In 2019, DeafKidz International and Slum Soccer forged a strong partnership, catalysing a 3-year pilot initiative in Nagpur named DeafKidz Goal!, generously funded by Comic Relief. The programme’s primary objective was to dismantle barriers, foster inclusivity, and secure equal opportunities for deaf boys and girls. It empowered them with essential life skills, notably safety, within the framework of football.
The project adopted a holistic and inclusive strategy, training local deaf adults to become football coaches. These coaches, in turn, delivered life skills training sessions to deaf youth in their first language, Indian Sign Language, utilizing football as a medium.
Key highlights and the impact of DeafKidz Goal
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DeafKidz Goal! Dissemination Event
To mark the end of this successful programme, Slum Soccer hosted a dissemination event in Nagpur on 19th October 2023, to share the incredible impact of the programme, bring together participants, community members, funders and key stakeholders and celebrate their achievements. DeafKidz International’s Senior Programmes Lead, Jaz Mann, and Communications and Fundraising Manager, Tanya D’souza were delighted to attend the event.
The dissemination event, expertly organised by Slum Soccer, was distinctly deaf led, with the active involvement of the deaf youth in setting up the event and being an integral part of the event activities. The event itself stood as a testament to the project’s success, showcasing the profound integration of the deaf community. Notably, the number of interpreters has increased from zero at the project’s inception to four interpreters at the current event, marking a significant milestone for inclusion of deaf children and young people in Nagpur.
Guests were welcomed to the event with an opening performance of the Indian National Anthem in Indian Sign Language. Slum Soccer’s CEO, Dr. Abhijeet Barse, inaugurated the event, highlighting the organisation’s journey and how the DeafKidz Goal programme developed to become an integral part of Slum Soccer’s work, and the impact of training deaf football coaches, subsequently imparting knowledge to deaf youth.
Following Abhijeet’s address, the deaf youth leaders performed a fantastic dance, which showcased their talent which was a testament to how much their confidence has grown through being part of DeafKidz Goal.
Jaz Mann, DKI’s Senior Programme Lead, delivered a presentation, elucidating the genesis of DeafKidz Goal, emphasising key impacts on deaf youth through case studies and a summary of the evaluation report.Sajid Jamal, Program Manager of Slum Soccer then took to the stage to outline all the key achievements of the DeafKidz Goal team and the incredible progress the deaf leaders and deaf youth have made over the past 4 years.
Testimonials from two of DeafKidz Goal youth leaders, Vijaydas and Suman, further articulated the impact of the programme. This was a key highlight of the evening seeing them take to stage and share their stories.After all the incredible performances and presentations, Jaz and Sajid took to the stage together to outline the next steps for DeafKidz Goal and our call for further support needed to continue this programme in new locations in India to reach more deaf youth.
The event was then closed by Professor Vijay Barse, Founder of Slum Soccer who gave a wonderful closing speech sharing his thoughts on the success of the programme and he thanked the DeafKidz Goal team for all their hard work and accomplishments.
The dissemination event was a wonderful opportunity to see the impact of the programme and to witness first hand testimonies from the deaf youth to truly demonstrate the the positive change DeafKidz Goal has made in Nagpur. The networking following the presentations sparked promising discussions regarding the potential expansion of the programme to different regions in India, as we hope to secure future funding to train more deaf coaches and reach more deaf youth.
What’s next for DeafKidz Goal?
While the project has reached its culmination, the enduring dedication of Slum Soccer and DeafKidz International persists. The success of this pilot in Nagpur has demonstrated the significant impact DeafKidz Goal made on the lives of deaf youth and we are keen to continue and replicate this programme in new regions in India.
If you are interested in supporting future programmes for DeafKidz Goal, please get in touch with us at email@example.com
After receiving evidence of the amazing results from the last 4 years’ achievements, and deaf children’s lives transformed, it is time for us to source and secure further funding to scale the initiative to other cities around India, reaching hundreds more deaf children and young people!’
— Jaz Mann, Senior Programme Lead
We want to express our heartfelt gratitude to our incredible partner Slum Soccer, to the whole DeafKidz Goal team for their pivotal role in realising this transformative project and their commitment to supporting deaf youth in Nagpur. A huge thank you also to Comic Relief for their generous funding, without which this project would not have been possible.
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