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Image for Ijeoma Okwor, Voice staff
Ijeoma Okwor, Voice staff
Nigeria · Nigerian Association of the Blind

I’ve had lots of beautiful memories in Voice, but would like to share my encounter with a young man I met during one of our outreaches in Plateau State; he has a visual impairment. We had a long conversation about life- he told me how he struggled through school and has continued even now- he actually came because he was looking for a job. I could not sleep that night because I know that it is already tough to be a Nigerian, how much more a young person, with disability, living in not so big a city, with no one to help him? Nevertheless, I had to break the news to him- that we do not share money at Voice; neither do we give jobs because we are not service-oriented. Along the line, I also understand that he has a thing with ICT; he loves technology and he described how magical the online environment could be.

He told me that his dream is to connect his community from their loneliness, to the bigger world through ICT. And that was how he came up with the project ‘ICT is a sight for the Blind’. The next time we visited during monitoring engagement, I was amazed by what I saw- the total transformation in this young man- he looked empowered, he was happy, he looked fulfilled; I could feel the serenity in him- the fact that he is now living his dream of connecting his community to the world through ICT because he became the project lead and ICT trainer in that project. I remember saying to myself that we might not be able to solve all the problems in the world but at least we did this. This encounter came when I was feeling despair because it seemed like nothing is changing despite all our advocacies and campaigns and donor funds. So thank you Mr Tinjul for being my inspiration.

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