Newsletter NHSD Foundation, May 2017

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Dear readers,

Spring is here! The first break has started for our pupils in Uganda. Ine, our president and director of the school, is still in Uganda, but will return to Europe at the end of May. Through her regular visits we stay informed about the developments and needs at the school. In this newsletter you find the latest news on the New Hope School for the Deaf. Follow us on Facebook for regular updates!

Special education training

In December, our teachers received a short special education training. The training consisted of several parts, among which sign language workshops, but also guidance in pedagogical skills such as preparing classes, writing a learning plan, and adapting the regular primary school curriculum to the needs of deaf students. The training was incredibly valuable. Most of our teachers are either trained in sign language or primary school education – not both. Teachers who are specifically trained for special education are hard to find, and the salary they ask for is often more than we can provide. Fortunately our current teachers are eager to learn more and improve their teaching skills!

Group picture May 2017

Higher salary

The cost of living in Uganda has risen sharply during the past few years. Our teacher salaries, however, have not, because we did not have the means to increase it. With your support we have been able to change this this year! The teachers received a small raise of €20 (70.000 UXG) a month. They have definitely earned this!

Ine chatting with the students

Shifting seasons

Climate change is a big problem in Uganda. The shifting seasons (rain and dry season) cause failed harvests, because the general knowledge of farmers about weather patterns is no longer correct. Many of our students’ parents are self-sustaining farmers. The crop failure results in poverty, which means that some parents can no longer pay for the education of their child. Many parents already hardly pay any school fees, but now even small costs such as school materials and transport to and from the school can be too much. In these cases we arrange transport to make sure our pupils can go home during the holidays and come back afterwards.

Fooling around in the classroom

Getting water in times of drought

The increasingly long periods of drought influence our water supply. The bore hole closest to the school is the lowermost pit in the region, so this is the only bore hole with water when all the others have fallen dry. In general this is positive, but it does mean that everyone in the region comes to this bore hole to collect water. In these times, people do not stick to the agreements we made with the community about when our school can collect water. Sometimes our students are waiting in line for four hours! In the future we would like to invest in a large tank, so we can save more water during the rain season.

Documentary preview

New Hope School for the Deaf does not receive government support and is mainly dependent on donations. We could use your help! Every donation will benefit the school and its pupils. You can transfer money to NL74 RABO 0301 2992 50 attn Stichting New Hope School for the Deaf.

Presentation of our employees

At the moment there are twelve people employed at the school. Without them we would be nothing. Time for a presentation round! Firstly, we have seven teachers for primary education: Simon (P1), Jane (P2), Olive (P3), Ronald (English), Stephen (social studies), Agnes (maths) and Joseph (science). The three lowest grades have their ‘own’ teacher, in the higher grades the teachers rotate according to the subject taught. Next to these teachers we have two teachers for vocational training: John (carpentry) and Sophia (crafts and tailoring). Rogers (cook) and Josephine (matron) take care of the children on a daily basis. Finally, Carol is raising funds for the school in Uganda. All employees are very involved and dedicate much of their free time to the school – and all children love them!

Our staff

Waiting list

An increasing number of people in the region knows our school. Even better is that with this knowledge comes a change of attitude towards deaf children. Before, many thought that deaf children could not (easily) learn, but now people understand that the right education can make a great difference! These people encourage parents they know to take their deaf child to our school. As a result, our waiting list is growing fast. Unfortunately we do not have the capacity to take in more pupils: we have enough teachers and just built a new classroom, but in the dormitories children already have to share beds sometimes. We hope to find an organisation to cooperate with, or to collect enough funds to be able to buy land and build a new school. We would love to give all children a place at our school!

Sign language introduction course

In March and April, the NHSD Foundation organised the third sign language introduction course in Wageningen. Steven from sign language organisation Gebaar Ede gave five classes to 30(!) enthusiastic participants. The course raised €500 for our school! A big thank you to Steven, Thuis (the location where the course took place) and of course our course participants!

Sign language introduction course


Two years ago, the Ugandan artist Comfort Abegisha spent a few weeks filming at the school. His shots have now been edited into a beautiful documentary of half an hour. Hopefully we will screen the documentary this year in the Heerenstraat Theater in Wageningen during a special theme evening! For now, we have uploaded a short preview on Youtube (see video). Of course we will be uploading the full documentary soon for those who cannot be in Wageningen at the time of the film screening. More information will follow!

Africa NOW market

Finally, if you happen to be around: this Thursday (25 May 2017) we will be selling crafts at the Africa NOW Festival in the Africa Museum in Berg en Dal, the Netherlands. We hope to see you there!

To our reader: thank you for reading this newsletter! Remarks and ideas concerning the school, the foundation or this newsletter are always very welcome. Please do not hesitate to send us a message via! You can also follow us on facebook to stay informed on the activities of our foundation.
Copyright © 2016 Stichting New Hope School for the Deaf, All rights reserved.

You can make a donation to NL74 RABO 0301 2992 50 attn Stichting New Hope School for the Deaf.

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Talking Hands · Waldorpstraat 1326 · 's-Gravenhage, 2521CZ · Netherlands

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