As we look forward in anticipation to exciting challenges of 2015, the WFD Board and Secretariat would like take a moment to look back and reflect on our achievements.
2014 has been a successfully busy and rewarding year for us all. As an international non-profit organisation supporting over 70 million deaf people worldwide, our advocacy role is vital and we are relentless in our work. It is encouraging to note that all that has been accomplished so far strengthens our core existence.
Our advocacy works are evident through participation in the various United Nations (UN) Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) meeting sessions at the UN Headquarters in New York, and its Office in Geneva. Additionally, the Board Members had the chance to travel across the globe to present, conduct trainings, deliver statements and have exchanges with various stakeholders.
Through these important interactions, one consistent message that the WFD constantly promote is the right to Sign Language particularly in education for the deaf community, including children, interpreters and families of the deaf. It is in the WFD’s best interest to monitor that the needs of the deaf people are met through the implementation of CRPD by the governments around the world.
We are all very proud of Dr Liisa Kauppinen for receiving the UN Human Rights Award in December 2013. This historical global recognition has certainly boosted our activities in 2014. Congratulations once again, Dr Liisa!
Moreover, our work would not be possible without the various financial support we received from donors and grantors who believe in our work. Their support has allowed us to embark on Human Rights activities worldwide.
We must not forget the selfless work of our Board Members. They are volunteers who have contributed their time and expertise to support our goals. Their enduring passion is the fuel that ignites success. We are also indebted to our Ordinary Members who made it possible for the Board Members to attend the Board Meetings in Russian Federation and China. It is at these meetings that the Board gathers and evaluate our progress.
We strongly believe in fostering effective relationships within the deaf community worldwide. Our quadrennial world congress provides an excellent platform for deaf individuals all around the world to gather and network.
The XVII World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf will be held in Istanbul, Turkey from 28th July to 1st August, 2015. The theme for the World Congress: Strengthening Human Diversity is a call to continue our important work to achieve equality for deaf people based on the UNCRPD. Start making your travel plans for 2015 so that we can all come together to create an unforgettable experience.
From all of us at WFD Board and Secretariat, happy holidays and a prosperous new year.