St Anthony’s School, Uganda
In Uganda, attitudes towards Deafness are poor. Children who are Deaf are seen as a curse and hidden away, out of sight. In a country where poverty levels are so high they are seen as a burden and are not cared for by members of the family, some are in danger of harm and abuse. Many of the children at the school are orphans; through poor maternal health care, a high prevalence of HIV and AIDS or through rejection and abandonment by their parents. The school not only provides hope for the future for these children but increases awareness of Deafness in the surrounding communities.
St Anthony’s School, Uganda provides an education in Ugandan Sign Language and English for over 50 Deaf children – without this school most of the pupils would never have the opportunity to learn how to communicate at all.
When I visit St Anthony’s on our annual monitoring visit I am always struck by the vibrancy and joy that you feel as you arrive and throughout the visit. The children here are so happy to be at school and the whole place feels like a family. They are always excited to show you their work and involve you in what they are doing. This year we were lucky enough to be able to fund a day out for the whole school. We visited the airport and the zoo, followed by a meal at a beach by the lake and games. None of the children had ever had a day out before and they thoroughly enjoyed it.
What was a surprise this year was the Annual Parents day held whilst I was there. I was pleasantly surprised by how many parents arrived at the school and took an interest in their children’s education. Father Anthony told me that it was the best turnout there had ever been and believes that slowly the parents are gaining Deaf Awareness and taking an interest in their children as they see them progress. This is due to the hard work and dedication of Father Anthony and it is my sincere hope that this continues. Only by bringing Deaf Awareness to the parents of Deaf children ,and slowly, to their wider communities will attitudes towards Deafness change for the better.
We desperately need funding to keep this wonderful school open. To donate to our appeal please click here