‘Deaf women liv­ing as sec­ond class cit­i­zens’

The Manica Post - - Local News - Tendai Guku­tikwa Post Cor­re­spon­dent

DEAF women are worst af­fected by gen­der and dis­abil­ity dis­crim­i­na­tion, re­sult­ing in them oc­cu­py­ing some of the low­est po­si­tions in the so­ci­ety.

This was said by Deaf Women di­rec­tor, Ms Ag­ness Chindimba, dur­ing a fundrais­ing din­ner hosted by Nzeve Deaf Cen­tre at Mutare Hall last Fri­day night.

Nzeve Deaf Cen­tre is an or­gan­i­sa­tion for deaf and hear­ing peo­ple that reaches out to fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties across Man­i­ca­land, with early iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and in­ter­ven­tion for deaf chil­dren and sup­port to their fam­i­lies.

The pro­ceeds from the din­ner are ex­pected to help in equip­ping the cen­tre’s new train­ing room which will cater for all those who want to be trained in deaf aware­ness.

“Re­search shows that over 90 per­cent of deaf chil­dren are born to hear­ing par­ents who do not usu­ally make an ef­fort to learn sign lan­guage. It is a very sad sit­u­a­tion that the girls and women are en­coun­ter­ing.

“They are tram­pled upon by the hear­ing who does not un­der­stand sign lan­guage and if at all they man­age to get em­ploy­ment, they have the low­est po­si­tions in the com­pany,” said Ms Chindimba.

She said be­cause Nzeve Deaf Cen­tre was fight­ing against th­ese bar­ri­ers, it had be­come a sec­ond home for deaf peo­ple es­pe­cially girls to learn, share, in­ter­act on is­sues like gen­der-based vi­o­lence, HIV and Aids and other life skills ori­en­ta­tion.

“It does not have to be that way be­cause there is al­ways a way where there is a will. Nzeve Deaf Cen­tre is work­ing so hard to re­verse the bar­rier be­tween hear­ing and deaf peo­ple through its early in­ter­ven­tion. They em­power both par­ents and chil­dren with a hope and fu­ture de­vel­op­ing sign lan­guage,” she said.

The cen­tre pro­vides early child­hood ed­u­ca­tion us­ing sign lan­guage and vis­ual, par­tic­i­pa­tory ac­tiv­i­ties, so­cial and emo­tional sup­port to fam­i­lies of chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties and out­reach to com­mu­ni­ties with aware­ness pro­grammes.

Nzeve Deaf Cen­tre di­rec­tor, Ms Libby Foster, said their aim was to find and train deaf chil­dren from young ages so that they catch up with their hear­ing coun­ter­parts in ed­u­ca­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

She also thanked the Mutare com­mu­nity for sup­port­ing the train­ing room fundrais­ing din­ner ini­tia­tive.

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