Katutandike - Let's Get Started - Transforming Lives in Uganda

Ka Tutandike facilitates Vocational Training for Out-of-School Deaf Youth

On 3 August Ka Tutandike initiated a three-day residential Vocational Training Programme for several out-of-school young Deaf persons from Masaka at the Uganda National Association for the Deaf (UNAD).  The Deaf youth (male and female) received training in jewellery making as well as hairdressing, beauty treatments and facial care. This training was conducted by professional trainers in these areas in response to requests made by Deaf youth who wished to learn vocational skills in order for them to begin income generating activities that would provide them some form of subsistence or livelihood. These young Deaf persons have been neglected and largely ostracized by their communities due to their deafness. With training and new skills they are able to eke out a living and gain a sense of independence and empowerment and gradually become accepted by their communities as talented and skilled persons. Such training also has strong potential to contain the stigma and discrimination of Deaf young persons as they become increasingly integrated into society.  The Deaf youth showed tremendous interest and joy participating in the trainings.  They expressed their new found sense of 'confidence' despite their deafness, and 'the potential they now have to make a living with the new set of skills they have acquired'.  The group leader, Noeline added "these three days of training have really opened new horizons and given a real sense of real hope" to this group of Deaf youth. When they return to Masaka, they hope to roll out the new knowledge and skills by replicating some of the training to other Deaf youth so that more of them can become empowered.  Representatives of UNAD also participated at the training both as Sign Language interpretors and trainees. Upon seeing the clear benefits and strong interest of the Deaf youth in these particular skills training, UNAD has expressed interest to working in partnership with Ka Tutandike to conduct a further residential training programme later this year that will enable an even larger group to be trained over a longer duration.