Speech and hearing-impaired graduates uplifted through vocational training
A 29-year-old trainee with a speech and hearing impairment, from the Windhoek Vocational Training Center, says it is a special and proud moment for him and other trainees with disabilities to graduate despite the challenges they faced in order to achieve their qualifications.
Pengevali Mukumangeni, who graduated with a certificate in plumbing and fitting, was among over 400 trainees who graduated at the Windhoek Vocational Training Centre in early September.
About 1000 trainees are expected to graduate from various vocational training centres countrywide. The institution was unable to host any graduation ceremonies due to the Covid-19 pandemic and so these are graduates from 2019 up to June 2023.
Mukumangeni mentioned that obtaining their qualifications was not easy for them as students with speech and hearing impairments, especially considering they started with their course when Covid-19 broke out. In his speech, which was interpreted by a sign language interpreter, Mukumangeni expressed gratitude to the Namibian government for providing a conducive environment and equal opportunities for people with disabilities.
“For us deaf graduates, we feel very proud and special because it was not easy to achieve this qualification. But here we are today. We thank the Almighty God for helping us during the three years of training,” stated Mukumangeni.
Another trainee, Foibe Vilho, who graduated with a certificate in automotive engineering, shared that being in a class with the majority of trainees being male, she almost gave up because she was doubting herself. She indicated that engineering drawing was challenging, but always asked her classmates to assist her.
“I always encourage people not to give up on their dreams. I almost did, because when I started, I told myself, this training is for guys and I won’t make it but I made it. Look at me, I even went to World Skills Namibia,” shared Vilho.