Inside Pallet Cafe That Hires Deaf Workers

In Nairobi, behind the gates of wealthy neighbourhood of Lavington is where you will find Pallet cafe.

Inspiration behind the opening of the restaurant was to give incredible cuisines and remarkable service while facilitating the employment of the disabled in the food service society.

The restaurant employs deaf staff, who have faced discrimination and prejudice in almost every facet of their livelihood.

Intertwining their path around the dining tables and substantial potted plants in this beautiful garden café, the employee takes orders using either Kenyan Sign Language, mimes or gestures to assist their customers.

There is a chart that shows the sign language around the restaurant.
Interestingly, as the workers serve you, the waitperson may mime quivering or shiver to ask if someone wants a cold bottle of water, and the customer can confirm that with a thumbs up.

For instance, a fist gesture can be used to ask if the customer wants an egg hard-boiled. On the other hand, they will wiggle fingers to indicate soft-boiled eggs.
It was hard to get employees at first. However, it is not the same any more.

Mr Hussein, the owner does not have to look hard for the people as people are always dropping off their CVs.
The cafe has been in service for about three years now.

As most deaf people don’t get an opportunity to work, Palet cafe has come through for them.

Also read The Kisumu Carrefour

Kenya has at least 600,000 deaf people in the country. Sadly, they remain facing huge barriers around access to healthcare, education and employment in general.

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