INTERNATIONAL DEAF AWARENESS WEEK 2018
“With Rwandan Sign Language, Everyone is included” is the theme observed during the celebration of International Deaf Awareness Week 2018. On this 28th September 2018, the event took place in the City of Kigali Car Free Zone.
The ceremony gathered together various guests including the Committee of World Federation for the Deaf, the ambassador of America in Rwanda, and the Vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs in the City of Kigali who was also the guest of Honor representing the Minister of Local Government. Among others, there were also representatives of DFID, UNDP, VSO, HI, UPHLS, NUDOR, RUB to mention few.
The President of World Federation informed that this federation has 135 country members including Rwanda. He also said that there are more than 300 Sign languages being used across the world and then encouraged Deaf people in Rwanda to continue advocating for Rwanda Sign Language recognition.
It was really encouraging to see the Ambassador of America in Rwanda giving his speech in Sign language and then in Kinyarwanda. He put much emphasis on rights for deaf people to live with others and being given chance to enjoy these rights in education, health, work, etc.
The President of NCPD ensured that considering the provision of Rwandan Constitution, there is hope that Rwanda Sign Language will be recognized because the country has a strong political will to live no one behind. He took this opportunity to share the dream he has that one day there will be a Rwanda without any barriers for Persons with disability.
The Vice mayor in charge of Social affairs in the City of Kigali who was also the Guest of honor thanked Deaf Community for their effort to advocate for their rights. She pledged to approach them and in return she requested them to be confident to communicate any challenge they may face so that they should be solved on time.
The celebration was marked by various kind of entertainment including Rwandan traditional dance and sketch performed by deaf youth. The use of loud speakers during the peaceful procession from “Sainte Famille” Catholic Cathedral to Car Free Zone through “Quartier Commercial” was a good opportunity to give messages about Sign language and right of deaf people.