The De La Bat School in Worcester South Africa was founded in 1881 and was even visited by Helen Keller in 1951. It has a long-standing legacy of being a space for deaf learners from all across South Africa to thrive. We identified De La Bat school through Anthony who had attended the school's Deaf Ministries program. We have worked with the school for two years now, fostering a relationship that has been extremely supportive to the students and their families.
Why is this important?
The 7 students are working towards their Senior Certificates, the qualification necessary for someone to attend a university and receive a post-secondary education. There is only one Deaf person from Swaziland who has ever achieved a university degree. The students enrolled at the school are committed to giving back to their deaf community in Swaziland, and are interested in becoming teachers, or working in other fields that could support other deaf youth such as working for the police force or in IT. Most deaf adults are self-employed as tailors or working in shoe-repair. However, some are employed as cleaners or in grocery stores. While these are admirable professions, they are not what deaf youth necessarily aspire to. With the right education and proper training, more deaf children could have access to jobs typically classified as jobs meant for hearing people.
How is this sustainable?
Deaf Open World seeks to provide the necessary training for individuals to achieve the academic success and qualifications required to be employed to work at the schools for the Deaf or other government positions so that they can work to change the system from within. The goal is to train a cadre of qualified deaf youth, while also advocating for making education and opportunities more accessible to deaf children across Swaziland.
The current students, and future students will graduate with the qualifications needed to attend university and be trained in fields that can foster more support for other deaf youth to follow suit.
Gallaudet's English Language Institute (ELI) program is a college-preparatory program for deaf and hard of hearing students. It serves as a bridge to a post-secondary program at Gallaudet University. This means that students who train under this program qualify for entry into one of Gallaudet's many, and esteemed undergraduate programs. Our student is the first ever student from Swaziland to be enrolled in the ELI program. While other countries have strong support and funding for their students (Oman, for example, has 20 students in attendance), this is not the case for Swaziland.
 
 
Why is this important?
Although there is a way for Swazi citizen's to acquire a GED equivalent in Swaziland, this path has not yet been made accessible to Deaf people as tutoring sessions are not conducted in Sign Language. Moreover, the test and preparatory materials have not been modified to accommodate Deaf individuals. Because of systemic challenges, deaf students are not completing high school with the credits needed to enroll into one of Swaziland's many university programs.  Through training this student, and future students, we can have enough qualified and trained deaf people to facilitate similar programs in Swaziland.
How is this sustainable?
Deaf Open World seeks to provide the necessary training for individuals to achieve the academic success and qualifications required to be employed to work at the schools for the Deaf or other government positions so that they can work to change the system from within. The goal is to train a cadre of qualified deaf youth, while also advocating for making education and opportunities more accessible to deaf children across Swaziland.
More funding would allow for more deaf people to be trained to help us advocate and rebuild a system that would give deaf youth equitable access to education and a voice in shaping their own future.
Where do our students go to school?

© 2018 Deaf Open World  | |  deafopenworld@gmail.com  | |  New Hampshire  | |  603-219-8474  | |  a member of the NH Center for Nonprofits 

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