Friday, 12 January 2007

KSLIA writing to Norwegian Association of the Deaf

a kind friend have passed this email to Mzee Bubu. Jack Owiti is an interpreter working in Nairobi. He is the chair of Kenyan Sign Language Interpreters Association. Deaf Aid have damaged the proposed Registry and bad smell between Jean-Claude and the KSL interpreters. Shane of Kenya Deaf Children Trust told Mzee Bubu that he did talk to Jean-Claude about his concerns re: the Registry and suggested that a Scottish interpreter name Liz Scott-Gibson (famous famous) can help Deaf Aid. Jean-Claude was rude saying NO NO NO! WE DONT WANT ANYONE!

This is Jack's letter to Paal Richard Peterson, the chief at Norwegian Association of the Deaf sent last week.


Mr. Peterson,

Thanks for the clarification. The real issue here is not the amount of money Deaf AID has for projects in Kenya.... the real issues that the Deaf in Kenya have against Deaf AID is lack of inclusion of the Deaf Leaders and stakeholders in the planning and implementation of their projects in Kenya.

While it is important for the Kenyan Deaf to have correct information, it is also paramount for the Orgs working with the Deaf, for the Deaf and with the Deaf to be transparent and adhere to legal requirements in the countries they operate in. You will agree with me that in Norway before any organization begins to work with the Norwigean Deaf peole they will contact the Deaf Association and maybe the social services department to learn the priorities and involve the key leaders etc The Deaf Kenyans are crying for the same, inclusion....working with them not for them!!! I do not want to give a lecture in Development models and theories so I leave it at that.

There are alot of questions that the Deaf are asking and they are very valid. I hope Marit and Jean will not ignore these questions. SHIA and other organizations have ignored the small voices of concern and questioning and look at their position with the African Deaf Association....The track record is alarming, frightening and very very wanting. From the North to the South you can see their foot prints - No strong association existing in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, may say they have some form of association Yes BUT are they as strong? are they empowered? are they reaching their full potential?

As a friend of the Deaf community in Kenya I want to be proud of Deaf Kenyans being empowered, going to school, accessing information, Education, Healthcare, politics, economic stability and living productive lives. This can only be achieved by empowering the Deaf leaders, the Deaf youths and investing in the intrastructures and systems that are proven over time to breakthrough the talking about the overall well being of the Deaf person not as an object of benevolence.

Marit, Jean and Mr. Peterson the issues is not really the 66million is how the millions (if indeed you have it) will be used to benefit the Deaf in the rural areas and those in the capital cities of Kenya. I am still hoping that Deaf AID will respond to the concerns of the Kenyan Ddeaf people.


  • The Advisory Council being implemented increasing the level of participation of Deaf kenyans.
  • Involvement of Kenyan Interpreters in the KRITD process
  • Employment of Deaf Kenyans in Deaf AID initiatives - not just as cleaners, tea makers and teachers.
  • Open and transparent collaboration with Deaf Organizations and governance structures in Kenya - You may not believe it but KNAD is a product of the leadership, corruption and politics.

As we enter the New Year I hope that the points above will be Deaf AIDS priority and not the existance or lack of the 66 million. We would however like to know the annual budget for Deaf AID....the ground reports and talking with beneficiaries in Kisii and Karen reveal that there is little or no tangible suppport from Deaf AID....(from a reliable source in Kenya)


Jack Owiti
Kenyan Sign Language Interpreters Association (KSLIA)