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June 2024

Deaf Awareness Week

Celebrating Role Models in Education and Employment


Today DeafReach Celebrate

Every child is Precious!

The work of DeafReach in Rwanda is making a difference to individual children and families.

The tall man in this picture is called Omar and he is the Headteacher of Umutara Deaf School in North Eastern Rwanda.  The others in the picture are all deaf young people who are living and working at a Deaf Centre in a town called Kayonza.

Deaf people from the district are beginning to congregate at the Centre where they learn sign language from the young people, who also make sewing and weaving products to sell. Half of the money from the sales goes to the workers themselves, and the rest goes towards the costs of running the Centre, which is also supported by DeafReach.

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The little girl in this picture is called Businjye Jonace. She was born deaf.

Jonace’s mother lives in the area, heard about the Centre and brought her daughter to visit.  Jonace’s father left her mother when she was pregnant with their second child.

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Consequently, her mother is very poor and really struggles to manage financially. Jonace is about 6 years old and does not go to the local school because she cannot hear anything. But she loves to come to the Centre, because the young deaf workers are teaching her sign language. She is picking it up very quickly and Omar really wants to get her into school as soon as possible – she seems very bright. But her mother does not have the money to send her daughter to the Deaf School in Umutara.

Through donations to DeafReach, by the Rotary Club in Bridgnorth, England, we have been able to sponsor Jonace to start school this term.

Jonace has been at school for 4 days!

Here she is, in the white T-shirt, with some of the other children in her Pre-school class. And after school, she has changed into her new dress!

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pic 4She is just at the beginning. Starting to learn some sign and realising that others are like her. Now she will have the opportunity to learn, to make friends who can talk to her in a way she understands, to have a means of expressing her feelings and ideas in a place where she is valued by children and adults. When she is older, she will have the opportunity to learn a vocational skill so that she can enter the world of work to help support herself and her family.

Her future is brighter because of DeafReach.

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