Making an honest living in Malaysia is hard enough, but discrimination makes things harder.
We fail to realise the struggles deaf people go through
For deaf Malaysians and people with speech disabilities, they’re constantly deemed incapable and difficult to incorporate into teams by employers who refuse to compromise. Hence, not only do these Malaysians suffer, but their family members and loved ones who rely on them will suffer too.
After learning the plight of deaf individuals, a kind-hearted Agnes Peter set up a social enterprise just so deaf Malaysians are able to hone their skills and create a livelihood for themselves. This social enterprise is known as RC Deaf Missions Malaysia (RCDM).
We at WORLD OF BUZZ recently spoke to Faizal, who works as a barista in RCDM Cafe in Kelana Jaya to share his experience as a deaf job seeker in Malaysia.
The hardest thing he had to endure as a deaf Malaysian:
Finding a job, and the discrimination from some people.
“Before I was a barista and cashier here at the RCDM Cafe, I sold nasi lemak for two years. Another deaf friend and I worked at the nasi lemak stall, and thankfully, customers did not discriminate us after we mentioned we are deaf.
“In fact, it was a positive experience, interacting with them. They were happy to buy from us,” he shares with us.
However, there are still some people who look down to people with disabilities
And this is something that some people do without knowing as well.
“I wish that they do not look down on me just because I use sign language (BIM) to ‘speak’ and not actual speech”.
“I also wish that they understand that I was born with this disability. So, accept me as who I am.”
Many companies do not want take the ‘risk’ of hiring someone who is deaf
Faizal reveals that it is hard finding a job because many people find it hard to accept his disability.
“One boss refused to accept me because he insisted there would be a communication breakdown because I’m deaf, and he did not want to take the risk of hiring me,” he added.
When asked what has been the hardest aspect when it comes to communicating with non-disabled people?
It’s when he needs to carry a piece of paper and pen to write.
Thankfully, RC Deaf Missions empowered him and other deaf people by providing them a job to make an honest living
“I got to know about RCDM through a friend. The company sent me for barista training because I had no prior experience. Here, I learned how to make coffee and latte art.”
Here’s how you can help:
Due to the pandemic, the cafe is struggling more than ever. RCDM needs at least RM20,000 a month for their deaf staffs’ salary, cafe rent, utilities and ingredients. Unfortunately, there’s been many months where they don’t hit that amount and Agnes would use her own savings from her full-time job to support them.
- Support by purchasing food/baked goods/crafts here
- Buy their merchandise here if you’re out of Klang Valley area
The team at RCDM does not want donations as they want to work from their hard-earned penny. Hence, they would appreciate your support by buying their items, and also sharing the word about their cafe!
Echoing Faizal’s statement, people with disabilities are often times born with it, it’s not something they choose – but that means that they have to work harder than most in order to get noticed by employers. So support them any way you can!
RC Deaf Missions Malaysia aims to enhance deaf livelihoods by providing training and job opportunities for the deaf community. You can check them out here.
What do you think about this? Let us know in the comment section.
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