Aneth Gerana, founder of FUWAVITA, a women with disabilities organization partnered with SHIVYAWATA-Dodoma and the Dodoma Regional Council to open access to education for children with disabilities through providing sign language training for children, parents and teachers.
Through the partners, 50 deaf children, 25 parents and 25 teachers were enrolled in the project. Through Add International Tanzania and Travel Tree that Grows, the cohort attended a five-day training on sign language as well as the safety and rights of children with disabilities. The program encouraged parents to cultivate active communication with their children, especially to impart important moral lessons and values as the foundation for a good life.
The simple workshop opened the way for parents and children to communicate better. “This project has really helped parents and teachers to communicate well with Deaf children through Sign language.,” said Anita Aston, a project volunteer. Exit surveys reported that 70% of parents and teachers felt they could communicate better with the deaf children. Despite challenges of accessing sign language facilitates and instructors, 71% of the participants expressed interest in continuing their sign language training. Parents were connected to schools with support services for their children. “Now parents know how to communicate with their children and it will be easy to raise them in good moral and protect them against violence to Deaf children.,” said Aneth. She thanked Global Peace Women for supporting the initiative.
The program sparked awareness of the importance of sign language training among partners and government stakeholders. FUWAVITA hopes to expand the initiative and will continue monitoring the families who enrolled in the program.