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September 7, 2004

Envoy inspires disabled youths

From: Fiji Times, Fiji - Sept 7, 2004

Eight disabled youths have been encouraged to make leather belts and key tags for a living — thanks to the generosity of the British High Commission.

The High Commission gave $10,000 to sustain the youth group's leather craft project, which was launched in Suva yesterday.

Being blind, deaf or disabled is no mountain when the heart is willing and resources available. For the disabled youth group, being independent was all they asked for.

Group leader Sajendra Sharma who was confined to a wheelchair since she was five-years-old, said the group was grateful to the High Commission for accepting their proposal.

"Four deaf, three blind and partially blind and one on wheelchair were in the group," Mr Sharma said. The aim is to provide employment for the disabled youth members who cannot be employed elsewhere. Mr Sharma said the group met twice a week to work on their business.

"These youths cannot be accepted anywhere so we try to teach them to be independent financially rather than being supported by others," he said.

British High Commission's Projects and Education officer Michael Graf said that the High Commission look forward to see positive outcomes from the projects.

"This is a potential income generated project and they can market it appropriately," Mr Graf said.

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