The Story of Nabila Yahia: Changing fellow employees’ views towards visual disability

Trusted employee, but also dedicated volunteer

Nabila is a 27-year-old woman who was born blind. Despite her disability, however, she used to work as a telesales executive at a non-profit foundation in Egypt from May 2011 till November 2015. Her dream was to become a trainer, but her goal was obstructed by her employer’s misperceptions regarding persons with visual impairments. As a result, none of the vacancies she applied for gave her a chance to prove herself.

Through the recruitment efforts of the Helm Foundation, Nabila now works as a coordinator in the Human Resources Department of Vodafone Egypt, a position she has held since November 2015 – and making her the first blind candidate to hold a position in the history of the company. According to Nabila, the Helm Foundation not only supported her profession- ally but morally as well. Nabila is now a Helm “ambassador” and one of the foundation’s most dedicated volunteers.

Nabila was first introduced to Helm through joining one of its scholarship programmes, which included soft skills and English language, and after that she received technical courses in the field of human resources. At the end of her programme, the foundation helped Nabila get interviewing opportunities with multiple organizations, ultimately landing her current job with Vodafone. Over the past year she has shown her direct manager and colleagues that she can perform all the required tasks of her position just like everyone else despite her disability. Over time, and through her hard work, determination, and dedication, not only was Nabila able to gain her manager’s trust but she was able to change her fellow employees’ views towards disability as well.

Find out more about the Helm Foundation’s work with Egyptian companies.