Hope for deaf community

2019-06-04 06:00

Schaapkraal will soon be a new home to a planned multimillion-rand school by Al-Waagah Islamic Institute for the Deaf (AWIID). 

According to the Athlone-based Institute, the new school will bridge the gap slightly between the deaf and hearing community. 

It is an ongoing project by the organisation to uplift and empower the deaf.

It will comprise of pre-school, primary school and other programmes including their Madrassah, Gadj Classes and Sewing Project.

AWIID administrator Fadiyah Harris-Dollie says there’s a vast gap between conventional schools and deaf schools. “A school of this nature is very necessary for our community and long overdue,” Dollie. 

She says there is not enough deaf awareness being raised in the community and that will be one of their focus areas.

Although the school will be open to all Dollie says it will have an Islamic ethos.

However, she admits that there are not enough trained sign language teachers. 

“We are not educators; we are a group of concerned and passionate citizens working towards the upliftment and integration of the marginalised deaf community of Cape Town. We will do our best and we will learn as we go along, and will be successful,” Dollie says.

In a statement, AWIID chairperson Cassiem de Wet says this project has been in the pipeline for 20 years. He adds this was not enough as they could only accommodate beneficiaries for two hours a week.

“This was when the idea came about to have them stay with us for longer during the week, by building a big school. That moment is finally here. This is not going to be like any other school,” says De Wet. 

The few available schools for the deaf include Grimley School for the Deaf in Hout Bay, Noluthando School for the Deaf in Khayelitsha, Carel du Toit Centre in Parow and Dominican School for the Deaf in Wittebome.

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