28 May 2013 08:40
WINDHOEK, 28 MAY (NAMPA) - The Association for Children with Language, Speech and Hearing impairment of Namibia (CLaSH) recently obtained funding of N.dollars 4 million from the European Union (EU) to implement a project called ?Empowerment through Education?.
The objective of the project is to increase public awareness about hearing loss in children, mainly through advocating for early identification interventions and the early education of children with hearing loss.
The project will be carried out over a three-year period in the regions of Khomas, Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshikoto, Kavango and Caprivi.
Speaking at the launch of the project here on Tuesday, EU Ambassador to Namibia Raul Fuentes Milani said the project will also assist parents in the identified regions to have increased information about hearing loss in children.
This will empower parents to advocate for services for their children, with specific reference to ear care, hearing loss and appropriate early intervention strategies.
?The project is also expected to improve the capacity of educational facilities and education professionals,? the EU ambassador emphasised.
Line ministries and project partners in the identified regions will be contacted regarding the communication and educational needs of young children with hearing loss.
Four young deaf adults in the mentioned regions will also receive training in Early Childhood Development (ECD) so as to be able to carry out home visits and encourage language stimulation of children with hearing loss.
?The European Commission is committed to implement a comprehensive strategy for combating social exclusion, for which disability is explicitly recognised,? Milani said.
He indicated that through this project, ClaSH aims at fighting social exclusion and the lack or denial of resources, rights, goods and services which hearing-impaired children are confronted with.
Speaking at the same occasion, CLaSH chairperson Wolfgang Keding applauded the EU for its support, saying the gesture is a demonstration that the EU confirms trust in the work of ClaSH.
?We are looking forward to assist children, families and communities in need over the next years to provide them with some of the tools necessary for them to live a successful life,? Keding said.
To date, the ClaSH unit in Khomasdal is still the only specialised ECD facility for deaf children, and accommodates 10 children.