In the countryside, children born deaf do not attend public schools. Why? Public schools don’t have signing teachers. Because parents of such children can’t afford to send their children to the city where special deaf services exist, countryside deaf children grow up unable to sign, unable to communicate with others and unable to read, write or do basic math. In the normal course, their job prospects are extremely bleak and they become sullen and angry adults. Orphan Voice’s New Beginnings School for the Deaf is changing that scenario for deaf children. For these children, christian teachers teach math, reading, writing and character. The children learn, they excel, they communicate and they flourish! Like the Patriarch Job, we all become “feet to the lame, eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf and a helper to the needy.”
If you would like to make a “new-beginning” for a deaf child, donate here.
Most of all, Han is learning character development, which is changing her behavior. She used to show anger often and talk back to her teacher. But Han is no longer the same as before. She is friendly and helpful with everyone. Her friend’s shirt was torn, and Han helped to sew it. Another friend had a nose bleed and she helped him to the bed. She is always concerned when her friends are absent.
I first met her at the Therapy Center where I worked. Therapists were massaging muscles in her weak leg, but she was also deaf. Thuy looked up at me with a sweet smile, touched my hand and lifted it toward her head. I didn’t know what she wanted until her grandmother told me that she was proud of her new hairband.
I remember thinking: “If she could speak or if I could sign, I could talk to her.”
Little did I know that my boss had decided to send me to school to learn sign language! There were 7 other deaf students in the area and none of them went to school! We wanted to change that!
I studied sign language for 8 months and then Orphan Voice opened New Beginnings School for the Deaf . I saw Thuy again and I’ve taught her every school day since.
She has learned to sign many words, like family, friend, animal, and food. I’m teaching her writing, math, and character lessons. She can write her name, knows her numbers and can add and subtract. She has never learned before, so I think that she is doing very well!
I see changes in Thuy’s life. She looks happier and plays with the other children more. She gets so happy sometimes that she forgets about her weak left leg and tries to run! She’s reminded of it when she falls, but she is still happy.
(Testimony of Nguyen Thi Tuyet Mai, Lead Teacher at New Beginnings School for the Deaf)
Schools in their Thuy’s district do not have teachers who know sign language, so deaf students normally do not attend classes. If they do attend, just for somewhere to go during the day, they are not able to learn. Poor parents cannot pay signing teachers to teach their children individually. Neither do the parents of the deaf sign. Communication for the deaf is there severely curtailed. Deaf children grow up feeling isolated and do not gain marketable skills.
As you can see from Thuy’s story, New Beginnings Deaf Classes is changing that scenario for eight children. These special ones now learn sign language, have character education, math, Vietnamese culture and and other normal school topics.
Their manners and habits are changing for the good as they enter their new world of communication. I am so happy to be part of it!
Mai–teacher of the deaf
The Gift of Mobility
Incredibly, some legless men in the countryside have never owned a wheelchair! Many take blocks of wood, attach handles to the top thus elevating their bodies enough to clear the ground and “walk” with their hands. For such men and other men and women who cannot walk because of irreparable damage, Orphan Voice distributes PET carts (personal energy transportation) carts. The “drive power” comes from the arms and men and women gain mobility with the cart. The most common blessing from PET cart distribution is that it enables the handicapped to make more money. For example, such men and women often sell lottery tickets for mobile phone cards. Formerly, they would get to “their corner” in the village or town, stay stationary and sell their wares to passersby during the day. With their PET cart, these men and women can now move to where the heaviest volume of traffic is as the day progresses. It helps them make more money and they are thankful.
Among the rural poor, a child born with a cleft lip or palate sometimes doesn’t receive corrective surgery. Why would such a thing happen, or fail to happen? Some remote village leaders counsel parents of cleft lip children to forego surgery, fearing that they will “tempt fate” which caused the child to be born that way. Others simply don’t have the money or know where to obtain help. For these children, God gave us the scripture to “compel them to come in” – that is, to remove all the barriers that keeps the parents from obtaining the needed surgery. Almost all barriers are financial. To remove those barriers, Orphan Voice first pays the hospital fee for the surgery. Since some families won’t obtain corrective surgery because of the needed train/bus tickets or food and hotel costs even if the hospital fees are paid, we pay those costs if warranted and needed. In this way, we reach children who would almost certainly “fall through the cracks.”
On average, Orphan Voice pays $800 to obtain a surgery for a child. Can you provide the funds for one child to have this life-changing surgery? If so, you can designate that gift on our Donate Page.