The British Council in partnership with VSO has brought together nine Deaf volunteers from Nepal and nine Deaf volunteers from the UK as part of the Global Xchange (DGX) programme. All volunteers have been working together from October 2009.
The Nepalese volunteers spent three months in Preston, UK with nine deaf British volunteers and worked together to produce and perform two theatre productions. They performed two shows in two different sign languages, British Sign Language (BSL) and Nepalese Sign Language (NSL).
Nepalese volunteers returned to Nepal with their counterparts in January 2010 to spend three months in Nepal. During these three months the volunteers lived with host families and worked on different community projects around Kathmandu. Apart form this, the volunteers came up with a joint theatre work, which they performed in Kathmandu as a last piece of their work.
The Volunteers had the opportunity to learn and share about their culture as well as their sign language with each other.
“I have learnt that I have a great amount of patience. At the start of the process, I was often frustrated with the communication break downs and the lack of clarity, now towards the end I realise that these things don’t worry me anymore and I have more patience to explain myself again and again.”
Redmond, British DGX volunteer 2009
“I felt more confident and independent after my visit to UK. I found the UK quite opposite of Nepal in terms of food, people, culture and environment and wish that Nepalese women had equal opportunity like the British women.”
Gunjana, Deaf Nepalese DGX volunteer