The Deaf Bulletin 2014 Issue 6
Investing in the future of the Youths who are Deaf.
Safeguarding the rights of adolescents and youth and investing in the future is essential to their development and that of their families, communities and countries. Young people shape social, political and economic realities, challenging norms and values, building the foundation of the world’s future.
Communities everywhere observed World Population Day on the 11th of July under the theme investing in the future of the youths. How do you invest in the future of Deaf youths? This is done by providing quality education, decent employment, effective livelihoods skills and access to sexual and reproductive health. These will ensure that the potential of Deaf youths is fulfilled.
While investing in the future of the youths who are hearing have we thought as individuals, families, communities and government on the future of Deaf youths. Any society that is exclusionary in its focus will face many problems. Does the situation of Deaf youths in Zimbabwe face show that we have been inclusive as a nation? They continue to live in poverty, with literacy rates below their hearing counterparts, with education being delivered in oral forms when they would prefer sign language, unable to access information about their country due to communication barriers, poor employment opportunities as a result of standards that are set yet resources have not been provided for quality Deaf education.
These are issues that came out of the Deaf youth leadership academy that was done in June 2014.
Youths with disabilities between the ages of 15 to 24 live on less than $2 according to UNESCO and millions more face gender discrimination and other forms of marginalization. If trained in various professions and have access to information, Deaf youths can contribute more fully to their communities and the nation as a whole. According to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, “On this World Population Day, l call on all with influence to prioritize youth in development plans, strengthen partnerships with youth led organisations and involve young people in all decisions that affect them. By empowering today’s youths, we will lay the groundwork for a more sustainable future for generations to come.”
It is crucial for Zimbabwe and other youth led organisations to cooperate the youths with disabilities in development plans.International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) report states that majority of disabled youths are growing up in low-income countries such as Zimbabwe where education and health services are not guaranteed and reproductive health care is difficult to access and jobs are limited.
Investing in Deaf youths must be a national priority and should include protecting their rights and ensuring their access to education, employment and health care.
Other topics covered in this bulletin are:
- Untapped talents we need to discover.
- Interview with Kudakwashe Mapeture: DZT staffer.