“Do not curse the deaf or put a stumbling block in front of the blind, but fear your God. I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:14
There is nothing quite like a person gaining dignity and Hope from a good job.
As he read the newsletter his heart broke. A precious, malnourished Rwandan toddler was in a coma. Her mother had struggled to care for her needs, mainly because she was poor and Deaf. The young man told God that he refused to allow that little girl to die, and he prayed. Although he didn’t realize it at the time, God would have him play a meaningful role in the answer to that prayer.
Within months, Jon Porter had quit his job in Seattle and moved back to Rwanda, where he had previously lived for four years. Upon returning, Jon acquired a defunct dairy business that was within walking distance from where the little girl's mother, Nayino, lived, and made major improvements to the business and its working conditions. To create a welcoming environment for Nayino, Jon found and hired four other Deaf Rwandans from a local Deaf church.
Jon and a Christian rescue organization operating in Rwanda made arrangements for the long-term care of Nayino’s child, who would soon emerge alive from her coma. Nayino had been marginalized in society and suffered many forms of abuse for over 30 years. She didn’t know how to read, write, sign or speak, and was left with virtually no ability to communicate meaningful thoughts or emotions. In a short amount of time, Nayino began her first day of formal employment in an environment that would enable her to both flourish and earn a living at the same time. Having this job saved her life – and the life of her family - in many ways.
Talanton’s New Investment
Today, Masaka Creamery is a leading, faith-driven, high-quality dairy processing business in Rwanda that purchases raw milk from over 2,000 smallholder farmers to produce yogurt, butter, cream and other dairy products. The company’s Deaf employees, many of whom previously lived in abject poverty, have been honored by Rwandan Ministers, international ambassadors, and more. The impact of COVID has been minimized due to the resilience of the wonderful Masaka team, their strong brand and product loyalty. During the height of COVID, the company achieved an operating profit, and is back to generating record monthly revenues. In addition to purchasing milk from 2,000+ smallholder dairy farmers, Masaka supports 45 employees, who in turn invest in their families and communities.
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Masaka stands apart in their special and unique employment practices as over half of their employees are Deaf, including several members of the management team. All of the management team and staff learn sign language. This verse is the promise/foundation upon which the company was built:
“He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy out of the garbage heap, and gives them a seat of honor among those in authority.” Samuel 2:8
We encourage you to take five minutes to watch this video about Masaka, and meet some members of the Masaka team.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN8cZo6bvvQ.
Alphonsine, Production Manager, is an inspiration to many and has proven that a hearing disability is unable to hold her back from being an exemplary and zealous leader.
Bassam is part of the production team. An energetic and enthusiastic young man, he enjoys teaching sign language to his team members.
To learn how you can create jobs and help lift people like Alphonsine and Bassam
out of poverty in Christ’s name through Talanton, please contact me directly or visit https://talantonllc.com/contact/.
David and the Talanton Team
P.S. Read more about Masaka in The New Times
CEO, Julie Igiraneza, an extremely capable Rwandan, leads Masaka. Jon describes her as a “faithful, high integrity, Jesus loving woman with incredible business intuition.”
Founder and Owner, Jon Porter, is a faith-driven leader who founded Masaka and has been richly blessed by Masaka’s employees, especially his Deaf team members. According to Jon, "Our relationship with Talanton came at the perfect time and will allow what God has been building through Masaka to transform new lives in profound ways!”
Create Jobs • Bring Hope • Transform Lives