terptree: Buguruni School for the Deaf, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

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Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Buguruni School for the Deaf, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Hi everyone!

This summer my good friend Charlie Hadley very kindly took me along on her adventure to Tanzania to volunteer at a school for the Deaf.

I've had an absolutely fantastic time meeting all the wonderful children and learning about how they communicate and access education.

Buguruni School for the Deaf is the only free school in Tanzania for deaf children and caters for around 240 students (boys and girls), including approximately 150 boarders.

Ages range from 5 to 20 as some children start school later in their lives. This may be due to their parents being unaware of the school or that the children had to stay at home and work to help support their family.

All the children are deaf and use sign language as their main method of communication. However, late last year the majority of children got fitted with hearing aids. One of the matrons is on the committee for the charity Tanzanear, and is at the school to help embed the use of hearings aids for both the students and teachers. They are slowly getting used to them and most seem to be very happy with wearing them.

Every Monday the International School of Tanzania (IST) open their door to 15 Buguruni students so that each child can take advantage of the school's facilities and has the opportunity to mix with hearing children.

At the school the children learn sign language together and more often than not, debate about which football team is best - football seems to be a universal language!

The sign language that is used is mainly American Sign Language but across the region there are huge variations of Tanzanian Sign Language.

If you would like to learn more about my adventure, please visit Charlie's blog at www.checkoncharlie.blogspot.com.

I would like to say a huge thank you to Charlie for allowing me to join her on her big adventure!! If you have any comments about my trip, please email me fred@terptree.co.uk

Have fun out there!!!

Fred x

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