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Andy with some amazing children at the Masaka deaf school.

How could you not support these wonderfully happy kids? Especially when you know they are all deaf and the world would have been a completely silent place if it hadn’t been for the Masaka School SNE.

You walk into the Masaka School SNE and are immediately drawn into the energy of the both the teaching staff and the kids that swarm you. After playing in the playground chasing kids around for an hour, you suddenly notice that the place is almost silent but all the kids are chatting away perfectly happily in sign language.

The Masaka School SNE teaches students sign from the moment they come to board at the school and they have a dedicated team of hearing and non hearing teachers who support this. The kids are unsurprisingly very keen to learn and can be as close as you can be to fluent in this continuously developing language within 4 weeks! While I was there a new sign for Liverpool football club was created!

As in many countries the disabled community within Uganda has been marginalised and open to stigma for generations but within this centre you get a real sense for how this attitude is changing for the better. I was fortunate to witness this wave of change at the schools world record attempt for the most amount of people signing across the world in the Sign2Sing event on the 19th Feb 2015.

660 Ugandans gathered in Masaka and signed 3 songs with a further 1,500 people watching on.

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The Sign2Sing world record attempt in Masaka

 

What’s even better is that you are going to be helping to reduce stigma and provide further opportunities for these amazing children through your fundraising.

We are going to be supporting the Masaka School SNE by increasing their vocational learning programs and community outreach, all while helping the school become self sustainable.

The plan is to provide hair dressing, tailoring and bakery and cooking equipment to be used in vocational classes. The products from these classes can then be used to provide facilities to the local paying community.

These classes provide vital practical skills for these children which the main stream Ugandan school system does not cater for. The reality for these children would be leaving education after primary level without any opportunities for work, going back into a silent forgotten world. Your fundraising will ensure that this cycle is changed and graduates will have the best opportunity once leaving the safety of the school to support themselves and their families.

The community positively learn about disabilities, the children gain practical work based skills and the school earns some money – That’s right this project has it all!!

 

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