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Nairobi's Pallet Café offers opportunities to the hearing impaired

Pallet Café in Nairobi, Kenya   -  
Copyright © africanews
Ronald Agak, Africanews, Kenya


Nairobi's Pallet Café, as it is known, has a unique business model with a majority of its staff having a hearing impairment

"The story and inspiration behind opening Pallet Café and establishing it the way it is, is empowerment. We need to empower people who are differently abled. Not help them, empower them. Give them a life. And that is what is behind Pallet Café", explains Susan Watkins, General Manager at Pallet Café in Lavington, Nairobi.

Employment opportunities in Kenya for people with hearing impairment is not easy to come by and the move by Pallet Café has provided a lifeline for those working here. 

The recruitment process varies from walk-in job seekers to referrals by different people or institutions for the differently abled.

The new staff undergo a two-week training course before being allowed to handle patrons.

Kabiru Mwenja is a regular here and shares his experience.

"The service here is amazing, I think I come here may be too often than I should but I am a big fan of the people as well. I think I have got to know the people working here and it is an added benefit to learn some sign language.
So far I have learnt the sign for thank you, I am still working on other alphabets" said regular patron Kabiru Mwenja.

Thanks to the positive reception, Pallet Café has opened two more branches, one in Gigiri in Nairobi and the other in Diani on the Kenyan Coast.

Africanews correspondent in Kenya, Ronald Agak, added: 

"Other than offering a unique experience and amazing food, Pallet Café also offers a serene environment for clients who would want to work away from their offices".

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