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Lenni’s Story

Tuesday, 27 October, 2020

A man and woman standing next to each other. They are wearing aprons and chef hats that have the Sense International logo on them. The man is holding a basket of food.

During times of crisis the most vulnerable members of society, like those with deafblindness, are often the ones most severely affected. However, the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures have not stopped Sense Internacional Perú from supporting people with complex disabilities during the global COVID-19 pandemic.  

In March 2020, a Business Plan Workshop for young entrepreneurs with deafblindness was scheduled to take place in Pueblo Libre. However due to lockdown, Sense Internacional Perú took the decision to move the workshop online. Participants were divided into two groups online and a trainer facilitated the session with the support of an interpreter with our 14 young people from our ‘Skills for Life’ programme.  These workshops are an engaging forum for young people with deafblindness and their guardians to learn how to be successful entrepreneurs.  

The enthusiasm of the participants is outstanding. For instance, Lenni Palomino, is a 22-year-old with visual and hearing impairments who participated in the workshop with his mother. Lenni enjoyed being part of the virtual workshop and he was eager to share his goals and dreams with the trainer and group. “I want to start a business to become independent. I want to sell cakes", said Lenni.

Lenni's mother has explained how Lenni is coping with the extreme social distancing rules in place due to COVID-19. “He is always interested in creating new desserts with festive themes. For example, Christmas, national holidays and family birthdays are always the ideal opportunities for Lenni to produce a dessert”. Furthermore, Lenni commented that he has spent a lot of lockdown time practicing his technique in making “chocotejas” (stuffed chocolates), one of his favorite desserts.

A group of people on a video call

One of Lenni’s latest proposals was to launch a micro-enterprise with his workshop group with the support of his older brother. "It would be nice to create a small dessert business and use YAPE (digital payment platform) so customers can pay by card. My brother can help us", he shared enthusiastically.

Virtual workshops have proven to be a successful method to continuing our support to young people with deafblindness and complex disabilities so they develop their skills and knowledge.  These training sessions are a key step in the journey of these young people being engaged in the world or work and being more independent and economically empowered.  Sense International is committed to continuing to support young people like Lenni during the COVID-19 crisis so they can continue to live, learn and thrive despite these unprecedented circumstances.

First published: Friday 7 June 2013
Last updated: Wednesday 20 September 2017