What are our Deaf Dreamers doing during COVID? *PHOTO UPDATE*
Hello friends -
Nearly all our students have had to put their studies on hold during COVID with only a few able to attend in person or online.
But, I think what has lifted my soul the most during this hard year has been to learn of how our Deaf Dreamers are helping and serving in their communities. Their resiliency and determination to move forward in chaos is truly inspiring!
I just wanted to share a few examples of the latest realities and successes of these courageous leaders:
1. Amuge was FINALLY given permission to graduate in Uganda! All her effort over the last several years and her determination despite COVID restrictions and delays has paid off.
Watch the video of her graduation journey here and comment below the video with your congratulations to her! (And turn on Closed Captioning CC to read what she is signing.) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81t2u1fRUyg&feature=youtu.be
2. Khiem has been serving his Deaf community in Vietnam by delivering COVID emergency packs. Through donations from the community, his Deaf group put 23 kits in the hands of the most needy.
The kits included 10 kg of rice, 2 liters of cooking oil, 2 packs of soup powder, 2 kg of granulated sugar, 4 packs of noodles, 10 masks, 1 environmental protection bag, and 1,000,000 Vietnamese dong (about $41 USD).
3. Phina made 156 facemasks in Uganda and donated them to Jerry's organization Deaf in Action to have them distributed to Deaf families in need.
4. Jerry's organization Deaf in Action is busily meeting COVID needs. In addition to distributing Phina's facemasks, Jerry has been busy collecting food donations for those in the Deaf and disability communities who have been especially hit hard during the pandemic.
Jerry wrote in his latest email: "I'm happy to inform you that we were among the few communities to receive food relief from our Sub-county headquarters.We recently sent our request to friends and other organisations to fund or provide us with food relief and thank God we were invited to receive 55Kgs Beans. This will support 11 households of PWDs [People with Disabilities] and the elderly. This has cut down our budget by UGX 275,000 and also, we have Maize flour of 180 that will support 36 households. We thank everyone for their endeavours to help. A number of Deaf and elderly communities are starving and we at Deaf In Action can't just sit and see them die of hunger."
5. After being in two sessions of quarantine (one in Uganda and the next in Kenya), Patricia was able to return home and study. Like two other Deaf Dreamers, she has been able to continue her studies but does so from home with the cutest lil' Teacher's Assistant I ever did see! :)
6. Oryem, as always, has been involved in every one of the projects listed above (except for Khiem's). His long-awaited schooling has been delayed and delayed again because of COVID. So, true to his character, he has helped collect donations, get Phina's masks to Jerry, share his laptop with Kelai, and provide much needed food to the starving Deaf students in Uganda.
You can read / watch the stories of our other students at https://www.thedeafdream.org - just click on "STUDENT UPDATES."
Thank you for your role in these student's lives. You have been so generous in sponsoring these students, I hope you feel how sweet a blessing it is to see how they are using that gift for good!
Merry CHRISTmas, my friends -
Destiny Yarbro Founder & CEO www.thedeafdream.org
The Deaf Dream is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 100% of your donations go to the students. P.S. Keep an eye out for my next email. I am putting together a happy video that I think y'all will really enjoy! :)