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June 16, 2004

Salesian Home Helps Deaf And Dumb to Earn Money

From: - Africa - Jun 16, 2004

The Independent (Freetown)
June 16, 2004
Posted to the web June 16, 2004

The Catholic Don Bosco Home in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone has offered an opportunity to the deaf and blind youths to become self reliant.

"We have observed that they usually do not have anything to do and are usually more or less pariahs in society," says Father John Thompson the Salesian American priest who is director of the home.

He says presently, the Home is training 8 of them. "But as time goes on, we hope to increase the number we accommodate," he says, adding: "If these people are not helped to acquire skills how will they live when they get families?"

The home was opened in 1999 at height of the civil war for street kids and the priest has succeeded to purchase a building in the centre of the city, which now also hosts about 5 Salesian priests.

"For a long time we have observed the plight of deaf and dumb and realise that we should not only confine our activities to taking care of street kids," Father John says.

He adds! "The present set are trained in carpentry, making local shoes, and tailoring." He says they are also trained as trainers so that they will train their colleagues in the future.

"When they finish, we give them a package that consists, tools, and a small amount of money to start their own life," he says, adding. "They cannot live by begging through their life time".

The deaf usually find it easy to make a living but the dumb only get a living by begging. The training has given them an opportunity to earn living.

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