The event kicked off on the 21st September to the 27th September 2009. The Kenya Federation of Deaf Teachers (KFDT) was among the Deaf organizations which participated in the event. The event marked the first time celebrating the Deaf Week in Kenya since Independence. The theme of this year was Human Rights and Sign Language. Most of the Kfdt branches in the 8 provinces in Kenya, especially in Nairobi, Nyanza and Western, participated in the event. The week went well in most areas but in one area (around Maseno School for the Deaf) pupils and other people were denied a chance to participate in the activities. This happened because of bad leadership and other issues. However, the Deaf teachers went on with the day-activities and eventually brought many impacts to the community. In areas like Nyang’oma (Bondo), Mumias, Kuja and Nairobi the event went on peacefully. So many people were eager to get to know more about the Deaf rights and Sign Language. Major activities that were carried out in Kfdt branches were as followed:
1. Football and Volleyball matches.
2. Celebrations in Deaf churches and visiting hospitals.
3. Walks through the streets to catch the attention of other citizens.
4. Teaching Sign Language, Deaf rights and the Finger alphabet to people (e.g. Piki
Piki guys) and government officials like the police. In some areas Deaf Teachers were carrying a Banner saying: “DEAF WEEK. Theme: Yes! Sign Language”. The event attracted a lot of people on the streets, on the market, in the shops etc. Some of them joined the activities of the Deaf and Hearing Teachers, others stopped working because of their huge interest in this new area. We distributed them with some leaflets (The Finger alphabet and numbers).
In the future (next year) Kfdt is going to carry out a well planned event which should take place countrywide to ensure national recognition on the rights of the Deaf children, teachers and other adults.
The Kfdt is really determining to ensure that the Deaf education has a good reflection for the Deaf children in Kenya. There is always a need for funds to ensure its activities are carried out affectively.
“Now I may take this opportunity on behalf of Kfdt to say THANK YOU friends and supporters. Without you the Deaf Week event this year would not have been such a big success. Thank you again and we are really looking forward to continue working with you to bring the change we want and the chance we believe in Deaf education in Kenya.“ (Austine Otieno)