Going To Ghana

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Going to Ghana
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We have an incredible adventure coming up! The Signing Time Foundation has partnered with Signs of Hope International to bring Signing Time to Ghana Africa.

The Signing Time Team will include Leah, Alex, Rachel (me), Aaron (my husband), Derek (Alex’s Dad) and Robi (Alex and Leah’s uncle). On January 21st we will head to Ghana Africa to teach deaf children and to teach their teachers for 10 days

Why Ghana?
Ghana is the size of Oregon. They have 13 schools for the deaf. Deaf children start school at the age of 5. Many are dropped off for their 3 month semester and their families never come back to pick them up. A week after the semester ends, an orphanage bus comes to get the children who have been left.

Many of the families cannot afford the tuition $83 per semester. Many families are embarrassed that their child is deaf.

The teachers have no background in Deaf Ed. They finish college and are assigned to teach at a school. Most teachers are unhappy to find they are assigned to a deaf school. They do not know the language and have no proof that these deaf children CAN be taught.

I learned about a student, Silvia that goes to a special school for the deaf in Mampong, Ghana. Apparently, Silvia was born hearing and attended the hearing schools until she was devastated by a sickness that left her deaf. A few short years later another sickness caused her to lose her sight and become blind. Now without hearing and vision Silvia struggles to learn and progress and wants so much to be in a classroom where she can learn. I feel that Silvia deserves an opportunity to become what she hopes for!

Organizations like Signs of Hope International have found that most teachers are entering the deaf schools without proper sign language education. Because of the lack of suitable resources, deaf children are struggling to learn and progress using sign language to enhance their education.

In Ghana deaf children have extremely limited rights and opportunities compared to deaf children in the United States. Like Silvia, any students at the schools for the deaf in Ghana struggle to receive an education, and it was not too long ago that some headmasters at the high school for the deaf have finally allowed girls to attend too.

When Leah heard this, she was distraught. Her eyes were full of tears and she said, “Mom!! We have to do something!! I’m deaf and I’m a girl and if I was born in Ghana I wouldn’t have a chance!”

Leah’s Wish

While filming the last Signing Time shows we interviewed Leah and I asked her what she wants to be when she grows up. She said, “I want to be a writer and make books or a teacher for the deaf African kids that don’t know sign yet. At these schools the teachers don’t know anything about the deaf and ASL.”

Well, Leah will not have to wait until she has grown up. We have partnered with Signs Of Hope International – they have created internships for Americans who know ASL to go teach the teachers. They also have a teacher incentive program, to encourage the teachers to show up to class and to learn ASL. We are looking to make this a yearly trip, where we can go inspire, teach and show these children the possibilities for their futures. It is our goal that on our future trips we will not only teach and inspire, but we will be building playgrounds and dormitories at these schools as well.

Donate to Signing Time Foundation

Support the Signing Time Team
Going to Ghana
with your Donation today!

Everyone Wants To Make A Difference

You can become a member of our team by making a donation to support our efforts. You will see the pictures and watch the videos taken in Ghana and be able to say -“I am a part of that! I helped make that happen!” You can donate any amount via PayPal right now or send a check to:

The Signing Time Foundation
8760 E 7145 S
Midvale UT 84047

The Signing Time Foundation is a 501c3 Non-profit Organization. Your donations are tax deductible.

5 thoughts on “Going To Ghana”

  1. Way to go Leah and the Signing Time Foundation. I think this is absolutely wonderful that you are going to touch even more lives than you already do.

  2. Hi Rachel! I just discovered your DVD’s about two weeks ago when I received several of them as a gift, and my kids have been watching them everyday since Day One. My 15 month old is already doing about 30 signs regularly to communicate and she lights up when she hears the baby giggle as soon as the video starts and especially loves the opening song. We also listen to the CD in the car and I think we know all the words to all the songs now!

    This is a wonderful thing you all have created and I am glad to see you have a blog so I can tell you personally.

  3. Outstanding! Way to go Leah! If you have not already been to Ghana be sure to prepare yourself emotionally. You have a long, hard road ahead of you, but YOU CAN DO IT! The things you will experience in Ghana will stay with you forever. In 1999 I decided to study abroad in college, and Ghana, Africa is where I chose. Thanks to Ghanaian generosity, we were given the opportunity to stay in Accra, Obwasi, and Kumasi. I still have dreams about going back there and rescuing all the children. Hospitals there are not like the hospitals here in the United States. Many have patients who wait in the “lobby” (not a lobby like we have) for days if not weeks to be seen by the physician. Many villages along the rivers will never get a chance to see a doctor, and you can imagine what that means for the hearing impaired or blind. You WILL have my monetary support for this journey, it will be the difference between life and death for these children.

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