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Support our DeafKidz Christmas Appeal

This Christmas, please light up our DeafKidz Christmas Tree to raise funds for our global projects ensuring the safety and protection of deaf children.

As we end another year navigating the challenges of the global coronavirus pandemic, now more than ever we must focus our attention on marginalised groups who are at danger of being left behind as the world moves on.

As resources inevitably become more scarce through recovery from COVID-19, and ever harder decisions need to be made around how to provide support to those who need it most, we need to think actively and consciously about the groups of people who may not have the voice to secure the resources or make their needs heard.

Deafness is the third largest disability globally with 466 million deaf people worldwide. Deaf children are three times more likely to be abused than hearing children. Due to the lack of deaf awareness and resources, deaf children face barriers to accessing services and support in so many settings: teachers; social workers; police; medical professionals; and many more. They are unable to communicate effectively with deaf children so their needs are not met.

DeafKidz International addresses the vital gaps in these safeguarding and protection needs, reducing the risk of abuse through education and safeguarding projects, empowering deaf children to protect themselves, and the adults around them to provide protection.

This year, please make a donation to support our life-changing work. Why not swap your Secret Santa present for a thoughtful gift supporting deaf children instead? You can make a gift in your colleague, friends or families name, leave a special message and they will be sent an e-card to see your kind present!

Your support means so much to us – together we can ensure no deaf child is left behind this Christmas. Thank you.

Support our Christmas appeal now!

ACTION DEAFNESS AND DEAFKIDZ INTERNATIONAL SIGN MOU AGREEMENT

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Action Deafness (AD) and DeafKidz International (DKI) expresses a broadly agreed intention to continue working together and signals both organisations’ firm commitment to build upon their existing working relationship and close collaborative ties.

This latest MoU partnership aims to jointly create opportunities in reaching fresh stakeholder audiences, utilising emerging innovation and possibility whilst benefiting the services and programmes that both organisations deliver.

Craig Crowley, Chief Executive of Action Deafness, said: “We are delighted to be able to announce this advanced relationship with DeafKidz International. Close collaboration will enable both organisations to share ideas and expertise, generate cutting-edge innovation and ultimately further benefit the stakeholders and beneficiaries that we serve.”

Kavita Prasad, Chief Executive of DeafKidz International, said: “We are thrilled to formalise our close working relationship with Action Deafness through this MoU. This partnership will leverage the expertise, experience and innovation of both organisations and create a joint platform for programmes and services that will safeguard our key constituency – deaf children and youth.”

Action Deafness is the UK’s leading Deaf-led charity providing flagship specialist services in communications interpreting (including a partnership with SignVideo for video relay services), community & care and sensory services. Recognised as an approved provider of NHS Shared Business Services, AD is also CQC-registered and holds ISO quality assurance accreditations alongside Cyber Essentials Plus Certification.

DeafKidz International is a global leader working to ensure that deaf children and young people are able to live safely, without fear of stigma, discrimination and abuse, using their communication mode of choice. With safeguarding at the heart of all its work, DeafKidz International aims to respond comprehensively to the protection, health, wellbeing and access to education needs of deaf children, young people and adults worldwide.

Watch the video announcement in BSL here:

BBC Radio 4 Appeal raises £10,000 and welcome new Global Ambassador Raymond Antrobus

We’re thrilled to announce our BBC Radio 4 Charity Appeal raised over our target of £10,000! Our appeal was live during International Week of Deaf People in September 2021 and was presented by poet and activist Raymond Antrobus. Since presenting our appeal, we are also thrilled to announce Raymond has joined our team of Global Ambassadors!

We would like to convey a massive thank you to everyone who listened, watched, shared and donated. The money raised will go towards our international programmes supporting and empowering deaf children and young people.

Watch the video below from our new Ambassador Raymond announcing the money raised from our BBC Radio 4 appeal:

BBC Radio 4 Appeal

BBC Radio 4 appeal

Sunday 19th – Saturday 25th September 2021

 

We were delighted to feature on as the BBC Radio 4 appeal BBC Radio 4 Charity Appeal during International Week of Deaf People 2021 between 19th to 25th September 2021

Poet, educator and activist, Raymond Antrobus presented our appeal, and told the story of Tayyaba from India, one of the many deaf children and young people being supported by DeafKidz International’s global projects. Our appeal broadcast live on BBC Radio 4 on Sunday 19th September at 7.54am and 9.25pm and on Thursday 23rd September at 3.27pm (on International Day of Sign Languages)

Thank you to everyone who shared and supported our R4 appeal. Your donations will make a huge difference to our small charity and will ensure more deaf children like Tayyaba can access our programmes and the support they need to live safely, without the fear of abuse and exploitation.

If you missed our appeal, unfortunately it’s too late to donate to our R4 appeal through BBC Radio 4’s website, you can still listen to our appeal or watch in British Sign Language on the BBC webpage (grey button below), however you can still support us and donate directly to our Just Giving page:

 

Listen to our BBC R4 appeal or watch in British Sign Language (BSL)


Our BBC Radio 4 Appeal Story – Tayyaba

For thousands of deaf children, like Tayyaba, school provides a sense of belonging and a safe space alongside their deaf peers. However, the closure of schools during Covid-19 lockdowns left deaf children feeling lonely and isolated, often locked down with families who do not know sign language and are unable to communicate and interact with them.

This is why DeafKidz International, partnering with local NGO, Slum Soccer, stepped in to help Tayyaba during this time with our DeafKidz Goal programme, which provides important life skills training to deaf children, delivered in Indian Sign Language by deaf football coaches.

 

Our BBC Radio 4 Appeal Presenter – Raymond Antrobus

Raymond Antrobus FRSL is a poet, educator, writer and activist who has been performing poetry since 2007. He was born deaf to an English mother and Jamaican father in Hackney, London. His work is recognised internationally and he has received multiple awards including the Ted Hughes Award and the Rathbone Folio Prize. Raymond is passionate about the rights of deaf people and helping young deaf people to access their own needs, education and community.

Listen here as Raymond tells us why he supports DeafKidz International.


Help change the lives of more deaf children like Tayyaba

Donate today

You’re On Mute! – Join our campaign

For a year we’ve been living differently, spending hours on video calls, each with their own problems.
Like when someone tries to speak, and they’re on mute. Everyone shouting “You’re on mute!” … frustrating isn’t it?

But imagine being a deaf child in a developing country. Where no one knows sign language, or even thinks you can communicate.
Imagine your whole community on mute.
Unlike you, deaf children can’t just click on a button to make communication happen.

So this Deaf Awareness Week, Please UNMUTE for DeafKidz International.
So we can work to remove communication barriers,
Make things safer for deaf children
Without fear of stigma, discrimination and abuse
And empower deaf children to succeed.

Read more here

Applications open for Consultants Roster

We are creating a roster of suitable international candidates for providing fixed-term expert consultancy services within the remit of our organisational objectives and the scope of our planned 2020-23 programmatic activities. This is an exciting opportunity for interested candidates with relevant experience to be added to our roster of pre-vetted consultants, ensuring quick contracting and deployment when suitable opportunities arise.

The areas of expertise sought are: Child protection and safeguarding; Gender-based Violence; Deaf Awareness Training; Ear and Hearing Care; Education; Economic Independence; and Assessments, Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning.

Read more and apply on our Job Vacancies page

Reaching out to deaf survivors of abuse

Dear all

The historic abuse of deaf children has long been a concern for all of us working at DeafKidz International. As a charity, we exist to work towards a world where deaf children are able to live safely and without fear of abuse and exploitation. We believe a big part of that is shining a light on the wrongdoings of the past so that there is far bigger awareness of the issues faced by deaf children.

To this end, we are working with internationally-acclaimed filmmakers producing a feature film on deaf people’s experience of abuse. We believe that by supporting this initiative, and ensuring it is authentic, we can take a huge step forward in raising awareness of these issues.

We are calling on the deaf community to tell their stories. Are you a deaf woman or man in the UK who experienced abuse as a child? Are you willing to share your experience and contribute to shining a light on this long-ignored issue?

If you are, we would love to hear from you – please email us at [email protected] today. Everything you say will be treated confidentially.

We would be grateful if you could share this among your contacts and networks in the UK.

It is time that as a community we all started talking about the elephant in the room: the awful, unacceptable and truly heart-breaking abuse faced by deaf children past and present. We will drive the change needed to ensure that the deaf children of tomorrow can live in a better, safer world.

Together, we will be heard.

Best regards,


Steve Crump
Founder and Chair
DeafKidz International

If you are a deaf person currently at risk and need urgent help, please use one of these services: contact UK Relay by dialling 18000 through the app or from a textphone OR contact 999 by SMS text (must register first by texting ‘register’ to 999) OR voice call 999

Read the letter in full by clicking here

Strategic Plan 2020-23

Read DeafKidz International’s Strategic Plan for 2020-23 which charts our course for these three years, outlining how we will address the barriers deaf people face in low-resource and complex humanitarian settings, and defining our strategic goals and priorities that will respond to the protection, health, wellbeing and access to education needs of deaf children, young people and adults worldwide.

Front cover of our Strategic Plan

International Women’s Day 2021

Today marks International Women’s Day, and this year, the UN Women’s theme for 2021 is “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.” The theme celebrates the incredible efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

At DeafKidz International, we are proud that many of our global projects are led by strong deaf women, who are empowering deaf women and girls to build their skills and reach their potential as well as teaching them how to stay safe from abuse and exploitation.

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021, we want to share an update on our DeafKidz Goal project in India, highlighting one of our incredible female coaches, Sheetal, and to share the impact of the project on the lives of deaf girls including 17 year old Tayyaba, especially in the midst of lockdown.

 

DeafKidz Goal project in India – Inclusion and equality

Our DeafKidz Goal project, in partnership with Slum Soccer, funded by Comic Relief, responds to the life skill needs of 60 deaf children and young people living in the slums and on the streets of Nagpur, through football coaching. As part of this project, we have trained deaf adults to become football coaches and providing deaf awareness and basic sign language training to Slum Soccer staff. We have delivered football tournaments with both deaf and hearing participants, breaking barriers, and promoting inclusion and equality of deaf girls and boys.

 

Women in leadership: Sheetal, DeafKidz Goal Coach

Sheetal was diagnosed as profoundly deaf at the age of 3. The lack of awareness and stigma surrounding deafness meant growing up, Sheetal found many of the children in her neighbourhood did not play with her and she was teased because of her disability, and she only left her house when she was with her parents. Despite there being no formal education available for deaf children beyond 10th grade, Sheetal persevered with her studies and graduated in Commerce, as well as training as a beautician to improve her job prospects. She worked as a data entry operator, however faced discrimination from her colleagues taking credit for her work as she was unable to speak. Sheetal highlights this is just one example of the many challenges and discrimination deaf people face in the workplace. Sheetal went on to explore extra-curricular opportunities in stage performing and magic shows, and in 2014 performed in the US and Europe, winning awards in performance and comedy. She is now married with a son in 6th grade.

Sheetal has always felt there were not enough opportunities in deaf schools for students to play sports or learn basic life skills, and was thrilled to discover the DeafKidz Goal project with Slum Soccer last year. At first, she was apprehensive of her ability to play football, let alone coach deaf children, however she credits Slum Soccer coaches for helping her to learn football skills so fast and she now feels empowered and proud to be a coach.

“After attending sessions at Slum Soccer’s headquarters and undergoing trainings from their international trainers and partners, I can feel the remarkable positive change in my capabilities and confidence!

“I take pride in the fact that I am not only instrumental in providing an opportunity for deaf children to play football but also, more importantly, contributing my skills to making the future of children within the deaf community better and brighter.”

Sheetal is an incredible role model and inspiration to the deaf participants she is coaching, leading by example that deaf women and girls should have equal access to life skills and opportunities as their hearing counterparts. Through our DeafKidz Goal project, Sheetal continues to inspire deaf girls to feel empowered, stay safe and reach their potential.

 

The impact of Covid-19

The Covid-19 pandemic caused disruptions to the DeafKidz Goal project over the last year, with schools closed and activities suspended. Our partner Slum Soccer reports that lockdown in India has had a disproportionately large adverse impact on the mental well-being of deaf children, including heightened sense of isolation, loneliness, and lack of purpose with schools and activities shut down. For many of the deaf participants, the DeafKidz Goal project is their only extra-curricular activity and opportunity to play sports and learn life skills, therefore without this, deaf participants are missing out on activities needed for their wellbeing, education and social development.

It was imperative to address the challenges and constraints brought about by the COVID-19 lockdown in order to safeguard the physical and mental well-being of deaf children and young people. Rather than waiting for schools to reopen to resume engagement with them, Slum Soccer’s DeafKidz Goal Team reached out far and wide into various communities in Nagpur and started to engage deaf children and youth through educational football activities in playgrounds close to the communities while maintaining COVID-19 safety measures. After 3 months of activities, Slum Soccer organized a football tournament on December 2020 where 29 deaf youth and children (age 13-20 years) from 8 communities gathered to play their first ever local football tournament amongst themselves and their hearing peers.

 

“DeafKidz Goal’s football sessions have filled me with joy and given my life a new meaning and direction” – Tayyaba, age 17

Tayyaba, 17 years old, is one of the deaf football participants benefiting from the DeafKidz Goal project. Tayyaba has 5 sisters and a brother and was born in a patriarchal, conservative community in the fringes of Reshimbagh, Nagpur where the role of women is seen as limited to remaining in the household. Growing up, Tayyaba faced twice the discrimination and stigma attached to being both a girl and profoundly deaf. Tayyaba went to a local deaf school, however as her parents and family members had little knowledge and awareness of sign language, they avoided speaking to her and were unable to communicate with her at home.

When Slum Soccer DeafKidz Goal team began football sessions in Reshimbagh community of Nagpur, the team met Tayyaba, clearly isolated at home, and the impact of lockdown negatively impacting her physical and mental health. Learning football brought Tayyaba out of her shell, and the Slum Soccer coaches were impressed by her enthusiasm, especially being the only girl amongst the participants. However, Tayyaba parent’s believed girls playing sports were considered a taboo, seen as unsafe and a corrupting influence, and stopped her from playing football.
Knowing her eagerness to participate, Slum Soccer coaches met with Tayyaba’s parents over multiple visits, raising awareness of the DeafKidz Goal project, and the work they are doing educating local communities, breaking down communication barriers and tackling the stigma, discrimination and inequalities surrounding deaf children, especially deaf girls.

The DeafKidz Goal team helped changed their attitudes and improve their understanding of deaf awareness and gender inequality, and Tayyaba parents gave their permission for Tayyaba to take part in the project, and soon they become supportive of Tayyaba’s passion for football.

The family were overwhelmed by the transformation in Tayyaba’s personality and confidence. Before she joined DeafKidz Goal, there was little communication with Tayyaba’s and her family, but with support and training from the Slum Soccer’s DeafKidz Goal team of deaf coaches, shadow coaches and Indian Sign Language Interpreters, there has been a paradigm shift in the way the family has started bonding and communicating.

Her father explains:

“Her DeafKidz Goal sessions start at 7 am but every day she wakes me at 6:00 am and asks to drop her to ground… Ever since she has started attending football sessions, she has become more active, engaged and focused in her life… Every day, on her return from the session, she gathers everyone and she shares her learning with us”

Tayyaba was overjoyed to participate in the DeafKidz Goal football tournament in December 2020, especially as this was an opportunity to play against hearing participants. Tayyaba felt this was the first time she was able to integrate with mainstream society and establish her individuality in an equal and inclusive society meant for all irrespective of their ability or gender.

She was also thrilled that many of the hearing participants had learned basic sign language skills through Slum Soccer, to ensure deaf participants were truly included.

“The DeafKidz Goal sessions conducted by Coach Chaya (Slum Soccer’s deaf coach) along with Coach Shiba Markas (Slum Soccer’s Shadow coach fluent in ISL) give me confidence, improves my self-esteem, and revitalizes me…

I get to learn not only football but so many life lessons in Sign Language, something that doesn’t happen even in my school. Due to lockdown I was feeling helpless, lonely, isolated, and ignored.

The uncertainty of future was causing limitless anxiety and mental trauma. The shutting down of schools was a cruel blow to the sole coping mechanism of deaf children as it caused abrupt disruption our learning journey as well as the social interactions of deaf children, especially girls like me who already restricted access to the mainstream society.. I want these sessions to carry on and on”

After obtaining first-hand experience of what she calls “the transformative power of football” she has convinced her deaf friend Lakha to joins the sessions, despite her reservations. Tayyaba enjoys sharing her football skills and is encouraging more deaf youth to join the programme.

When asked about her future plans, Tayyaba first answered ‘Keep playing football.’ She said she wishes to start a deaf girl’s football team and signed that she wants to be a DeafKidz Goal coach.

We are incredibly proud of our DeafKidz Goal program, and the efforts of the Slum Soccer team to adapt and deliver activities during lockdown, which is tackling the isolation deaf children and youth face and has strengthened their mental and physical wellbeing during the uncertainties and challenges of Covid-19.

To support our work this International Women’s Day, please donate to ensure no deaf child is left behind.

World Hearing Day 2021

Today marks World Hearing Day 2021 and the World Health Organisation’s theme this year is ‘Hearing Care for All’, launching the WHO World Report on Hearing and presenting a global call for action to address hearing loss and ear diseases across the life course.

The World Federation of the Deaf is also raising awareness of Sign Languages on World Hearing Day today, asking all “Let’s Remember to Sign!” because national sign languages are important for everyone!

DeafKidz International supports both these important messages of Hearing Care for All and Let’s Remember to Sign. Our global programmes are ensuring deaf children, children and adults have access to ear and hearing care, education and support services, all in their communication mode of choice. To celebrate World Hearing Day 2021 we are delighted to share updates on our work in Zambia and Pakistan.

Zambia – Local outreach screening

On World Hearing Day, our audiology teams in Zambia are carrying out awareness, screening and remote hearing aid fittings in local schools and communities, to raise awareness of ear and hearing care and the importance of ear identification and support for deaf children and adults. The teams are able to provide remote screening using the sound-proof booths in our fully equipped mobile ear clinics, as part of our wider 3 year ear and hearing care project in Zambia, funded by Jersey Overseas Aid and in collaboration with the Zambia Ministry of Health.

Our audiology team at University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka travelled to Kotaba Health Centre and screened 22 people for hearing loss, fitting 4 people with hearing aids, and the audiology team at Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital in Ndola visited Kabwate School, and screened 48 children for hearing loss. These outreach trips have been delivered with smaller groups to adhere to local safety protocols and guidelines in place for Covid-19.

Pakistan – Parenting Support Videos

With schools closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been working with our local partner Deaf Reach to develop parenting support videos in PSL (Pakistan Sign Language) and Urdu, aimed at providing parents of deaf children with much-needed basic life skills to support them and their child’s health and wellbeing during this challenging time at home.

Deaf Reach has provided deaf students with laptops and online resources so that vital education and communication is not lost. These parenting support videos are enabling parents the opportunity to continue to access the support that would usually be offered in person within the Deaf Reach parenting support programme. The videos will be shared to parents of 1200 pupils across the 7 Deaf Reach campuses in Pakistan and focus on Good Eating and Wellness; Basic ear care; Basic hygiene and Menstruation.


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