Debbie Giving the Gift of Zambian Sign Language

Can you imagine being a Deaf, child or teen, not having any language at all, and don't even know what your name is? 

This is the situation of many 6-21-year-old Deaf youths in Ndola area of Zambia.

Here in the USA, I have taught hundreds of hearing and hard of hearing individuals American Sign Language.

This time, I will be returning to Zambia to the Copperbelt area, to “Give the Gift of Language” to Deaf youth who have No language

I will work side-by-side with Joseph Mwaba teaching Deaf boys and girls in their first time learning Zambian Sign Language.

My departure is July 5, 2021. 

My trip will include me leading a team, an intern from University of Valley Forge, and Deaf leaders from Ndola, Zambia.

Deaf teen boys learning to sign the numbers 1-10 for the first time in  Zambian Sign Language and in their first classroom.

The purpose of the two-month trip is to launch and fund the pioneering efforts for the first Deaf owned Resource Center in Ndola Zambia.

The Resource Center services will consist of a small-scale internet café, copy/printing services, coffee/tea café, library, a variety resale shop, and classroom area to teach Zambia Sign Language through Easy Signing’s C.L.A.P. curriculum.

Each service provided will start on a small scale while giving Deaf youth and adults opportunities to receive educational and employment training to empower their lives.

Additionally, we will focus on Zambian Sign Language training to hearing people:

·        Medical professionals                                             

·        Police Department

·        Teachers

·        Parents

Joseph and Debbie met while attending the Denmark World Games for the Deaf and through this is how the two organizations formed a working relationship to further this much needed work to provide language to Deaf Zambians. 

Joseph Mwaba (Deaf) was without language until the age of 21 when he met the late Dr. Andrew Foster , The Father of  Deaf Education in Africa.

Dr. Foster gave Joseph his first Sign Language. Now, he and Debbie in their humanitarian efforts are working together to reach those who are marginalized, abandoned, neglected and isolated from their families, peers and society. 

I'm excited about the opportunity and experience that lie ahead. I hope you see the value in what we will accomplish.

As you can imagine, a trip like this, along with transportation, equipment, furnishing and supplies requires financial support from a number of people.

Currently, I have raised $3,300, but I need to raise $10,000 by July 5th. 

If you can support me in a financial way, I would be very grateful.

Thank you for supporting this humanitarian effort,  giving hope and life!
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Debbie Lawrence
Grayslake, IL

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