IDEA is producing an always-increasing number of deaf graduates, and job placement for them continues to be a great challenge for IDEA. Unfortunately, IDEA’s Employment and Income Generating Projects (EIGP) cannot accommodate all its graduates so we are always seeking other ways to help our graduates become self-supporting. IDEA’s founder, Dennis, has long dreamt of training deaf people to be entrepreneurs and run their own business. It is our pleasure to report that one dream is now taking off in the form of a small pizza business.
The first Boholini Pizza started operations this month. It consists of a stall that is located at the entrance of the Tagbilaran City seaport. Owning and operating the business are two of our hardworking deaf graduates, Jhun Emmanuel and Daniel. Since the pier gets a lot of people late in the afternoon and evening, it opens at 3:00pm and closes at 11:00pm. The stall serves dine-ins and take-outs. Aside from pizza, they also sell different flavors of shakes, muffins, and are on their way to adding frappes, frozen bananas, hot cupcakes, and other delicacies to the menu.
The Boholini Pizza is privately owned and operated while IDEA assists with equipment and start-up costs. IDEA provided a three-year loan to the owners to cover the stall, appliances, and the start-up cost.
Most of the customers were amazed to see the Deaf running the Boholini pizza. Maybe some customers will learn sign language eventually, but for now they place their orders in written form. Many customers wanted to communicate their appreciation to Jhun Emmanuel and Daniel who were both thankful to receive positive feedback like, “Wow! It’s good. Delicious!”
It is IDEA’s hope that more Boholini Pizza stalls will be put up in the years to come. Ultimately, it is our dream that the Deaf will be able to support themselves and become successful business people!