(1 of 3 chapters on the same subject)
Dear Friends, My thoughts most recently have been on the students in Uganda we continue to support with the help from a few special friends, two of whom I have not actually met!
Many of you are familiar with Nico the deaf boy, well he is the latest student we have decided to help. Do you remember, he collected my water from the borehole when I stay with Innocent in the village of Nawanyago?
Such a wonderful happy character and always there to help me in any way he could. Even to the extent of popping out of the bushes to help me put on and fasten my sandals as I step down from the steep raised veranda. He made me feel ancient but in truth I really appreciate his help as I dread slipping! It’s really lovely how he cares for me and for others.
When Nico wasn’t doing chores for me or digging in the field for his parents we shared many happy times sat in the shade looking at books where I realised he was signing to some of the pictures. Apparently he had been given a few lessons in sign language a few years ago at a school run by an English charity but again there was always ‘some little money’ to find which was impossible when his family is so poor. I was concerned that when the other children in the village were at school Nico was always hanging around. So I got Innocent to make enquires about Nico and he was told by his parents that when he was born Nico did respond to sound and then he lost his hearing possibly from contracting measles. As he grew up the family never got any help or advice about his hearing as they don’t have any money to pay for it! Well we now know that Nico is profoundly deaf. Innocent took him to an ENT specialist at a hospital in Kampala where he was tested and this was the conclusion. His parents have several other children who go to the local state school when they have surplus crops to pay for the ‘free’ state schooling’! But there is no facility for deaf children like Nico.
Once again I asked Innocent if he could search out a school for him and, to cut a very long story short, Nico is now attending the school for the deaf attached to Maria’s Care, originally a children’s home, and by coincidence is where I stayed and worked when I first went to Uganda in 2002, right up to 2007 when I branched out on my own. I loved my time living and working with the deaf children at Maria’s Care and was really pleased that Nico now has a place there, amazing! The school will help him progress with his signing and to read and write, and also study other subjects. In addition he will be taught a skill such as carpentry and tailoring which will give him a chance of employment. It’s fantastic that Nico has ended up at Maria’s Care. It’s a small world!
A thank you from Nico!
If you’re on Fb please view the video below of Nico enjoying dancing using just the vibrations through his feet of music from a wedding in the village. I enjoyed my entertainment!