Disability does not mean inability
Eden Ndinelago Haikela has been disabled since the age of four because of Meningitis. This disease debilitated her to such an extent that Oshakati Intermediate Hospital became her second home.
Even though she has not had formal schooling and does not know what it feels like to be in a classroom or to play with other children, she has managed to graduate form Needle Work in 2010, a course offered by Women’s Acton For Development (WAD) at Omahenene Training Centre in the Omusati Region.
Based on the training she received, she has started her own business, Eden Tailoring, for her own income but her enterprise has also created employment for other people. “The training has given me skills and I have also learned a lot and that is why I started my business which is located in Outapi” she stated.
She enjoys making men’s clothes and most of her customers are male, but she can also make women clothing if requested. Her work proved to be so popular that she had to expand and appoint two full-time employees.
One of the prominent challenges she faces and which is threatening her business is the fact that some fabric requested by customers are scarce and can only be imported from South Africa. Another challenge in the beginning was to find premises from where to operate since rental is costly, even in Outapi.
“But I can see that there is an improvement and it is not like when I started my business, when I was helped by a gentleman by the name Alicio who gave me a place to operate from and paid my rent for the first months,” she explained.
She encouraged able and disable people to use their hands to make something for themselves and not just sit and sleep because it will not do them any good. “Disability does not mean inability,” she concluded.
Eden has five siblings and supports both her unemployed parents in Eengwena Village in the Omusati Region.