Tamva Friends of the Deaf – an associate member of World Federation of the Deaf – recently conducted a clean-up campaign at Zingwangwa Health Centre in Blantyre as part of the activities to raise awareness about the plight of deaf people.
The campaign was part of the activities the organization had lined up to commemorate International Day of Sign Language, which falls on September 23 every year.
Members of the group cleaned up the hospital wards and the surroundings. They also took time to sensitize some community members on the importance of sign language.
Programmes Officer for Tamva Friends of the Deaf Gabriel Luzu Phiri said the day is significant to remind people across the world to respect sign language as a human right.
Phiri said this year’s commemoration is based on drawing the attention of authorities to the achievements Deaf people have made so far in their livelihood and even understand challenges Deaf people are encountering in their localities.
“During this week, Organizations of Deaf People world wide are encouraged to carry information containing their demands and concerns. The week also fosters the solidarity among Deaf people,” he said.
The World Federation of the Deaf WFD set aside the International Day for the Deaf in 1958 and later it was extended to a week and the name changed to International Week for the Deaf IWD. Long at last, in 2020, the name was further considered to be the International Week for the Deaf People IWDP driving from the International Week for the Deaf IWD.
The IWDP is observed annually in the last full week of September and IWDP is made more colourful with the International Day of Sign Languages, which follows on 23 September annually as it was set aside by the United Nations in 2017.