A non-governmental organization, Total Dignity Institute (TDI), at the weekend launched its health education pilot project for three deaf schools in Monrovia.
The pilot project targeted the Monrovia School of the Deaf, Free Pentecostal Global Mission School of the Deaf and the Hope School of the Deaf of the United Methodist Church.
Speaking during the ceremony at the Monrovia School of the Deaf on Old Road, Sinkor, TDI’s team leader George Stewart called on the Liberian government and partners in education to consider a dynamic approach to the issues of deaf students in the country.
The TDI boss also lamented the neglect and abandonment demonstrated by the government and partners of deaf students during the Ebola crisis.
Awareness programs during the Ebola crisis were on radio, television and newspapers that had no effect on the deaf, Mr. Stewart observed.
“I am yet to know where and how messages placed on radio, newspapers and television ever impacted on deaf students and persons in our country when the Ebola virus was killing Liberians,” Mr. Stewart wondered.
Most of the messages placed on radio and television throughout the Ebola crisis did not have any space for interpretation to the deaf through sign language, he lamented.
He disclosed that there are a little over 50,000 deaf persons in Liberia that need assistance in health, education and economic empowerment.
“The TDI is committed to work with marginalized people in our society,” Mr. Stewart asserted.
The TDI official also explained that being deaf does not mean that they do not have the right to life, education, health and other benefits of society.
On the global statistics of deaf persons, Mr. Stewart intimated that a little over 360,000,000 people worldwide are in the category.
Earlier, the principal of the MSDD on the Old Road, Emmanuel Jacobson, thanked the TDI leadership for considering the school for its health education pilot project.
“It is our fervent prayer that our partners will continue to provide funding for the TDI programs,” principal Jacobson pleaded.
In his launching statement, TDI’s board chairman Maxwell Whea admonished the students to take advantage of the exercise.
Chairman Whea also urged other well-meaning Liberians and partners to render financial assistance to the TDI programs as the pilot phase comes to an end.