We have slowly developed a strong partnership with Capitol School for the Deaf during the past two years. It began when a mutual friend took us to the school for a visit. We were so impressed with the director, teachers, and students during the visit that we committed to supporting the school through food. This year we added 10 sponsorships to our support. As we have gotten to know the members of the Deaf Association and the school staff and students better, our respect and awe has grown. They have created a safe and welcoming environment where Deaf children and adults can go and feel like they belong.
This morning, we met a young woman named Djamila (Jameela) who is a graduate of the Deaf school. She is now in the public Teachers College. She is determined to pass her courses and graduate so that she can return to the school for the Deaf and teach the children there. I say she is “determined” because without persistence, courage and a lot of hard work she could not continue. Since 2007, 63 students from the Deaf school have continued on to middle school. Of those students, only 5 have gone to high school. Djamila is one of those five. It is difficult for Deaf children because there are no middle schools for Deaf children in Niger and most teachers in the public schools do not know sign language. Djamila is dependent on her desk mate and only friend in her class to write down what the teacher is saying during their lessons. Moreover, the director of the Deaf school often tutors her after school.
Djamila and the teachers at the Capitol School for the Deaf are so thankful for the opportunities you are helping to create for deaf students in Niger. Watch them thank you in American Sign Language here.
Would you like to help a deaf student in Niger continue his or her education? Click here to begin a student sponsorship. In the “Student’s name” box, write “Student from School for the Deaf.”