Deaf Education Project

sudandeafThere are approximately 570 Deaf in the Kassala area of Eastern Sudan.As the first Deaf Primary School only opened up two years ago, education and training for the Deaf is very important.
IDRB’s program at the Deaf School is to give the parents of the Deaf students better tools to communicate with their children. This will happen through a monthly breakfast program, where parents will come and be part of activities for a few hours and in this also learn Sign Language.
IDRBs training for the Deaf adults will focus on helping them in literacy and signing (Sudanese Sign Language).
Imagine your child comes home from school, very excited and starts to talk to you, sharing with you about their day. Now imagine that as they talk you can’t understand your child, because they are using another language.
For 64 children and their parents this is part of their everyday life. These children are students at the School for the Deaf and nearly all the parents do not know any sign language.
“Before she went to school we used to use some home signs, but now that she is learning real sign language I can’t understand anything she tells me,” said one frustrated mom.
But IDRB, with the cooperation of the teachers, has started a program that will help change this. Each Saturday morning, parents come and meet together at the school to learn Sudanese Sign Language.
“It will really make a difference in these children’s lives. Imagine, not being able to tell your mom and dad how you feel, what you are thinking or what is going on in your life. This really can have a strong psychological effect on a child,” explained one teacher.
House hold items, feelings and verbs are a few of the categories of signs that the parents are learning with the help of the teachers.
“My son can get so frustrated and it is so hard to discipline him when you can’t even talk to each other. This program will really help change this, I hope,” said one parent.
But the help does not end there. Each week, the parents receive a dictionary that includes pictures of the students doing the signs that they just learned as well as a picture to go along with the sign for illiterate parents.
“All the adult Deaf that I have met here have very little relationships with their parents because they cannot communicate,” said one IDRB staff. “Our dream is that this won’t be the case for the next generation.”