Aneth is the founder of FUWATIVA, an organisation of deaf women in Tanzania changing lives and advocating for equality. She is a young activist making huge change in her country.
Isolated by disability.
“No one could understand me at secondary school. There were no sign language interpreters and the teachers couldn’t sign. I taught my friend to sign and she helped me in my classes. I worked hard to pass my exams and came to the University of Dar es Salaam.
At university, it was worse. I couldn’t understand anything, and no one could sign. I was so lonely, I felt so isolated.
I went to meet the Vice Chancellor to explain my challenges. He said “maybe you should go to another university?”
I knew this couldn’t be a solution! There are so many deaf students who should be able to come here, it was up to me to open the doors for them. So we had a few difficult conversations, and finally the Chancellor accepted my request and employed a sign language interpreter.
Today there are two interpreters still working at the university, and I am very proud that I fought for this change.
Working for change.
I realised I can do something.
If I can keep struggling forward, if I can start talking with powerholders then other deaf people can also have opportunities. I can be the door opener. I found ADD and decided that I could make a bigger difference.
That’s when we started FUWATIVA. We were 15 deaf women that came together to advocate for deaf rights. Since then we’ve grown and supported over 250 deaf women, plus another 300 people with different disabilities.
I see people following my steps, and they are also doing wonders for society in Tanzania, we are making meaningful change in the world.
“I have always had to fight to follow my dreams, and it has always been to support my community.
We need young people to understand that they can make change too, we need them to raise their voices to defend the rights of deaf people.
It is so important to give them the right skills and build their capacity to become activists. They just need the right support.”
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