Newsletter Talking Hands, June 2021

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Dear Reader,
This is already the second newsletter of 2021. We have fantastic news: the land for new school buildings in Uganda has been bought! Less good news is that there is a new lock-down in Uganda, and the deaf students can again temporarily not attend school. In this newsletter we will tell you more about the final exams of the graduating class, the crafts workshops, the website and webshop and more updates on Talking Hands and the New Hope for the Deaf.
Enjoy reading!

Land acquisition

There is good news regarding the land where New Hope for the Deaf wants to build their new school. New Hope for the Deaf was able to purchase the intended piece of land in March. The land is 7 acres (2.8 hectares) in total and this is big enough to place the new school buildings and to have sufficient land available to grow food for the students and teachers. The land was bought in the village of Kyenda and is located in the district next to where the old school buildings were located. A school for deaf children and youth is very welcome and much needed here as many deaf and hard of hearing children in the region do not have the opportunity to go to school. In addition, the land is close to a road and therefore easily accessible. Two small parts of the land are currently still rented out through traditional land use rights, but New Hope is going to compensate these people financially so that New Hope can use the land. Since it will take some time before the construction of the school can start, the plan is to use the land for agriculture until then. 

Some of the land bought in Kyenda

Do you have ideas for fundraising activities? Please contact us via Facebook or e-mail. You can also donate money to our bank account with IBAN NL 74 RABO 0301 2992 50 on the name of "Stichting Talking Hands". Many thanks in advance!

Make a donation!

Final exams

The pupils of the 7th grade of the primary school had their final exams in March. The students are now back home with their families. We are still waiting for the results of the final exams and keep our fingers crossed that all 6 students supported by New Hope will pass! Besides that, we are discussing with the students, parents, teachers and New Hope how we can further support these deaf youngsters. Most of the them are interested in following vocational training.

The 6 pupils who took their final exams

Family expansion

Josephine, one of the deaf women who makes crafts for New Hope, gave birth to a healthy baby girl at the end of December, her name is Diane. Josephine has been on leave for three months after giving birth and was paid so she could take good care of her family during this period. Unfortunately, it is not common in Uganda for women to be given paid maternity leave. Josephine is now back at work making beautiful crafts for New Hope and Talking Hands. Josephine can take baby Diane to work, so she can take care of her child at all times.

Baby Diane

Website and webshop

Setting up the new website and webshop for Talking Hands is taking longer than expected, as it requires more work than we initially thought. But good progress has been made for both. The layout and design of the new website have been made and the texts and information for the website are ready. We are also making good progress with the webshop and the technical issues are all sorted out, such as tax regulations and sending costs. We will keep you posted about the progress and are confident that the new website and webshop can go live in the coming months!

A screenshot of the new website

What you can do

Inspired? Would you also like to contribute to Talking Hands and do you have some time to spare? We are always looking for extra help! For example, you can organize fundraising activities, like sales of second hand articles or Ugandan crafts in your neighborhood. Or you could ask for a donation to Talking Hands as a birthday or anniversary present!

The work we do in Uganda is very important! We would therefore like to ask you kindly to support us. To help us secure the future of our projects, we are especially happy with a monthly donation, but of course all contributions are very welcome! You can donate to Talking Hands Foundation, IBAN: NL74 RABO 0301 2992 50

New lockdown in Uganda

At the beginning of the Corona epidemic, the number of Covid-19 infections in Uganda was very low and many measures were taken to prevent the spread of the virus. After the end of the first lockdown in Uganda, students could go back to school since the end of January. Unfortunately, the number of Covid-19 infections in Uganda is increasing again and since the 7th June, there is a new lockdown until mid-July, but this can be extended. The schools have now closed again and all pupils have returned home. Public transport is very limited and it is currently difficult to bring the pupils learning materials at home. In addition, no public meetings are allowed anymore. Fortunately, just before the lockdown, New Hope was able to hold its General Assembly where the parents and management of New Hope came together to discuss the education of the deaf students.

Wearing a mask is of course very important to prevent the spread of Covid-19!

Visiting the pupils at home

The new board of New Hope visited all pupils at home during the school holidays (before the second lockdown) to meet the parents and to get an overview of the home situation of the pupils. During the visits, discussions took place with the parents and family members of the pupils about the role of education and the integration of the deaf child in the family and community. During the first lockdown in Uganda, there were several problems within the families of the pupils and this had negative consequences for the deaf children. The New Hope for the Deaf is doing its best to support deaf children and their families during these difficult times.

New Hope for the Deaf visiting one of its pupils at home

Crafts workshops

In early May, there were two weeks of crafts workshops in which Josephine and Britah, the two deaf women who make crafts for New Hope, worked together with Comfort, an Ugandan artist and designer. The focus of these crafts workshops was the creation of crafts suitable for the Talking Hands webshop. For the online sale of crafts, it is important that the crafts are standardised and this was worked on during the workshops. In addition, a number of new designs have been made which can also be sold in the future.

Josephine is making new crafts

Call for extra donations

Unfortunately, Covid-19 still has a big impact on our functioning as a organisation and the possibilities to raise funds. Normally we earn a large part of our income by selling crafts at festivals, markets and fairs, but due to the Corona virus these events have been cancelled again this year. As a foundation, we of course want to ensure that our projects in Uganda can continue, but we would like some help with that! We would therefore like to appeal to the generosity of our wonderful donors and friends of Talking Hands. We welcome any donation, small or large, as it will help us to continue supporting our partner organisation New Hope for the Deaf and the ongoing projects. Donating to Talking Hands Foundation is possible via the donation button.

Make a donation!
A pupil making drawings

Your donation is highly appreciated!  You can donate to:
Stichting Talking Hands IBAN: NL74 RABO 0301 2992 50

Thank you for reading this newsletter!

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You can make a donation to NL74 RABO 0301 2992 50 attn Stichting Talking Hands. 

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