It is our incredible honour and privilege to share the news that our Founder and Chair, Steve Crump, has been appointed an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2022.

This award on the Overseas and International List recognises Steve’s services to the global safeguarding and protection of deaf children as Founder and Chair of DeafKidz International. As an experienced CEO and manager, Steve currently works in Brighton as the Interim Director of Charities & Voluntary Services, for the University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust.

It was whilst serving as a board member of War Child UK that Steve learnt of the appalling abuse and exploitation of deaf children, especially in conflict-affected areas of sub- Saharan Africa, which – while pervasive and prevalent – was largely ignored by international organisations and the wider child protection community. Resolving to address this injustice, Steve founded DeafKidz International in 2013, which is today, emerging as the global leader for the safeguarding and protection of deaf children. Over the years, Steve has worked relentlessly to ensure that deaf children and young people are able to live safely and without fear of stigma, discrimination and abuse in their communication mode of choice.

Reacting to his award, Steve said, “’I was surprised and stunned in equal measure to be awarded an OBE. This honour is very much a team award and one that recognises the tireless work of our trustee, staff and partner teams as we work to ensure, globally, that deaf children and young people are safe from abuse and exploitation. In just nine years, DeafKidz International has come a long way but there is much more to do – and so in our tenth anniversary year in 2023, we will be looking to redouble our efforts. To ensure no deaf child is left behind.”

Rt Hon Lord Bruce of Bennachie, Honorary President and Ambassador of DeafKidz International, said, “Since I first met Steve, I have been amazed at his energy and commitment. He has built DeafKidz International into an amazing force for good for deaf people in situations where they are ignored or, worse still, persecuted. They are so lucky to have a champion in Steve by their side. This award is a fitting tribute to his work to date – and there is much more to come.”

“We are so proud of Steve for this very well-deserved recognition of his commitment to the safeguarding and protection of deaf children. Steve is the life force behind DeafKidz International and his drive and dedication inspires us every day. While this is a personal honour for Steve, we at DeafKidz International feel seen and acknowledged by this award and it spurs us on to continue our work to ensure deaf children can live safely and enjoy their rights fully in an inclusive world”, said Kavita Prasad, Chief Executive Officer of DeafKidz International.

Liz Avital, the Vice-Chair of DeafKidz International, said, “On behalf of the Board of DeafKidz International, I would like to congratulate Steve Crump on the enormous achievement and honour of being awarded an OBE. This is the truest reflection of Steve’s determination and tenacity to act upon his belief that deaf children, young people and adults should be protected from abuse and exploitation. Over the past 10 years, Steve has worked relentlessly, juggling the demands of his work and career with the often-competing demands of starting a new charity, a testament to him but also to his family, who have supported him throughout. Steve is a man on a mission, a tireless force of nature, always looking for the next opportunity for DeafKidz to reach even more people. Huge congratulations, and here’s to the next 10 years.”

While a lot has been done, there is still a long way to go to ensure deaf children everywhere are safe and protected from harm. We are certain that this award will drive Steve to further advance the work of DeafKidz International and keep going, until we have realised our vision of a world, where deaf children are able to live safely, without the fear of abuse and exploitation.

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