Social and Employment
2000 € to the Selection Committee at 2006/05/23
«To help the teachers of Benin to intensify their knowledge of methods for teaching deaf children, the three students of Calebassénadé are deeply implicated: they have decided to share everything they own: their time, their experience and their knowledge.»
In the long list of physical handicaps which prevents a child from enjoying normal school attendance, deafness is one of those that is easiest to circumvent. Obviously, provided that the appropriate teaching materials and equipment are available, and also that teachers trained in this type of difficulty can be counted on. In Benin, in fact, a small West African country where most of the population are relatively poor, both of these prerequisites are lacking.
At Sénadé, the school for deaf children created in 1988 gathers together about fifty children aged from 5 to 18 who do not have hearing aids. At the same time, the teachers also feel underqualified, even if most of them have taken initial training in sign language.
Backing the teachers
For many years, the school has therefore called on the goodwill of foreigners to help it in its mission. Ortho Bénin France and Orthophonistes du monde regularly take part in training seminars in sign language or to perform general missions (supply of equipment). Despite all this, the association Calebassénadé, formed by three young speech therapy students, has found a wide disparity in the resources available to the various teachers. And the latter remain highly dependent on outside support: improvement in sign language, training and additional teaching documentation to receive deaf children, intensification of the teaching of deaf-mutes, sponsorship, equipment, etc.
During their trip in summer of 2006, the three students provided their elders with everything they managed to collect to support their action: equipment and knowledge.
To accompany them in their approach, and also to help the deaf children of Sénadé to acquire the resources for a successful social integration—and later, vocational training— Fondation Veolia Environnement has allocated 2000 euros to this young association.