Of the world's 123 million Deaf people, over 80 million live in developing countries. Less than 10% go to school. Among those, less than 2% are taught in sign language. As a result, most Deaf learners drop-out in primary school and live in isolation.
Kevin Long, founder of Global Deaf Connection (GDC) with a dedicated Board of Directors, advisors and staff, half of whom are Deaf, have made a significant difference.
To improve the quality of life for Deaf, marginalized children and adults in the poorest nations of the world. The combination of advocacy and educational activities empower Deaf people to achieve basic and universal human rights that increase their social and economic self -sufficiency.
GDC works with local hearing and Deaf communities to develop and expand education of the Deaf, communication tools, and to foster leadership and vocational skills-training.
GDC provides: International advocacy and data-bases on Deaf Education; Scholarships to Deaf students to become teachers; Classroom interpreters; Tutoring and Supports to students in high school; Global Ambassadors Exchange Program for Deaf and Hearing professionals to tutor and mentor Deaf students overseas; Local Sign Languge Instructional Tools; Sign Language interpreter training; Upgrade training to master teachers of the Deaf who train classroom teachers; Leadership training and Deaf organization development; Vocational Training and apprentice programs; Sports for the Deaf for community empowerment; HIV AIDSCounselor training; and Supports to adult Deaf community-based counselor educators.
Much of the work of GDC is supported by individual donations to programs and to the GDC Endowment Fund to support Deaf college students. GDC also benefits from grants from USAID, from the Y's Men International and from the European Community.
As a result of colloboratiion with stakeholders, GDC has acheived admireable results.
In Kenya, twenty GDC-supported Deaf students have graduated from the Machakos Teachers College. They now teach at the 44 schools for the Deaf in Kenya. Eight more are currently enrolled at MTC;
These twenty teachers teach some 800 students per year in a languge they understand. Their chances of succeeding to become effective teachers themselves are increased.
GDC recently organized the first-ever interpreter course in Kenya. Similar courses are planned for neighboring countries.
Kenya, Jamaica, Congo, the Democratic Republic of the, Angola, Benin, Niger, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, United Republic of, Uganda, Rwanda, Sudan, Ghana, India