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SHUMAS Vocational Rehabilitation Center In Cameroon, people with disabilities are  generallyconsidered inferior and inadequate.  They face discrimination and exclusion, and are  considered a burdens on society. There are very  few specialized services offered to assist them,  and those that exist are very costly. As a result,  very few people with special needs complete any  formal schooling or integrate into the workforce  and their communities. Nonetheless, when given  the proper opportunities, people with special  needs can be active, contributing members of society, supporting themselves and even  their families.Based on this, SHUMAS started sponsoring the training of people with  special needs in income-generating trades in workshops around Bamenda.  Unfortunately, they often struggled to complete the training as the trainer was unable to  adapt the lessons to their needs and they still  faced discrimination from the other trainees.  Therefore, SHUMAS created the Vocational  Rehabilitation Center (VRC) in 2008 as a  specialized training facility for people with  special needs. The VRC offers training for  people with physical and mental disabilities in  seven income-generating trades: knitting,  sewing, traditional embroidery, jewelry-making,  shoe-making/mending, cane-weaving, and  hairdressing. Trainees also receive lessons in life  skills, basic literacy/numeracy, and management.  After successfully completing their two-year  training in one of the trades, they are provided  with set-up materials to help them start their own  workshop in their community. Many graduates  are able to support themselves through their handiwork, and the image the community  has of them improves a lot.In the early years of the VRC, trainees from further away  had to rent houses near the center. This led to many problems, as they faced  discrimination from landlords and neighbours  and struggled to pay their rent. In addition,  most trainees come from very poor  backgrounds, and would come to training  hungry. They could not focus and even  collapsed from hunger. To address these  challenges, in 2012 SHUMAS constructed  dormitories and a refectory on site, so that  trainees from further away can stay at the  center itself, and receive three square meals  each day. In 2013 a garden was established to  help with feeding and also to provide  additional training opportunities.The training is open to people with disabilities aged 15-  35, who can learn one of the trades offered. Training and lodging are free. Trainees  make a small contribution. 
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Vocational Rehabilitation center