It’s the end of the school day at the Uganda School for the Deaf, Ntinda. The children have been at school since 8am, working hard learning in sign language. Now all they’re thinking about is playing and going home.
It’s particularly hectic today as it’s the last day of term. Children are running around looking for lost belongings and collecting their reports from the teachers. Others are crowding round the school gate, waiting to be collected by their parents, arguing and teasing one another.
“Sadly not all the children want to go home or are able to.”
Sadly not all the children want to go home or are able to. Some are orphaned, others have been neglected or abandoned by their families. There is no parent to pick them up from school, instead they are being cared for by kind well-wishers. Others have a home but there is no one there who can communicate with them.
With support from SignHealth Uganda, though, the school is starting to make a difference. We’re not only teaching the children sign language but also their parents and carers. And it’s making a really positive impact.
The children are now happier and less isolated as their friends and families begin to understand that they are capable of becoming valuable members of the community. Being deaf doesn’t mean you’re stupid and deaf people have a contribution to make to society. Today’s graduation ceremony is proof of this as children show-off their talents in poetry, drama and sport.