Local tutor and volunteer helps educate African deaf children
PUBLISHED: 08:16 03 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:16 03 January 2020
East African deaf children are enjoying the gift of learning due to Cambridge college tutors who provide education voluntarily. Volunteers include a local resident, who not only provides teaching to the youngsters, but also financial support.
Saffron Walden resident Robert Golding fundraised for DeafReach through a stall on December 10. The event took place at Cambridge Regional College to help African deaf children.
DeafReach, a charity working with two residential schools in Africa, is currently fundraising for a new project for deafblind children and adults in Rwanda - and Robert helped by selling various goodies, including bags made by students at African schools.
The residential schools provide deaf youngsters the opportunity to not only study, but also increase their chances of employment. They are taught a variety of skills, including sign language, IT, construction and sewing.
The children are also provided help with fitting hearing aid - including one young boy who was beaten in his community after failing to move out of the way of cyclists ringing their bells.
Robert, a study support specialist lecturer with Cambridge Regional College, flies to Africa to teach African tutors mathematics. Robert's partner and charity founder Isabel Blakeley is also involved with the small group of trustees, following a pleasant experience she had working with Voluntary Service Overseas in Rwanda.
Robert said: "Being involved in this charity means we're giving a long-term gift of education to young people. There are two schools, one of which has recently been completely renovated, thanks to charity fundraising. Some of the renovation work included their own much-needed water provision.
"We go out every two years for two weeks in October and provide continuous professional development for the teaching staff there. Many of the volunteers who go out are teachers of the deaf and then there are also tutors like me who teach specific subjects. In my case it is maths. It is humbling to know we have the opportunity to help.
"We are involved because we believe we can make a difference," he added.
According to a college spokesman, the work has a 'huge impact' and is 'sustainable for the future'.