Deafway in the Press

For press enquiries, photographs or other information please contact Christina Eley via email to christina.eley@gmail.com

Past Features:

Dowload Transcript: Citizen Live at 1, Kenya

Note: To ensure that Deaf young people in the UK and the world get opportunities
to volunteer with their Deaf peers, Deafway has partnered with organisations like VSO Kenya and VSO.

Deaf People From Across the North West to Take to The Stage in the 2BR Lancashire

Shona’s Making a Difference in Kenya in the Guide & Gazette

Fundraisers to strike it up for a charity competition in the Lancashire Evening Post

Deafway on The Bee

Recently, our work in Nepal has been featured on local radio station, The Bee.  Below, you can listen to the clips or read transcriptions of the broadcasts.

On the 25th April, 2015, a huge earthquake shook Nepal.

All the trees and all the mountains, like hills, were shaking all around.  My heart was beating very fast.  The house is quite old but after earthquake it is completely damaged, so nobody can still live here. When the earthquake hit, I was also afraid very much and started to cry.

Nine months on and these people have had very little help to repair the damage left  behind.  I’ve been invited by Lancashire charity, Deafway, who run various projects for Deaf people in Nepal.  Over the next few days I’ll be meeting some of those  affected by the earthquake and finding out what’s happened since.  Like everyone, the Deaf community have had a tough time since the disaster, but imagine not being able to hear in the aftermath of an earthquake on this scale; no way of listening to news reports and some even unable to read because education for Deaf people in the past has been so poor.

Deafway is working to change that, to make sure every Deaf person has access to education.  They’re working with young and older Deaf people, some of which didn’t have any form of language to communicate before finding help.

I couldn’t write and learn fluently but after Deafway, I’m very happy because I’m learning Nepali Sign Language.  Our friends are all are Deaf and older so I’m very happy.

 

The Navajyoti Deaf Lower Secondary School is among thousands of damaged buildings in Nepal still in need of repair following the huge earthquake of 2015.  Deafway, a charity based in Preston, built this school 12 years ago.  Since then, the number of pupils has steadily increased and they soon hope to give up to 120 Deaf children an education.  The classrooms are still too dangerous to use so lessons are taught in temporary shelters.  Tikendra is a pupil at the Deaf school; his home was also badly damaged during the quake.

When the earthquake happened at 12 o’clock, I was too frightened.  My brother was lost during that earthquake, so we went to, in search of him and later we found him and we took him to stay together with us.  We were unsafe to sleep inside the house so we, we sleeped outside the house.  My parents didn’t have enough blankets so, at the same time there was lots of mosquitos as well.  I saw lots of cracks in the school as well.  We were taking shelter outside the building in the school as well.  We managed to manage our classroom outside the building as well.  We are expecting, expecting some help to reconstruct our school.

Deafway is going to demolish and rebuild parts of this school, but economic issues in Nepal are pushing prices through the roof.  The fuel crisis started in September, meaning not enough fuel tankers are making it across the border between India and Nepal; it’s impacted on the cost of everything.  Materials for this rebuild could be more expensive than ever or completely unavailable.  It’s vital that the new buildings can withstand another earthquake, as headteacher Bijay Tamang explains.

Earthquake was one of the happenings in our life *that we couldn’t ever sense further this til our death,  so this was a very destructing disaster.  We teachers were also afraid.  The children were also very afraid, we couldn’t, we couldn’t make them calm down for many days.  Its not feel that earthquake will not come back again.  W must have taken action and we can build a new earthquake resistant building that can resist for twenty years more.

* that we could never see happening in our lifetime.

 

 

The next step on my journey through Nepal is a 220 mile drive across the country from one Deaf school to another.  Preston charity, Deafway, invited me to see the first school they built for Deaf children back in 2000.  The Shreejana Secondary School in Pokhara is giving 250 Deaf kids an education, right up to the equivalent of 5 A-Levels.  Staff here are worried, but it’s not the earthquake damage playing on their minds.

People are just, you know, scared what will happen.  Terrified to, you know, leave their home.

The lack of fuel in Nepal is causing prices to rise and for some families, paying for transport is out of the picture.  Tanka Baral is an interpreter at the school.

Exporting, importing thing have become difficult difficult for us, and because of that we have got great shortage of petroleum products and we have not been able to run our school well.  Our students are also from, you know, remote parts of Nepal and because of the blockade and fuel prices that why parents fear that if they come to city they cannot manage; because of this fear, many students have not come back to this school.

In comparison to other buildings I’ve seen in Nepal, this school wasn’t too badly affected by the earthquake.  The need here is slightly different; under normal circumstances there’s so many Deaf children but not enough space in the hostels and sites.  The rooms are crammed full of bunkbeds.

Deafway has some bad news.  It’s vital that the funds they’ve raised must be spent on fixing earthquake damage at the other school; there’s not enough money to extend this school’s hostel just yet.

It’s almost time for me to leave Nepal, an experience I can honestly say I’ll never  forget.  I’ve come back to the capital which is home to the Kathmandu Association of the Deaf.  It’s time to meet some older Deaf people who’ve only been given an education late on in life.  The Older and Vulnerable Deaf Persons Project was started by Preston Charity, Deafway, in 2008.

Before Deafway, I couldn’t write and learn fluently but after Deafway I’m very happy because I’m learning Nepali Sign Language.

Samundra is 82, this has been a lifeline for him.

I’m very poor.  It is very hard to stay.

Up until his mid seventies he was a Deaf person with no language, no family and no home.  Now, with a network of people around him, Samundra is fluent in sign language.  He told me his experience of the earthquake.

In that awful time, I’m visit in picnic.  That time, in, when earthquake hit, I’m also afraid very much and I’m started to crying.  The land is very moving, most of the houses is collapsed.

I cant actually imagine not having any language, having no way to express yourself.  The projects Deafway have started here are vital for the future of Deaf people.  The earthquake has been a major set back but this is a community determined to change perceptions about Deafness.

Deafness itself is not a barrier to learning or achieving, it’s not something people are  or should be ashamed of.  In fact, they’re  proud.

 

 Lancashire LivingArticle source: www.lancashireliving.co.uk