La Digue deaf trio in snacks-making project


The trio with their trainer Robin Julie (second from right)

Chairperson of the Association for People with Hearing Impairment (Aphi) Anita Gardner said the Safran Bikes – as the project is being called – is unique for La Digue whereby the trio will be trained to make snacks and juice which they will sell from their three-wheel bikes. 

She said each tricycle will be attached to a back cart fitted with supports to carry the goods.

She said Safran has been chosen as the name for the project because it is a spice commonly associated with the island that is widely used by most Diguois to give flavour and the yellowish color to all types of traditional dishes prepared there.

The project is being funded by the Economic Reform Social Programme (ERSP) and the American Self -Help grant.

Mrs Gardner, who is also the project coordinator, met the participants earlier this month on La Digue to finalise the training which is expected to start in August.

The group also met Robin Julie, a snacks and juice maker whose goodies are very much appreciated on the island and who will be carrying out the training.

The training will be conducted at Mr Julie’s house.

While on La Digue, Mrs Gardner accompanied the trio from shop to shop to see if all the raw material and other items they would need for their project are readily available on the island.

“We also went around the island to see what kind of fruits were in abundance because this project is encouraging locally made products,” added Mrs Gardner.

The trio ready for the training

As coordinator, she is moving to La Digue for a whole month to oversee the project and its successful launch, train the trio on how best to market their products and also act as an interpreter.

But how were the trio chosen for the project?

“There are at present 10 adults with hearing difficulties on La Digue but when we put the initiative of such a project to them last year, the three were willing to take part,” said Mrs Gardner.

She noted that the trio are very determined, confident and excited to begin and they came up with some very bright ideas as to what type of snacks they will make and how best to market their products from house to house.

“It is the first time the Aphi undertakes such a project on another island and this can only happen if we get sponsors and support,” said Mrs Gardner.

She said that other partners who are willing to support this project can contact the association on 2749791.

Meanwhile Aphi wishes to thank the La Digue Lodge for its support during the recent visit to the island.