stakeholders from all walks of life.

He said at the moment negotiations are underway with the regional commissioners' office on the best way to arrange for fundraising to raise 50m/-. "We want to fight poverty and we have been trying to secure loans from various institutions to no avail due to high interest rates, our fund will secure loans at very low interest rates" he said.

He said that thus far the association has five different groups involved in various income generating activities such as carpentry, tailoring, arts and creation. Mr Nassoro also said that the deaf face another challenge in the form of communication which denies many opportunities to develop themselves.

The deaf, he observed, have little access to employment opportunities or other social services due to communication difficulties thus there is a need to sensitise social service providers on the importance of using sign language in their activities.

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