Submitted by WorldTeach Volunteer Teacher, Lauren Hostovsky
As some of you might already know, two-thirds of the people in the Marshall Islands live on less than $1 a day. Job opportunities in Ebeye are limited due to overpopulation on this tiny island. This has made it more difficult for people with disabilities to get a job, however Albert is breaking the stereotype.
It’s been two months already since he got a part time job at Triple J (supermarket) in Ebeye. As far as I know, he is the first Deaf man to have a job in Ebeye. Albert has shown everyone that being deaf doesn’t stop him from working and making a living. I would like to give you all a little background on Albert.
He was born and raised in Ebeye. He is twenty-one years old and has difficulty expressing himself due to the limits of his language and his upbringing. Even though he graduated from the Ebeye Deaf Education Center in 2015, he still comes to class every day craving new knowledge. He is enormously motivated. Before the Deaf WorldTeach Program made its way to Ebeye in 2013, like all other deaf children in the Marshall Islands and in most parts of the world, Albert had no choice but to attend school with hearing students and teachers. Growing up in Ebeye, he could not comprehend a word that was coming out of his teachers’ and other students’ mouths, which caused a vast delay in his critical thinking and education. He spent most of his life isolated in his home. Because of his upbringing, he does not have the right kind of confidence to interact with hearing people.
Now that he has a part-time job, he no longer stays home as much. His self-confidence and language have blossomed dramatically and visibly. This is one of the huge and very emotional accomplishments we have made so far. It’s also nice to witness an outpouring of support from the community. Sometimes just a little push and a few words of encouragement are all a person really needs to thrive and flourish!
To learn more about the WorldTeach Marshall Islands programs, go to http://worldteach.org/programs/marshall-islands/