GADHOH

Gambian Association of the Deaf & Hard of Hearing

The British High Commissioner in the Gambia opens playground

April 2009 - The British High Commissioner in the Gambia, Mr Phil Sinkinson, has opened a new children’s playground at the GADHOH complex in Kanifing, and praised its design and construction.

 

The driving force behind the construction was Cpl Ronnie Wallace of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment who was assisted by a team of twenty Gambian engineers. Together they transformed a bare area into an exciting play area for about 40 children in just a couple of weeks; see-saws, swings, spring-seats, a toy train, a rope slide, a multi-activity complex and a pavilion. Everything was made from locally-resourced raw materials so the playground equipment fits perfectly into its surroundings.

‘Ronnie’ was praised for his skills and devotion by Mr Sinkinson. ‘Cpl Ronnie Wallace has been coming here with the BMATTs for 5 years and, every year, he comes up with new ideas,’ explained. ‘He has tremendous man-management skills and he leads with tremendous skill. I think that Ronnie Wallace is fantastic.’

 

Ronnie revealed though that ‘it was the High Commission’s idea that we should work at a school for the hearing-impaired and for me that very significant. He also stated that his own daughter is almost deaf so he really wanted to do everything here to the very best of my ability. ‘We went to the local forest to buy the timber straight from the woodcutters and we got most of the metals parts, such as car springs, from a local scrapyard, and although raw materials tend to be expensive in the Gambia, this has been a very low cost project. For instance, making each spring-seat has cost about £10 – about one-tenth of the price to buy them ready-made.  ‘I have also been grateful for the help of Sarah Downing from the High Commission,’ said Ronnie. ‘As well as giving me help to source raw materials, she’s been coming down here, rolling up her sleeves and helping with the work – especially the painting.’ The total cost of the whole playpark was about £1000.


Sergeant Nyang Momotu led the Gambian engineers as enthusiastic as Ronnie himself. Corporal Wallace leads us by setting a fine example,’ said Sgt Nyang. ‘He is so totally committed and enthusiastic. He learned a lot from him and we soon realised that this job wasn’t too difficult for us. We’d now like to build a playground at our barracks for the children in our own families.’ Much of the work was carried out using the most basic of tools. Many of the frames needed holes 2 feet deep to be dug into the ground so that the timber bases could be encased in concrete, and each of the 60 holes was dug by hand in temperatures of around 40 degrees.


The Royal Gibraltar Regiment’s Commanding Officer, Lt Col John Perez, ‘Corporal Wallace deserves every credit for what he has achieved here. I’m really impressed with how he has managed to get the Gambian Armed Forces to work in the local community. It is all extremely touching.'

 

The Director of GADHOH, Mr Dodou Loum who through a sign-language interpreter said, ‘Corporal Wallace has built this playground from local materials so I’m sure that villages in the area can see that they can copy it. We have also decided to allow children from the surrounding area use the playground at weekends so that the local community can also benefit. We thank everyone involved for their time and hard work.’

 

International Visitors

27th April 2009 - There are about 200 countries in the world, 158 have visited the GADHOH website since March 2008, the latest this month being Martinique, Laos, Belize, Macau & Mozambique. Click on the interactive map to view in detail. To those who visit our site, a warm Gambian GADHOH welcome.

National Awards ceremony....

5th February - Our congratulations go to Mariam Allen, deputy head teacher of St John's School for the Deaf, who has been honoured at the  National Child Friendly Awards ceremony held at the Paradise Suites Hotel, Kololi and received the 'Significant Contributor for Children with Disability' award. 

 

The National Child Friendly Awards is an annual event organised by Young People in the Media to honour individuals and institutions that have played vital roles in protecting the interests and promoting the rights and well-being of children and young people in The Gambia. The organisation aims at empowering young people within the framework of a participatory platform for children and young people in electronic, broadcast and print media and to "address inequalities among children and young people and to promote and protect the rights and well-being of children in the society." The organisation had also tasked itself to advocate against child abuse, teenage and unwanted pregnancies, as well as raise awareness on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The guest speaker at the awards, the UNICEF country resident representative, Min Whee Kang, congratulated the efforts of YPM, which only started in 2006, describing the members as pacesetters. Other speakers also praised the work of the YPM.

President Jammeh was awarded the  'National Child Friendly Hero' of the year in 2007. Others who received awards at this years ceremony were the speaker of the National Assembly, Honourable Fatoumatta Jahumpa-Ceesay, named a 'Child Friendly Heroine',  Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie, a banker and president of the Gambia Red Cross Society, who was awarded 'Honorary Child Friendly Ambassador' of the year, Njundu Drammeh, national coordinator of the Child Protection Alliance, Lamin Manga of Unique FM Radio, and Yassin Njang of the Gambia Methodist Academy.

 

Female Wing Certificates

29.01.09 - The Female Wing has awarded certificates to 17 of its year 2007 students, three intermediate while fourteen received elementary levels.

Mrs. Isatou Sanyang Director of GADHOH Female Wing congratulated the students who she said were trained on skills in sign language, tie and dye, sawing, soap and Omo making. She said that skills training for a deaf person are very vital, as it would not only create self-employment but also enable them to contribute towards national development. She appealed to the general public to support the deaf people and also for parents to send their deaf children to GADHOH’s new office at Kanifing, to learn vital skills, and that the certificates confirmed their competence for any future employee.

Mr Lamin Ceesay Deputy Director of GADHOH said that the female wing is a special interest group under GADHOH promoting the welfare of deaf women and girls. He applauded the female wing for their achievements. He added that
Foundation Buganala (sponsor) had eased transport problems by donating a bus in 2007 to transport students to school and called for the abolition of all forms of discrimination against deaf people, as whatever a hearing person can do, a deaf person can do as well if not better. He encouraged the certified students to put into practice the skills they acquire.

Others speakers were Mrs. Alvean Jones a VSO volunteer with GADHOH; Abdoulie William a tailor at the Female wing and Sainabou Cham a PTA member.

More GADHOH photos....

Many more photos have just been recieved and as the 2008 photo page is full, other photos of HQ opening and various others taken during 2008 CAN BE FOUND ON THIS LINK . You will be leaving this site.

 

New HQ & Learning centre inaugurated.....

14th November - GADHOH’s new headquarters and learning centre, now located in the Kanifing municipal area, was inaugurated with local and international dignitaries joining GADHOH members for this important and historical event. This marked the completion of many years effort by GADHOH and sponsorship from Education for Development, GADHOH support group Ireland and Deaf Link Gambia.

      

The new centre gives us the opportunity to further develop our services to deaf people, throughout the Gambia, as our organisation is carrying out projects to improve the social and employment opportunities for deaf people.


Amadou Touray the Honorary life president of GADHOH, opened by saying deaf people, and others who are physically challenged, are part of the society and they need to be fully supported. He appealed to donors and philanthropists to support GADHOH.


The Alkalo of Bakau, Luntang Jaiteh described the occasion as important and stated that the deaf are now attending the local technical college (GTTI) and studying two different fields. He also thanked the donors for funding the building of the complex.


A lot of progress had been made over the years but there still remains a great deal of work to be done, explained the executive director Doudou Loum.


Muhammed Kora thanked the donors on behalf of the family of disabled Gambians. He went on to say that being dumb or deaf does not stop them from making achievements in life and that society should look at the ability and not the disability. 


Roger Hewitt who is deaf, represented Education Development, UK expressed his delight to be in the Gambia once again and able to witness an important phase in the completion of several years work that started in 2001, with training for the staff and delivery of a personal computer. He further stated that over the years Ed for Dev had worked with GADHOH to develop four Gambian sign language manuals, so that the language would become more standardised throughout the country, and also to encourage employers and training centres to include deaf people in their establishments. Roger also thanked the VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) for their continued support to GADHOH and emphasized the need for deaf people to be in control of their own lives and destiny.

Mrs. Isatou Sanyang the director of the female wing, gave the vote of thanks before the guests and dignitaries had a tour of the new building and facilities.

 

      

 

More photos of the event are on the 2008 photo page

 

Best Wishes to GADHOH......

It was no surprise to learn that Deyda Hydara was on the local steering committee for the first three years of GADHOH – EdDev project. All who knew him would agree that he hated discrimination of any kind. He fought for injustices, democracy and believed in the equality amongst all human beings.

He would have been very proud of all your hard work and its achievements and I am certain you at GADHOH must be missing his tremendous contributions towards new ideas and the tireless support he willingly presented throughout his time with GADHOH, as these are the kind of things he enjoyed doing, for he believed he was the voice of the unspoken.

We pray and hope that you continue to strive hard to achieve your goals in order to see equality amongst all mankind, and to eradicate discrimination against people because of there sex, race or disability. Keep up the good work.

Mrs Maria Hyrada.

We are looking for your help.....

As the website is in its infancy, events that have occurred at GADHOH may have been overlooked. If you can add any to the past events or further information to that on the site, than do let us know so that they may be included here. Also if you see any mistakes (factual or even spellings!) with any of the articles, please let us know. You may even have a suggestion of what you would like to see on the web site as we are always looking to improve it.

There are now about 1000 photographs on the web site. If any have the wrong date, name, location, or if you can name any of the persons in them, please email me with the correct details or if you have any to add, recent or historic, then please forward them with as much detail about the photo including date, location and subjects, so that they may be added to the website.

Any event that is happening that involves GADHOH please let us know well in advance so that we can advertise it on our website.

Many thanks. ebaker@blueyonder.co.uk

New Headquaters & Female Wing

We are Here - West Coast of Africa - in The Gambia - at Kanifing - near the Independance Stadium

National Deaf week

GAHOH are celebrating National Deaf Week. Details of the  event will follow.

The Brikama Area Council makes donation to Branch...

27th September - A fantastic donation of D10,000 and two bags of sugar as Ramadan gifts, were handed over to Brikama Branch, and 28 local GADHOH members benefited from Brikama Area Council’s generosity.

Abdou Kadir Drammeh, GADHOH secretary of Brikama branch and GADHOH member Karamo Sanyang, thanked the BAC for the gesture and said that the money will go a long way in funding the training for GADHOH members on HIV/Aids and Malaria whilst Bintou Cham, urged the society to treat the deaf and hard of hearing people in a respectful and equal manner.

Special Needs Education - Save the Children Sweden

4-5th September - The Special Needs Education Unit (SNU), in partnership with Save the Children - Sweden, had a  two-day validation workshop to agree a draft policy framework for special needs education in The Gambia, (2009-2015) at St. John’s School for the Deaf in Kanifing.

Mr. Modou Sanneh, director of Basic and Secondary Education, stated that special needs education is not something additional to or separate from the mainstream education provision but an alternative way of looking into educational development and responding to the delivery of learners’ needs. A concerted effort is required in this framework to teach literacy, numeracy, skills and livelihood skills to adults with disabilities through existing adult and non formal education programmes.

Mrs. Nancy Mendy, head of the Special Needs Education Unit at the Department of State for Basic and Secondary Education, stated that it was imperative that children with special needs were included in all aspects of education. She supported the inclusion of special needs children in other national documents and commended Save the Children - Sweden for their financial support.

Meet the Interpreters.....

   

                     Yahya Jabbi                             Alagie Jemmeh                         Alagie Dampha

                 Senior Interpreter

All belong to the Gambia Association of Sign Language Interpreters (GASLI) which is a national association with its legal seat in The Gambia. English is the official language for GASLI documents and during meetings but also operates in the various local languages.

The principal aim of GASLI is to advance the profession of sign language interpreting Gambia-wide and the association has several objectives:

- Stimulate the establishment of profession of sign language interpreters in The Gambia,

- Serve as a support network for the deaf and hearing people of The Gambia as sign language interpreters,

- Share information and act as a reference on interpreting issues,

- Support the work of sign language interpreters working in The Gambia and,

- Collaborate with GADHOH, and other organizations having similar aims.

 

They are always around so say hello when you see them.

Photo from 2006

..... here are photos of members at a Video showing at the Deaf Club 25th March 2006 and a special gathering with friends taken in 2007.

 

VSO Volunteer Vacancy - to teach and train Sign Language in Gambia.

VSO is an international development charity with offices in several countries that works through volunteers. Our program in The Gambia is urgently seeking a sign language teacher and trainer to share their expertise with local teachers and allow deaf children and adults to gain greater independence by communicating.

The volunteer is to be from outside Gambia and will need a professional qualification relating to sign language and experience teaching deaf people, teaching sign language and interpreting sign language. The position is for 12-24 months and VSO provide extensive training before the placement as well as a financial package including a local salary, return flights, accommodation, insurance and more. Click on these links for information on this position.

Any responses to Hannah Gilman -  hannah.gilman@vso.org.uk

GDSA Football Teams

Although taken in April 2008 here’s another great photo of the female and male football teams with coaches at the training ground.

 

There are some more photos from GDSA in the 2008 photo page, and some of our Irish friends who visited in December 2006 in the History page.

Disability Sports Event in July.......

The Gambia Deaf Sports Association is competing at the first disability sports event which is taking place this month. Teams from the Association will compete in the Volleyball and football and other sports include Wheelchair Basketball, wheelchair Athletics, and showdown and gold ball for the blind.

The event is being organised by the Gambia Paralympic Committee formerly The Gambia Physically Disabled Sports Association, and will be held over three days at Serrekunda West, as part of its awareness raising in relation to sports and disabilities. It is being sponsored by the British Big Lottery Fund (BLF) and it is hoped that this will become an annual event in preparation for the 2009 All Africa Japhaf games in Niger.

Those interested in being involved with the event can contact Lamin Ceesay or any member of the GDSA. Further details will follow.

What a Great Photograph

This will bring back a few memories  ....

Andrew Mootoo has kindly sent this photo taken in July 2004 of the Deaf Club for Angela Sielsingers leaving party. What a fantastic gathering.

Fund raising committee

27th May 2008 - The committee held it's second meeting at Head office, with Dodou loum, Lamin Ceesay, Isatou Sanyang, Abdoulie Njie, Yahya Jabbi, Alhagie Dambha, Judie Jones and Brian Grant present. if you have any suggestions for fund raising or wish to be a member on the committee please contact any of the committee members.

St. John’s school for the deaf receives a new computer room.

23rd May 2008 - Following preliminary ICT training for the deaf girls in 2007 by Telecommunication Association of The Gambia (ITAG), the same company inaugurated a new computer room after a year of fundraising from the private sector. It is equipped for a local area network to take up to 12 computers and a  wireless Internet service called ‘schoolnet’ and provided free of charge by Unique Solutions. Mr.Karim Sonko permanent secretary at the Department of State for Information, Communication Technology congratulated ITAG for the fantastic opportunity the new computer laboratory will give the deaf and hard of hearing with communication.

12th May 2008

One of our members photograph has appeared on another web site The Joshua Project, a Christian awareness website. Click on the link to find out who it is.

Meet the staff of the Female Wing.....

Miss Amie Cham, the New Secretary General. Amie is also an auditor at the National Audit office in Banjul and was previously the chairperson at the Female Wing. Miss Isatou Sanyang, the Director of the Wing and Miss Kaddy Bojang the Wings' interpreter

   

Deaf employment

GADHOH has facilitated some unemployed members taking up work in the newspaper business. Mr. Ebrima Jobe (brown cap) a successful newspaper vendor and the only deaf vendor amongst his colleagues,  “I have now got a job and can take care of myself. I do not beg for my living.”

 

    8th May 2008

 

Alimamo Touray another deaf member, a carver at his successful stall at Brikama Craft Market

 

From the Female Wing......

Some of the Skill Students that are happily going about their work at the newly opened Female Wing.

     6th May 2008

Baby naming ceremony

After marrying in November 2006 Lamin Badjie and Amie Sabally, who are both deaf, were blessed with a baby boy in March 2008. Here they are at the naming ceremony for their son Ebrima Badjie, on 26th April 2008 at Glocester Street Banjul. Amongst the guests were Miss Sukai Joof, Mr. Sheriffo Kanteh and friends and family. Congratulations to the Badje / Sabally family.

 

       

GADHOH Members Abroad....

It is always great to hear from friends and members of GADHOH, particularly if they live abroad. So here are a few photos of our friends who are not with us in Gambia and to those friends we say …. You are not forgotten and please stay in touch.

 

                               

Amadou Jarjue (former vice president of GADHOH) with his 3 year old son, and another with his wife Tako Jammeh( taken in Maryland USA30th September 2007) & with Miss Nathalie Amraham who resides in England, taken in the USA August 2007. They have lived in the USA since 2002 have sent a message ....

"Hello GADHOH & God bless you all."  - 7th May 2008

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Mr. Lamin Jaiteh (former GADHOH artist) his wife Anthae, and a young girl. In the back row are Miss Maggi Azzi, Miss Mariama Sosseh,and Miss Fatoumata Sissohore (GADHOH President in 2004). They now live in England - 14th August 2006.

     

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