Tuesday, 18 May 2010

the return of mzee bubu

I AM BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Mzee Bubu on Holidays!

Mzee Bubu now go away long holidays to America.

Back when don't know.

sawa sawa!

Mzee Bubu wish everyone happy new year.

Tuesday, 30 October 2007

Interesting Comment...


Why I am opposed to foreigners establishing schools in Kenya.

To all the popers and sandry supporting the Deaf Aid agenda to begin schools and to support schools in Kenya, I am disgusted and appalled by your ignorance and level of foolishness.

The biggest problem all private school face today in the Deaf education sector is the fact that they can only get a little support from the government. Governemnt sponsored schools receive tuition fees from the governemnt at KES 10,000/- or more per child, private special schools are getting a mere KES 2,000/-. This is problem....you may ask why? here is the reason. Majority of the Deaf students in the schools comes from poor families and therefore they relie on external aid to educate the children. we will continue to make these children and their parents objects of benevolence and never teaching them to fish for themselves or have the governemnt support the children through the huge taxes we are paying through VAT and other various taxes that are currently at between 30-35%.

I repeat again in this blog we need to halt this mask of benevolence and empower the Deaf people. How?

1. KSDC is one of the longest serving advocate and developer of the Deaf schools - they should be asking the question - Do we need a Deaf school in Nyabondo in Kisumu while NE province have maybe 2-3 schools? Nairobi has no Deaf school....

2. KNAD should be in the forefront of advocating for the inclusion of the Deaf people in such decisions like creating schools or training teachers.

Many of you reading this blog may rubish KNAD and say it is corrupt and dormant....this is again the result of poor and uncordinated funding from the likes of SHIA and Deaf Aid which are sitting on a report on KNAD revival that was conducted in 2004-5 Deaf Aid is working to have them be the prime funders or conduit for funding for all Deaf organizations in Kenya - KNAD, DMI, KSDC etc

KNAD has members who are alive and actively working in various places in Kenya please get on your feet and defend your country oh sleeping giant, awake from your slumber oh mighty KNAD!!!!

3. Kenyan governemnt officials who are compalisant, lazy and gulliable your days are numbered. We can not be paying huge taxes and you do not give us services - We demand transparency and accountability in the Education sector - KSL to be recognized, all teachers teaching in Deaf schools should be able to use KSL no questions no compromise we want KSL NOW!!!!

4. KNAD to organize a milions Deaf March in January of 2008!

5. NGO council to be given a list of organizations to be audited for compliance and accountability. these include:-

Deaf Aid - KRITD and School Sponsorship project
SHIA/Deafblind project
Sense International
CMB - Deaf and Deafblind project


these organizations have been given licenses to operate in Kenya to offer service BUT where are the tangible results?????

Inorder to do this we need a strong Deaf petition with signatures. to know more and to learn more on how this is happening please hear the grapevine and unofficial sources for the plans. (we do not want to subotage the plans)

5. Petition the next parliament to take action on halting the mask of benevolence. How? seeking audience with the incurbent leaders on how to articulate Deaf issues in the Agenda 2008-2012! (again no leaks)

those are my points on why the individuals and organizations parpetuating the mask to pack and go before feb 2008.

Kenya is ours! Let one and all arise in common bond united build this our nation together and the glory of Kenya and the heritage of splender firm may we the Deaf stand to defend!

the writer is an Interested Party to Deaf development in Kenya!

Monday, 22 October 2007

Deaf Aid start a new school??

Dear Mzee Bubu,

Norwegian Deaf Aid will start a new school for the Deaf. The information is on:


Unfortunately the info is in Norwegian but I will ask Marit the Chair if it is possible for Norwegian Deaf Aid to have the website translated into English so Kenyans can read what is going on.

I don't know where the school will be but I think it's great that Deaf Aid is to address the urgent need in improving Kenya's Deaf Education.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

let's replace Jean Claude with Kevin Warnke

Jean Claude is useless. A big joke. Embarrassment to his mama.

Washington Akranga of KSLRP
Joseph Ogola of KNAD
Mzee Wango of KNAD
Rahab Mumbi of LVCT

They gone sit at Jean's office, praising togo mzungu saying Deaf Aids has been working good until until some people came with mzee bubu. Bad Mzee Bubu. Bad Mzee Kiziwi!

Where are your thanks, Akranga and Ogola?

Oh, Washington Akranga, dont forget that KSLRP is still a KNAD project don't pretend you are independent. You are not independent. You will never be. If you disrespect and ignore the KNAD, you disrespect Kenya deaf community!!! When Professor Okoth is gone, who will look after you? KNAD. University of Nairobi not interested in you!

You have your mother living with you where your house in Rongai and you been good son to her been respect. Ok. KNAD set up KSLRP. KNAD is a good mother to KSLRP. You not respect the mother of KSLRP.

Washington Akaranga and Joseph Ogola have no PRINCIPLES.

Their only principles is what? If money there, they will do anything for it. Washington Akranga have three wife and many children. He need the money. His own family comes first, the deaf tribe come second, last? Sad, sad, sad!

two faced?!? :-(

shame shame shame shame!

Wango........Mzee Bubu gets to hear more about you. He sad cry, deaf future not your problem. Your future your problem.


Friday, 05 October 2007

Disability World: Kevin Long

Global Deaf Connection: Interview with Kevin Long, Social Entepreneur

Interview by Ilene Zeitzer of Disability Policy Solutions (ilenezdc@yahoo.com)

Q. Disability World was very impressed that all three 2004 Hearne Award winners are working in international disability efforts and asked me to interview you. One of the things they want to know is why you created your own organization, why you felt that you couldn't work through existing organizations?

A. Ok, well I would have loved to work through an existing organization, but there's no one doing what we do in the world, that is, a whole approach to sustainable deaf education.

Q. Tell us what it is that your organization actually does?

A. It's called Global Deaf Connection and we bring sustainable deaf education to countries around the world.

Q. And how did you come to the conclusion that there wasn't anyone doing this kind of work around the world? Did you travel, or were you getting letters? Tell us about that.

A. In 1996, I went to teach at a school for the deaf in Kenya. I asked a girl there, "What are you going to do when you grow up?" and she looked at me with a puzzled face and said, "I'm deaf." And I was shocked. And then she said, "Does America have deaf people?" and I realized that not only does she think that she can't do anything but she doesn't even know about the success of the international deaf community in developing countries. That was the start of Global Deaf Connection.

Q. That was the seed?

A. That was the seed. And here's kind of the scope of the international deaf community. There are great organizations out there, for example, the World Federation of the Deaf, of which we are members. Their skill set is organizing international deaf conventions every four years. There are these huge conventions that deaf people from all over the world go to and network and the conventions are information-sharing sources. In addition, each country has a National Association of the Deaf, just like the United States has a National Association of the Deaf, of which we are also a member.

The thing about the deaf associations in each country though, is that they have an unbelievable amount of responsibility and in the developing countries, they have very limited resources to carry them out. I'm talking about sign language development, education, women's rights, court advocacy for interpreting, you name any issue that affects the deaf community, the associations are responsible for it. So, there are these great organizations out there, and these organizations are the key to the future for the deaf community. What Global Deaf Connection provides is a niche-focused support by empowering through education, which is only going to strengthen these organizations.

Q. Let's go back a little bit. What brought you to Kenya in the first place? What was the initial program or organization?

Visual learning & deaf culture

A. I come from a business background and never thought I would be doing what I'm doing today. I was running a small business and also, with my dyslexia, had an extremely hard time in school, hated school as a kid. I took a sign language class and loved it. The visual learning was something, it was the first time I liked school. So for me, it went from the first time of liking school to liking this language. Then I started to have a lot of deaf friends and started to fall in love with the deaf culture. So for me it went from a language thing, to understanding a whole culture. Then I went to Kenya and met that girl, and met those kids.

I'll paint you a picture. I show up at this school with 125 deaf kids, all the teachers are hearing, none of them can really sign, they write on a chalkboard and point. The deaf kids sit in classrooms all day. They don't understand what the teacher is talking about and they basically fail their way through the system. And so what really brought this whole issue full circle for me was the human rights issue -- those kids are not getting accessibility to education. Out of the 41 schools for the deaf in Kenya, only three of them are high schools because most of the kids basically fail their way through eighth grade and then go back to the family farm with parents and family that can't sign. They're isolated, they're alone. It's not an okay existence.

Work-vacation model

And for me, the answer is so simple. We need to focus efforts towards 1) mentoring and empowering deaf students so that they know they can do whatever they want to do, 2) creating a link between a secondary high school and a college education so that there is at least one path. So that way, a deaf first grader has the opportunity to go all the way through teachers' training college. We do the first step, the mentoring, by sending deaf education professionals overseas who volunteer their time. We use a work vacation model, so these people are deaf education professionals from all over the world who are paying us to go volunteer their time.

We set a U.S. tax deductible program fee and this brings an income to run our programs. Then these incredible people, with 10-15 years of experience in interpreting and deaf education, go over and mentor these students, mentor the hearing teachers, and the students are inspired. Then we pay for deaf graduates to go to a regular hearing teachers' training college. We pay for fulltime sign language interpreters of their own native sign language, we don't bring ASL (American Sign Language) interpreters over there. We pay for local interpreters to work full time at a teachers' training college, then we pay for deaf people to go to a teachers' training college.

Deaf schools get deaf instructors

We started this program five years ago. It's the first time in all of Africa that there had been full time sign language interpreters at a teachers' training college. We have been graduating a group every year and now we have a group of 20 deaf Kenyans who are starting teachers' training college in August. So almost half the deaf schools now in Kenya have a deaf teacher, there are 41 schools for the deaf (in Kenya). Almost half of them have a deaf teacher and two years from now every deaf school is going to have a deaf teacher. Then the last step of the cycle's success is that the deaf teacher is in the mentor support program. So, now you have this school that has 125 deaf kids. For the first time ever, a deaf Kenyan is hired by the government to be a teacher there. So that's 125 kids who, for the first time in their lives, see a successful deaf adult. For the first time in their lives, they can raise their hand and sign a question. This deaf adult is mentored by a GDC global ambassador with the result that this deaf Kenyan teacher becomes the leader of that school in teaching sign language to the hearing teachers.

Q. What brought you to Kenya in the first place?

A. Someone did a presentation in one of my sign language classes on the schools for the deaf in Kenya and I thought wow, you know, I'd like to go there and volunteer my time some day. And that was my connection. So she (my classmate) wrote a letter to the school, they wrote a letter back welcoming me to volunteer, and they gave me a free place to stay. I was 20 years old, I jumped on an airplane, and I had no international experience really to speak of. The school was like five hours outside the city of Nairobi, it wasn't on a map. It took me like two days to find it. I spent the most amazing six months of my life at this deaf school, with no electricity, no running water, and these amazing deaf kids. So that's how it all started.

Cultural bases of sign languages

Q. Let's go back to the issue of sign language. There is not a universal sign language. Most countries have their own sign language, and some don't have any. Is there a recognized sign language in Kenya?

A. Just like developing countries going through the same struggles in all different areas, including the rights of people with disabilities, Kenya is fighting for the right for sign language to be recognized. I mean it wasn't really recognized in the United States 20 years ago and now it's taught in colleges for college credit, taught in first grade classes. And so, every country has their own sign language, it's all culturally based. I get this question every time I do a presentation, they say, "Well, why isn't it the same?" And I always asked them, "Well, why doesn't everybody speak English?" And they say, "Well, it's different." And I say, "Why is it different, there's no difference?" An example I always give is the sign for coffee (in ASL) looks like the old grinders, grinding with two fists on top of each other, except you're going counter clockwise with your right hand, which looks an old coffee grinder grinding the beans. In Kenya, the sign for coffee is with your index finger and your middle finger picking a leaf and putting it over your back, which is picking the coffee and putting it in the basket behind you -- because that's cultural for Kenya. Now, you do a coffee grinder sign in Kenya, a lot of Kenyans have never even seen a coffee grinder. You know, a lot of Kenyans don't drink coffee. And if you do a picking sign in America, that won't make any sense because most Americans don't even know where coffee comes from. So it's all culturally based.

Kenya's sign language research project

Q. In Kenya, have they evolved a national, agreed upon, sort of universal sign language?

A. Well, you know, sign language is always a work in progress, continually getting more and more developed, but Kenya is very far ahead. They have a project that's funded through Sweden called Kenya's Sign Language Research Project (KSLRP). They have developed a Kenya Sign Language dictionary, they have Kenya Sign Language classes at the university, and now interpreting is becoming more popular in Kenya. A lot of it has to do with Global Deaf Connection as we hire fulltime sign language interpreters at teachers' training colleges to increase that demand.

Q. Is Kenya the only country that you work with at the moment?

A. We're in Jamaica and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Q. Each of these countries would have their own sign language or sign languages?

A. Right, I mean there are different dialects and variations in parts of the country, but that's the same as in the United States.

Sources of Funding

Q. You mentioned volunteers who pay their own way, but are there other sources of funding? For example, you're training people, so where does the funding from that come from, do you have grants?

A. First of all, our trips are income generating. So that brings in money. I mean, we send groups to Kenya, Jamaica, and the Congo and then people pay for the program fee plus they pay their own airfare. We also get a lot of pro bono time, we have mobilized professional resources pro bono to an amazing level. Since we started GDC, we've been in a free office space at a deaf church even though we're non-religious. Our board of directors is required to give a minimum eight hours a month plus a committee meeting. Our board is made up of 51% members of the deaf community, lawyers, business people, and so we have four running committees that do an amazing amount of work. We have Hill and Knowlton, the PR firm, that's doing all of our publicity, we have Clifford and Chance doing our free lawyers pro bono work, I could go on and on. We really have mobilized our volunteers in terms of pro bono work.

Q. But how do you pay staff, for example?

A. We're also funded through grants, we have a few local grants and we're starting to get federal funding. USAID funded us $250,000 for a project in the Congo. We're doing some amazing things, we're putting computers in a deaf school in the Congo with wireless Internet, we're connecting deaf Congolese with deaf Americans all over the world. We also do two special events in Minneapolis per year, we have some income generating programs and we sell cars. We are starting to get more on the income-generating side. I'm an Ashoka Fellow. Ashoka sponsors social entrepreneurs that have a new idea for social change, basically people using business concepts in the social sector. I was elected with 13 other people from the U.S. and Canada two years ago and it's a fulltime fellowship for three years for social entrepreneurs to get their idea off the ground.

Q. And your idea is?

A. Global Deaf Connection, and the Cycle of Success.

Q. And do they look for something unique about your idea?

A. It has to be a new idea. There are four criteria, the Web site is www.ashoka.org and our Web site is www.deafconnection.org.

Sustainable deaf education - the concept

Q. As far as the Ashoka Fellowship is concerned, what was the unique idea of the Global Deaf Connection?

A. Well, there are three organizations that bring deaf education professionals or sign language interpreters overseas to do mentoring. So, they go to schools for about two weeks and then they come home. It has been happening for some time now that deaf people have gone to college and had interpreters. But no one has taken a full approach to sustainable deaf education for an entire country in a developing country like Global Deaf Connection has. What we do is to take all these concepts and put them together. Our goal is to be in and out in five years.

When we are invited into a country, we work with the deaf community, get local buy-in, use their sign language, and then exit in five years. So the process is: we send over deaf education professionals; we pay for deaf people to go to the teachers' training college; and when every deaf school has a deaf teacher, we pay to send a deaf education professional overseas to mentor these new deaf teachers to be the leaders of their schools. Using the example of Kenya, once there are 41 deaf in Kenya, all the teachers are mentored and have become leaders of their schools, they are all hired by their own governments because we do advocacy work, then we can leave the country. So, we expect to be out of Kenya in two years.

Q. And then you'll go somewhere else?

A. Yes, so now we're in Kenya, Congo, and Jamaica. Then what happens in two years from now is the money we make from our income-generating programs and our grants we'll use towards sponsoring a group of 40 deaf Jamaicans into college. So, basically it takes us about five years to create sustainable deaf education for an entire country. Once we get fully funded up to capacity, which is going to be basically having four full time staff, we are going to be able to handle five to 10 countries at a time. And what that would mean, is that every year, after a five cycle, ever year we'll be finishing five to 10 countries, so in our life time there can be sustainable deaf education for the world. Which is great, to achieve a vision. Because most visions in nonprofit organizations are these huge visions that will never be accomplished. So it's really fun to have a giant vision that can actually happen in one lifetime.

Obstacles to the dream

Q. So what are your obstacles, what were your obstacles when you started and what do you see as your obstacles now?

A. The big obstacle when we started was just proving this. I mean no one wanted to put money toward sponsoring deaf Kenyans through college because no one had set a precedent of this being a successful program. So the big thing was proving that this model was successful -- sponsoring deaf people through college, sending deaf people overseas, showing that this was having a huge impact despite really limited resources. The cost for a Kenyan to get an entire college degree, room and board, books, full time interpreters, everything and our costs to administer and send wires, hire staff, etc. amounts to $2,500, and life time mentoring. The Kenyan government is going to hire these graduates and they're going to mentor over a 100 kids, year after year. So, we've proven the model is successful and our deaf Kenyans are doing great in college, they're surpassing the hearing people because they're studying all the time. So that was the first big obstacle. Now we're in three different countries, we have four part-time staff, I'm the only full-time person, and the biggest obstacle for us is to make that jump. It's really a tough jump to go from a start up nonprofit to a sustainable nonprofit.

Q. You said you're members of both the World Federation of the Deaf and the National Association for the Deaf, what is their reaction? Are they out there beating the drums for you?

A. Well, the thing is everyone's in the same game. Everyone has limited resources, and everyone's scrambling to do what they can do in their own area. They accepted us as members. I just had a meeting with the National Association of the Deaf and they love what we're doing. They're putting us in their news and getting the word out, but besides that these organizations are still trying to stay together.

Underserved populations

Q. Are they doing referrals, do they get a lot of questions from deaf organizations around the world and then do they refer them to you?

A. We get referrals from all over, and it's even hard to tell where they come from. There are 15 countries who have requested us, formal requests, to have us start the cycle of success, work with their deaf community, and so forth, but we just had to tell everybody to wait, that's a really hard part of this job. I just went through Central America, and the need is unbelievable. There's huge populations of deaf people that are totally underserved. Just an example in Central American countries, you have about half a million deaf people in many of the countries, but only 300 deaf people are in school. I mean, this is an incredible human rights issue for this population. With very little resources combined with empowering support, these people could be an incredible resource to their countries.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Jacob Mwaniki Ireri

MZEE BUBU not know if it is true but read on


from (comments)

We have learnt that Jacob Mwaniki Ireri who was a student at Machakos Teacher College is now at Gallaudet University becoming the second young man from Kenya to go to Gallaudet only 3 weeks after graduating from MTC after Nickson Kakiri.This point emphasizes that any deaf person can get something prosperous provided he/she works harder for
the benefits of the less fortuneaa.Before Joining Gallaudet,jacob has established a Self Help Project in his own district that has so far been benefting deaf persons in Embu,Njeri.Mwea and Mbeere and even part of Meru.He also was the among top 300 winners who participated in believe begin become competition organized by Ministry of youth Affairs.He surprised many as he was the only deaf person.However,he got two luckies at the same time.He chose to go to Gallaudet instead of attending the seminar for MOYA.Jacob proposed to implement a foundation to be named `Jacob Foundation`to ovesee how to meet the needs of Deaf Young Women especially in areas of Family planning,jobs creation and acquistion and to ovesee how they can learn more about business.Jacob will continue to work with Central Kenya Deaf Association where he has been General Secretary,he believes deaf dreams to come into reality lies into CKDA,.jacob appealled to deaf Kenyans in Kenya to be cooperative in every efforts and that is one way to reach a grea length of development.`Competition for success is a killer`

Monday, 17 September 2007

update on GDC job

Mzee Bubu got info from his informer who asked Nickson Kakiri the Chair of GDC Kenya yesterday.

The email that is sent to Mzee Bubu seemed 100% genuine but big false look. No proof it is Peter Wango. Who?

No confirm who got the job. Nickson with clean pants have no idea. Joel with dirty pants have an idea but laugh laugh say mzungu powerful. Kenyans nothing. No power.

1. Mzee Bubu knows Peter Wango and Mzungu-eyed Dominic have applied for GDC job. They desperate, desperate!

2. Joel wants Stephen M. - but Stephen M. fired from CARE Kenya why why?

3. Joel got no management skills. Jamaica Deaf Federation say Joel not good. They not give him top level jobs. They do not trust him. You can ask Jamaica Deaf Federation. No one want Joel Mzungu in Jamaica. Jamaica very stong ask him leave leave. They complain Joel smell, no wash.

Management + Joel = NIL

4. GDC have no office in Kenya. They pretend they got it. Where is it?

5. Mzee Bubu heard hear Joel will leave Kenya when December go back 2 America. Stay there for good. Deaf Kenyans very happy. No tear tear cry for Joel Mzungu. They will not give him the Kisii soap as good bye leaving present.

6. Joel make more rules stupid rules for deaf students at Machakos. He now the principal of Machakos Teacher College?

7. no interpreter for the deaf teacher at Kenyatta. Many many promises by Joel and his dirty pants. No support. The teacher suffer confused lost not understand. now back in luoland confused angry.

8. Joel Mzungu go and clean his dirty pants first. Then clean his bad management skills. Stop drinking kumi kumi with Nickson. Nickson have his pants washed clean every day by Opiyo his housegirl.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

GDC Program Coordinator Interview

from: Joel Runnels


Dear Stephen Gachuhi,

I am pleased to announce that you have been selected as our new Programme Coordinator at GDC - Kenya.

Your extensive NGO at Care Kenya experience and lack of corrupt past won over the GDC Board in the end.

Please report to our offices on Monday.

Your faithfully,

Joel Runnels

Wednesday, 05 September 2007

Halting the Mask of Benevolence:- Empowering the Deaf Kenyans

Dear Mzee Bubu,

Here is an article I have for your blog....Please publish for the interest of your readers. thanks JO

Halting the Mask of Benevolence:- Empowering the Deaf Kenyans.

As a friend to the Deaf People in Kenya and throughout the world, I have come to appreciate and be part of a dynamic culture, heritage and history of the Deaf Kenyans. I have met some of the most brilliant people in this community and worked with some very excellent programs working with the Deaf.

However we have had several organizations come to Kenya masquarading as missionaries of benevolence helping and giving hope to the Deaf Kenyans. This has become a multi million venture where people of great intentions are sucked into the unending cycle of oppression, dictatorship and neocolonialism disempowering the Deaf leaders and reducing it to beggers and sweets/cigar peddlers and hawkers.

In 1985 SHIA and the Swedish Deaf people helped Kenya form and manage a national Deaf association. 20 Years later we are back at zero due to lack of capacity and empowerement. This is not to discredit SHIA or paint black it's good name, we acknowledge and are thankful for the benevolence and goodwill though we recognize there have been several mistakes and gaps in this process. Personally I still believe that KNAD was disadvantaged to be funded by one donor for that long without systems or mechanism for accountability and transparency.

Over the last two decades there have been several organizations coming into Kenya and establishing 'great' project ideas and visions. Sadly they have not learnt from the mistakes of their forefather - Perpetuation of the Mask of Benevolence. My opinion is that these organizations have never appreciated community entry approaches, view the Deaf as objects of benevolence and not partners in development and are 'copy/pasting' foreign solutions to complex local issues. Many of these organizations have fueled the continued oppression of the Deaf Kenyans, muzzled the voices of the weak and poor while 'eating the ugali' in their big mansions and driving huge luxurious cars in the name of 'helping' Deaf Kenyans. To name a few such initiatives -

- sponsorship of Deaf children....this is not a new thing in Kenya. KSDC has been doing it since 1950s - WHY Replecate?

- digital/interactive KSL manual/dictionary or learning resource - in 2003 Peace Corps volunteers and KSLRP developed an infrastructure for this. Nothing new under the sun ...dah!!!

- support for KNAD to pass through a foreign INGO? this in my opinion is the highest form of neo colonial mask I have ever seen. How can the monkey sit in the jury judging the matters of the forest?

- We need championing in the area of Deaf blindness - many blind Kenyans have a voice but not the Deaf blind -why?

- We do not have a parents of the Deaf initiative making noise for policy change in the education of the Deaf - Free primary education is a case in point - Deaf children receive KES 2,000 compared to the other who receive 5 or even ten times the amount What went wrong? - Simple wrong people being consulted and key stakeholders being neglected period!

As a Kenyan and a critic of these initiatives and organizations I would like to elaborate the key priorities of the Deaf Kenyans as expressed by faceless Deaf Kenyans in English and in a non threatening environment:-

Clearly we have the following priorities that need to be addressed:-

1. Recognition and acceptance of Kenyan Sign Language as the native language of the Kenyan Deaf people - It is the official language for business, instraction and mode of transfering culture and Deaf history and heritage.

2. Coordination of the various scarce resources available for this community. The Finance, Personell and Infrastructure need to be chaneled, phased and equally distributed to the key areas of need - Education, Employment and Environment.

3. Strengthening of KNAD or similar organizations eg KSLRP, KSLIA, and Regional branches of KNAD to better represent the Deaf from these regions.

4. Policy amendments - PWD Act 2003, Special Education Act/policy need to be amended to explicitly and implicitly talk about the Deaf issues - Language, Education, accessibility, healthcare - deaf VCT is a starting point we need the whole continum of care. Policy change is the begining, implementation strategy is very very critical.

5. Empowerment, Empowerment, empowerment - Deaf Kenyans need to be trained, mentored and see models that work. Shinning examples are right here with us - Liverpool VCT, DOOR International, DMI, Peace Corps/Kenya etc etc They are making a difference because they are educating the Deaf and giving them a chance to prove themselves.

I would like to challenge my fellow development workers and the directors and program managers to rethink the strategies that they are employing and to refocus their energies to the bigger issues

- Policy Change - Key to successful advocating.

- Education - Key to success

- Empowerment - Key to good governance

The resounding prophetic call is - NOTHING FOR US WITHOUT US!!! Those who hear and transform will be saved the hardliners will keep fueling the mask of benevolence and keep disempowering the Kenyan Deaf community - Enriching themselves pretending to make a difference with the little hand outs.

Join me in Halting the Mask of Benevolence and fight for the Empowerment of the Deaf Kenyans. The time for those advocating for change is NOW. Stand or be blown away.

Stop the mask! It is your enemy!

Jack Owiti,
Kenyan and Friend to the Deaf in Kenya.

Monday, 27 August 2007

KSLIA Statement

KSLIA would like to give an official statement on the issues therein.

It is the official position of the Kenyan Sign Language Interpreters Association (KSLIA) that the provision of quality and professional interpretation services is a right to all Deaf Kenyan community.

We believe that in Kenya as elsewhere in the world Interpreters are first normally Siblings, Parents, Friends, Colleagues, Neighbours or children of the Deaf - they naturally become the immediate available Interpreters thus many of the untrained, freelance and employed interpreters working in various settings throughout Kenya. They are leaders in delivering a very important service of interpretation in professional and community settings, including formal and informal settings and inclusion of these services in programs, projects and policy initiatives at local, regional, national and international levels.

In addition, all interpreters as members of KSLIA are leaders in facilitating and participating in research, training and documentation of interpretation profession in Kenya. In an era of increased opportunities for Deaf Kenyans to be involved in various professional, social and academic engagements, there is increased demand for the deployment of qualified and professional interpreters in fulfillment of the PWD Act 2003. Through the involvement and rigorous engagement of KSLIA in research, curriculum development, training, testing, certification and continuing education Kenya will be a beacon of interpretation excellence in this region and leading the way in empowering the Deaf community by giving equal access to information, education and communication for persons who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

KSLIA would like to reiterate its position on this blog and in public domain with this rallying call echoed by many before us in the Disability Movement - 'Nothing About Us Without Us!

We believe, as Mahatma Gandhi before us that “progress depends on not repeating the past and that, if we are to make progress, we must not repeat history but make new history.”

Chairman, KSLIA

Friday, 24 August 2007

cold war btw KSLIA and Deaf Aid (jean dickhead)

Jack the KSLIA Chair wrote:-

Dear All,

I would like to inform you all that due to pressure at my work place and priorities here and there, I am unable to represent KSLIA at the workshop. I would like to commend my colleagues Leonida and Vickie for stepping in on such short notice. I believe that both bring to the table over 25 years experience in Interpreting in Kenya. They both have done all sorts of Interpreting in hospitals, TV, conferences, courts, police, school, meetings, law, etc etc

I would like to bring your attention to the fact that these are landmark and key milestones in our country that should be given the at most care if we do the wrong thing we will be stuck with a curriculum that is not implementable and a waste of valuable resources we could have channeled to other useful venture.

World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI) reiterated in the just concluded conference that Interpreter Training programs should be developed carefully involving the Deaf Users, Hearing organizations using Interpreters, relevant governement ministries and agencies, Deaf Associations and INTERPRETERS - TRAINED, UNTRAINED, CERTIFIED OR NOT.

WASLI also acknowledged that there are NO PERFECT INTERPRETER TRAINING PROGRAMS ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD. Training programs develop over time, as history has taught us this is often a long expensive process regardless of where it is taking place. We see this in the development of other professions like teaching, law, business....This profession is no different.

I would like to go into details of this BUT I will wait and receive the conclusion of this process, my one and only caution is we have a lifetime to live here in Kenya, to serve the Deaf community and create greater access to Deaf Kenyans. We cannot therefore be held ransom by time, resources or other priority like donor deadlines or reports to donors......it took KIE over 20 years to recognize KSL as a medium for instructions why should we want to accept and develop a curriculum for interpreting in 10 days? Interpreting is as important as Deaf Education and training of Doctors, lawyers, teachers we need to take our time and not rush to fill in schedules and report numbers and meet program objectives. Curriculum development needs to be based on gaps, needs identified, comparison of what is currently available and mistakes in the past. I am SHOCKED and DISMAYED that the KNAD - Kenyan National Association of the Deaf are NOT REPRESENTED IN THIS PROCESS.

KSLIA will continue to advocate for the inclusion of Interpreters and Deaf people in the development of trainings for interpreters and to comply with international standards as stipulated by WASLI and WFD where KSLIA has recently become a member. KSLIA therefore would support initiatives that will bring out the best for all - the Deaf Individuals, the Interpreters and the rest of the hearing community.

KSLIA will be represented in this forum and would like to get greater involvement in future forums as the stakeholders, custodians and owners of this profession. Interpreters have a role to be the drivers of this process - as an Interpreter and a User of Kenyan Sign Language I would like to be in the driving seat of this process - with due respect to professional curriculum developers at KIE or MOE I believe that only the people practicing in the profession (Interpreters) and consumers of the services(Deaf Kenyans and organizations working with the Deaf) are best placed to contribute to the development and implementation process of this sort of curriculum.

I hope that my comments do not deter your determination and good will - Deaf Kenyans need more than benevolence - Deaf Kenyans need empowerment, inclusion, accessibility to information and respect of their human rights which includes the availability of trained, professional and affordable Interpretation services. For Interpreters in Kenya,

Jack Owiti
KSLIA Chairman


The Reply.....Jean-Claude Adzalla wrote:

Dear Jack,

I do not have the habit to get involved in this email exchanges because I believe that serious stakeholders raise issues in a more appropriate forum.

This kind of public posting is a tool for lobby in order to create momentum around ones opinion that could be facing resistance. That said Jack, there is a lot of contradiction between your present mail and the previous ones. I will just like to mention two: In your email below to Kevin Warnke from Deaf Aid, you mentioned: "I would love to participate in this, 10 days is a long time to sit and write a curriculum in the short run".

Today you said "it took KIE over 20 years to recognize KSL as a medium for instructions why should we want to accept and develop a curriculum for interpreting in 10 days?"

Curriculum development is a technical process that the KRITD Project is ONLY facilitating, answering an outcry from leaders from the deaf community. I can remember Wango, the Director of KNAD emphasizing at the latest Deaf Aid advisory board on the need to fasten the KRITD process as defined in the "White Paper".

Have I mentioned that curriculum development is an important milestone of this process?

You also suggested that you were "SHOCKED and DISMAYED that the KNAD- Kenyan National Association of the Deaf are NOT REPRESENTED IN THIS PROCESS." Washington Akaranga from the Kenya Sign Language Project, the branch of KNAD in charge of sign language research and development is attending the workshop that opened yesterday.

In Kenya, only the Kenya Institute of Education is empowered to develop curriculum and they do have their rules concerning number of attendants, logistics and workplan.

The KRITD is only funding this process. I can recall a discussion I had with Dr Burch where he was suggesting that developing a curriculum in Kenya should not be a difficult task and there is no need to reinvent the wheel. WASLI had developed an international standard that could be used as guidance to expedite the process he further mentioned.

Projects, be it donor funded or not respond to the same constraints of limited resources and time frame. This one should not be an exception.

To conclude, I would like to say that time has come to chose who we want to be, the kind of impact we want to make, to be recognized and respected stakeholders or to be mere polemist.

Stakeholders discuss issues and in a progressive way and find together avenues to solve problems.

These clarifications were important to me and it will not be necessary to mention that I will not respond to any further public email.

Deaf Aid has identified KSLIA as an important stakeholder and has involved your organization in many activities we are conducting.

One thing is to always victimize oneself crying for more involvement. Maybe theright thing to do could be to attend the various meeting you have been invited to and or appoint in a due time, instead of a last minute phone call, representatives of KSLIA to be there to represent your organization.




Letter from Nickson Kakiri chair of gdc kenya


Hey everyone,

I understand GDC has a new Executive Director, I just want to let you know .

Also , this time if GDC come to work in Kenya , do not accept oral agreements, let them sign patnership agreement, enough is enough.

They have to pay not free, It is sad that Kevin [LONG] used to get $54,000 for his salary but not willing to work with deaf Kenyans or having office in Kenya to pay Deaf staff.

Watch out some foreigners are good others are just coming to Kenya to start projects without signing agreement papers to employ Deaf Kenyans to run the project. They are just trying to make money for themselves because they cant find jobs in their own countries. Watch out for them and have them signed papers with lawyers seeing, if you have lawyers.

They must listen to the needs of deaf Kenyans not tell Deaf Kenyans what to do.

Hope you advise others to be careful too, I have documents here showing how much money GDC got , I will share with you you all in June.


Nickson Kakiri

more on KNAD



So please announce a meeting and hand over your resignation.

You know Kenya National Association of the Deaf

 Has 11 affiliated branches

 Currently facing serious financial problems

 The office is currently closed but rent paid by Sweden for your work.

 A lot of capacity building is needed

 All projects are not going on well.

 Membership has gone down

 Lack of transparency by leaders

Saturday, 18 August 2007

Global Deaf Connection


Can MZEE BUBU readers please tell MZEE BUBU what you think of Global Deaf Connection and Joel Runnels?


Good work for Deaf Kenya?


Not happy?



Get Out?

Wednesday, 15 August 2007

Workshop for Deaf Teachers in Kisumu


Two weeks ago two people (Dr Peter Oracha of Maseno University & Donna Harrison, a hearing mzungu from Seattle, USA) did the training workshop for deaf teachers and hearing teachers working in deaf schools. It was funded by Joel Runnels of Global Deaf Connection. There were 11 deaf primary teachers and approx. 20 hearing secondary teachers (one 2ndary teacher was deaf: Fred Kangu)

Dr. Peter Oracha talked about deaf education (history) in Kenya, talking in details about bilingualism and IEPs (Individualized Education Programme). Donna Harrison taught the deaf teachers on how to use visual aids i.e. drawings and cartoons etc.

Donna Harrison is a freelance interpreter in Portland, Oregen (USA) - more details about her at: http://www.signingtraveler.com/

Dr Oracha's CV at: http://www.maseno.ac.ke/departments/education/special%20needs%20educ/Dr.%20ORACHA.htm

100th Post on Mzee Bubu so far!




Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Progressive Talk, please, Progressive Talk please!





Many of you think Mzee Bubu is Jack, Nickson, Omondi or Aggrey.....well you are all wrong. I feel sorry you abuse each other on this blog as if it is these people who are controlling this blog....sadly they are not.

This blog is the voice of Kenyan Deaf complaining and having free speech.

I would like to commmend the following Kenyans for standing out even in the mudslinging......

Nickson Kakiri - Despite his many falws has been able to come back to Kenya after graduating in the US. It is difficult for him to have a 8-5 job because Kenyans can't pay for him and an interpreter. Though he has been able to get short consultancy work here and there. He is better than those bootlicking and begging for donor money and worshiping the mzungus.

Mzee Pter Wango though labled as corrupt, polygamous and good for nothing. I would like to disagree. From the letters here you all can see that this man is selfless. He is looking out for you all as Deaf kenyans. He went to WFD to represent Kenya, pleading for Rsesa to remain here, for continued support for KNAD etc etc Please do not forget too quickly the work he has done with the TSC, Constitution review and HIV/AIDS awareness. Do not judge too quickly.

Jack Owiti the hearing interpreter and fluent KSL signer. Not many people know him for who he is. He has been in the Deaf community few years BUT watching him the other day in Spain advocating for the recognition of KSLIA, advocating for the training and qualification of Interpreters I am suprised that some Deaf people are lashing out on him. We all know his work at DOOR, Peace Corps and currently he is hidding not fully involved in the Deaf work. To me I would say he is one of the few advocates the Deaf in Kenya have for the success and recognition of KSL and interpretation. Watch out this young man will revolutionize Kenyan Deaf community. I marvel at his ease in mingling with the Deaf and the hearing - Kenyna Deaf peopl he is your link to change. He too is troubled by the usual peoblems we all have so he is no angel.

Josephine Kalunda - I admire her passion for politics and I am a supporter that she gets full into politics.

Susan Mugwe a very resiliant woman. I admire her courage and ability to bounce back.

KSLRP trainers - I support tis group of dedicated Kenyans working to bridge the hearing deaf gap. Dennis, Fransicscah, Petronila, Isabel, Washington, Mweri and Prof Okoth. Truly Kenyan at heart I love you people!!!!

LVCT for the Deaf in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu....I am blessed to know you all. Opiyo, Mumbi, Susan, Silvanus, I cannot remember all the names BUT I love what you are doing. God Bless you!@!

Deaf Churches and their pastors.....I love the fellowships and the opportunity to be in these congrigations.

Deaf Teachers in Deaf schools across the country you shape our future we are forever greatful for you work!

Parents of Deaf - We love you all. Kenya needs you all to arise and fight for your sons and daughter No more silence.

To my Deaf kenayn colleagues. Let there be the love unity and peace that we look for. I am being helped to say this to you in proper English for all to read and understand. Many of you think the world is not reading this. Shock on you the world is keenly watching Kenya.

PLease Mzee Bubu Publish this we need some progressive talk here.


Friend of the Deaf in Kenya.

Peace Corps Standardize Our Language?!?

Peace Corps Volunteers Standardize Kenyan Sign Language and Distribute First Sign Language Poster

NAIROBI, KENYA - June 26, 2007 - Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter today concludes his five day visit to Kenya where he met with Peace Corps Volunteers, staff, media, and government officials. Since 1965, more than 5,000 Peace Corps Volunteers have served in Kenya. Currently, 134 Volunteers are working here in the areas of education, small business development, and health and HIV/AIDS prevention. Director Tschetter (lft) observing students in the new computer lab built by the Peace Corps at the Kerugoya School for the Deaf. Peace Corps

In a meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Kenya Michael Rannenberger and Kenya's Minister of Education George Saitoti, Tschetter said, "The Peace Corps program in Kenya remains strong. I am impressed with the many wonderful achievements of the Volunteers here and look forward to continuing to develop our partnership with the people of Kenya long into the future."

Ambassador Rannenberger also commented, "The relationship between the United States and Kenya is stronger than ever and the Peace Corps is an important and positive component of that partnership."

A highlight of Tschetter's trip was a visit on June 25 to a school for Deaf children (Kerugoya School for the Deaf) in Central Province where Peace Corps Volunteer Erin Hayba, of Lovettsville, Va., and a recent graduate of Penn State University, serves. Erin is among 29 Volunteers currently serving in Deaf education in Kenya, one of two Peace Corps deaf education program countries.

This unique program began in 1992 as a way to train educators on better teaching methods, and to broaden the production of learning materials and facilities for Deaf and hard of hearing students. The program now includes computer training and health and HIV/AIDS education programs, as part of the President's Emergency Plan for Aids Relief.

At the school, Tschetter observed several role playing exercises, educational videos featuring Deaf students, and other visual aids that the Volunteers have developed, including Kenya's first uniform sign language poster, the "Easy to Learn Sign Language Poster." Peace Corps Volunteers Frank Lester (lft) and Sam Roberts display a poster showing the new Kenyan standardized sign language.

Peace Corps Volunteers Sam Roberts, of Greensboro, N.C., and Frank Lester, of San Francisco, Calif., who is Deaf, worked with other Volunteers and Kenyan counterparts to standardize the sign language used in Kenya, called Kenyan Sign language and to develop the poster. This poster will be distributed to every Deaf household in Kenya in the next three months, and to hospitals and other facilities.

Annie Maina, the school's principals, said of the Peace Corps program, "It has improved the lives of many Deaf people in Kenya." She added, "Peace Corps Volunteers have made Deaf education more accessible and shown that a disability is not an inability."

Please visit our interactive Kenyan Sign Language website for details.

The Peace Corps is celebrating a 46-year legacy of service at home and abroad, and a 30-year high for Volunteers in the field. Since 1961, more than 187,000 Volunteers have helped promote a better understanding between Americans and the people of the 139 countries where Volunteers have served. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citiz.


Peace Corps' KSL website

Mzee Bubu,

have a look at the Peace Corps' KSL website