My name is Juliet Maina currently working at Mbagathi District Hospital. I work at the CCC-Comprehensive Care Centre that is management of people that are already living with HIV. My work there includes counseling these clients on living positively with the virus that is taking their meds everyday and on time, getting treated for opportunistic infections as early as possible, using protection all the time and prevention with positives(PWP) among others.
One day a client came and she couldn’t talk she was deaf, obviously this posed a challenge for me as I couldn’t serve her, we had to keep writing back and forth until we were told that one of the nurses could use Kenyan Sign Language and we called her to help us with the client. I felt really bad that I could not serve her as well as I serve other clients who can hear and talk.
I was really happy when I heard that Deaf Ability Initiative (DAI) would be coming to teach us Kenya Sign Language at the hospital. We kicked off in July and every time we had Sign Language class I really enjoyed and developed more interest. Today am glad that I can be able to communicate basics with a deaf person and I feel more confident when communicating with a deaf person.
Interestingly, I have also gone ahead to register myself at the University of Nairobi where am now doing Kenya Sign Language as a course to be able to sign fluently hoping someday that I shall be able to get a department at the hospital where we deal with any deaf person that comes to be treated.
I really thank the organization that saw it fit to come and teach us Sign Language and would wish that they continue teaching other institutions so that no deaf person is denied any services based on their deafness.
Loreen Akumu is a deaf young lady aged 21 years who hails from Mathare North and currently running own business in Muthurwa market. The young deaf lady said her involvement in the initiative has greatly helped her understand her rights in line with the current Constitution of Kenya, Disability Laws and policies. Additionally, as a result of being a regular attendant of peer-led meetings, the determined young lady has been able to get informed on where she could obtain loans to initiate her own business to be income self reliant and support her family. The young lady has encouraged other deaf girls to apply for loans either from Deaf Ability Initiative or other money lending institutions and carry out their own businesses thus run out of abject poverty.
Ultimately, the bright young lady was part of 40 deaf people who were trained agriculture knowledge and skills and she claimed once her business expands, she shall invest in poultry farming her rural home.
My name is Doreen Nkiroze, I was among the workshop participants that attended Deaf Ability initiative’s Community Sensitization workshop in Kibera. The workshop was well attended with participants from different sectors such as health, education, local administration and business. The workshop was very informative and useful to me as a social worker in Langata. I like the way facilitator delivered the session as it was more of participatory.
Many times I have met deaf people but I was unable to communicate with them and understand their needs. It is sad to say that our services have been inaccessible to deaf people as we could not find sign language interpreters. The workshop has sensitized me on a number of issues that deaf people face and how we can work together to promote an accessible and inclusive society for all.
I would like to say that the workshop has empowered me in a big way despite the fact that it was very short and I would recommend that similar workshop should be held for two to three days in order to cover many topics. Thanks to the funder who supported this noble initiative.
- 250 deaf youth trained on life skills and marketable vocational and business skills
- 3 green houses established and benefited over 125 beneficiaries
- 220 deaf youth trained on rural and urban agriculture initiatives
Kenyan Sign Language
- 135 deaf youth trained on life skills such as business management, ICT and personal hygiene.
- 55 public officers trained in Kenyan Sign Language
- Over 300 Kenyans trained in Kenyan Sign Language
- 250 health professionals trained on Kenyan Sign Language
- 126 deaf youth trained on sexual rights.
- 4 deaf clubs supported to participate in sports activities
- Over 45 deaf people accessed health services through sign language interpretation services