As part of our Make Communication Clear campaign, we have been able to provide 2,000 clear masks to deaf pupils and their teachers in Zambia.
Although schools in Zambia have been closed due to Covid-19, examination students were required to continue attending school where face masks were mandatory. The Zambian government provided students with opaque masks, however there were concerns these masks could cause isolation and communication barriers for deaf students.
We have been able to support our partners Zambia Deaf Youth & Women to distribute 2,000 clear masks to deaf students and their teachers across 116 Zambian districts. These clear masks mean students will be able to lip read and see the facial cues of their teachers, allowing them to communicate whilst remaining safe.
The masks were gratefully received by teachers and students alike. One teacher said, “before, we used cloth face masks and I had difficulties teaching as I have learners who depend on lip reading. This meant I had to remove the face mask during teaching. Moreover, sign language involves facial expression I needed to see learner’s emotions during the course of lessons. It was hard to see if a learner was happy or sad when covered with a face mask. With donation of transparent shields we feel happy, feel a sense of security and above all we are geared for interactive lessons.”
Another teacher added, “the facemasks brought a lot of barriers in terms of communication. Our learners are now happy. Communication has become easy again. Lip reading and facial expressions are now clear.”
These masks were given as part of our new Make Communication Clear campaign, where we are aiming to supply 10,000 masks to deaf people.
If you would like to help us reach our target, please click here.
For an alternative way to donate and to keep updated on the campaign, please visit our Facebook page here.