Successful funding of a capacity building project for Deaf Communities in Francophone Africa


30 June 2017: The Danish Deaf Association (DDL) has successfully received funding from the Disabled People’s Organisation Denmark (DPOD) to carry out a phase 2 of the project cooperation, commencing on 1st July 2017 until April 2020. The project will be implemented by Ghana National Association of the Deaf and DDL, with expert advice and communications support provided by the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD).

This project aims to strengthen the organisational capacity of the Ordinary Members of the WFD in Mali (AMASOURDS), Niger (ASN), Togo (AST), Cote d’Ivoire (ANASOCI), and the WFD Regional Secretariat for Western and Central Africa (WCARS).

Based on capacity assessments and the lessons learnt in the first phase in 2016, this phase is embarking on capacity building of the four participating national associations of the deaf, carrying out basic advocacy work, and developing a manual and materials on how to run a successful deaf association. These materials will also be shared with all 134 Ordinary Members of the WFD, hence increasing the indirect impact of the project in a significant way.

The WFD WCARS is expected to play a pivotal role in facilitating the regional knowledge and experience sharing both between the project partners and between all its member associations in Western and Central African Region. ‘I am excited on this opportunity to continue to develop a longlasting partnership between DDL and some of the deaf associations in the Francophone Africa and the WFD WCARS. This region has been overlooked by international donors for many years, and I am pleased that we are securing a project of such a scope,’ says the WFD WCARS Regional Director Mr Lamin Ceesay.

The long-term development goal of this project is that deaf people in the four target countries become fully involved in the society, and more visible in the disability movements advocating for their human rights as enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

The project aims at building a solid foundation for a transnational cooperation between the project partners. The activities include a series of trainings for the board and staff members of the four associations, a review of associations’ statutes and structures, and introduction to tools and methods to improve their capacity to implement activities. Moreover, the project will train eight deaf trainers using the Training-of-Trainers approach to carry out the trainings in the four countries.

The WFD President Colin Allen highlights the importance of partnerships and training in sign language: ‘The WFD has seen through its projects that deaf associations and their core individuals need to get together to learn and exchange their views in sign language with others in same situation. This is the only way to ensure that positive long-lasting impact can be achieved. I salute DDL for their development co-operation work and look forward to our involvement in this project as well.’

The DDL President Lars Knudsen continues, ‘The deaf associations under the Deaf Nordic Council have many years of experience with development projects for deaf associations in Africa. We have seen it work in practice. That is why DDL wanted to raise funds for the second phase of this project cooperation. We firmly believe that we have an obligation to assist developing the opportunities for deaf people all over the world, and we are so excited that this project is now extended with almost 3 years.’

The press release can also be downloaded at our Resources page here.