The Deaf Ministry of the United Methodist Church (UMC) has begun a school project for hearing impaired children in Kakata, Margibi County, where the students will learn to communicate through sign language and writing.
David T. Worlobah, director for Deaf Ministry of the Liberia Annual Conference, United Methodist Church, told the Daily Observer last weekend that the school project comes in two phases, with one costing US$12,000 to complete the foundation, and US$85,000 to complete the second phase.
Mr. Worlobah said the first phase of the project is expected to end in January 2018, while the last phase would be completed by July. Money expected to facilitate the ten-classroom project comes from German partners of the United Methodist Church.
Representing the German partners, Rolf Freischlâger described it as a worthy cause to be in Liberia and to identify with people who are in need of help to restore their hope. He said they regret nothing undertaking this project, because it is rewarding both to men and to God who made humans and all other living and nonliving things.
Reverend Christopher G. Marshall, Dean of the Bishop’s Cabinet of the UMC, was appreciative of the German partners for providing funds for the project that he says will uplift the beneficiaries.
Following the church’s assessment, it was discovered that hearing impaired children in the county are being neglected by their parents and others, “because they are not able to effectively communicate with people apart from using the sign language,”Worlobah said.
The situation makes physically challenged people to feel inferior and dejected, thereby causing them not to associate with people for fear of reproach, he said
The Deaf Ministry’s work in Monrovia has yielded great benefits to the hearing impaired people to the extent that parents are now feeling proud to associate with their deaf children, he told this newspaper.
He emphasized that teaching sign language and writing to deaf people in Kakata will put them in the same category as those in Monrovia, and the parents and friends will see their usefulness.
Worlobah’s comments followed a ground breaking ceremony for the school project in Kakata last Friday.
Dr. Samson Nyantee, director in the Department of Education at the Liberia Annual Conference of the UMC, said his department will do what it can to revive the hope of the Deaf Ministry to meet up with the goal of establishing an education program for the hearing and speech impaired.