In southern Ethiopia, in a town called Shinshicho, there is a special school where children from all over the region come to study. Some walk up to six miles every day just so they can learn there.
It is the only school for deaf children in a community of over 250,000 people — a community that also happens to have the highest rate of deafness in all of Ethiopia.
Six years ago, the deaf children of this region had no school to go to, no teachers to teach them, no knowledge of sign language — or even an awareness that a language existed for those who could not hear. Without a way to communicate with the outside world, they lived lives of loneliness and isolation — completely unable to express their intelligent thoughts and complex emotions even with their own families. They were barely recognized as human.
But when the Yesus Mena School for the Deaf opened in Shinshicho, suddenly a world of possibility also opened up for these children. Today, with the support of Holt sponsors like you, 395 students who are deaf or partially hearing are finally receiving the sign-language-based education they need and deserve.
The video above tells the story of one boy at Yesus Mena who, with the support of his sponsors, can finally share what he was holding inside, all along.
Thank you for all you do for your sponsored child. Wherever they live, whatever their struggle, your sponsorship has opened a world of possibility in their life.