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Fiji Association of the Deaf

a group of men and women holding up a sign "With Sign Language Everyone is Included"
Data collection to build a database, collect evidence and create reports to advocate for the rights and equality of Deaf people in Fiji

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About the Organization

Fiji Association of the Deaf (FAD) was established in 2002 as a non-profit organisation after a long consultation between the deaf community in Fiji, expressing the needs of a Deaf organisation that can represent them at every levels. 16 years later, the organisation has grown from strength to strength, building relationships with partners around Fiji, Pacific and Oceania but still struggle to fully develop our services due to little statutory grants received from the Fiji Government and other public funding. It is our desire to continue finding more funding to grow our services to support the Deaf people living in Fiji and Pacific islands.

The vision of the Fiji Association of the Deaf is ‘Strengthening the Deaf community through empowerment, inclusion, promotion and diversity’. The mission of the Fiji Association of the Deaf is ‘To provide people who are Deaf with equal opportunities so that they can live as equal member in the wider society. To help people who are Deaf to gain an independence and the ability to advocate for their own needs’. There are six members of the FAD board, who are all Deaf and sign language users, duty elected by the member of the FAD at their annual general meeting.

Currently very few Deaf people in Fiji have access to any form of formal education, access to justice and fair treatment in all areas of our lives such as the workplace, community and public services. Women and girls are often abused; they are usually kept at home to do chores and fetch food from the sea or plantation while their hearing siblings are given opportunities to go to school. It is from our outreach programs and community awareness that new members are identified and we can bring them to the town centers for trainings in the area of human rights, empowerment, and financial literacy, etc.

When lobbying the Fijian Government for the rights and equality of Deaf people in Fiji, the FAD is often asked by Government to provide evidence and numbers of Deaf people living in Fiji and islands- that’s a roadblock for the FAD with its limited resources. It seems that the Government will only look at numbers and evidence before opening dialogue with the FAD and the Deaf community so there is a desperate need of data and evidence collection across the country, which is why we are proposing ‘Identifying Deaf Fijians’. With the project, we will be able to build on our database, collect evidence and create reports to present the Government and start advocating for the rights and equality of Deaf people in Fiji, including a legal status of Fijian Sign Language.

FIji Association of the Deaf details on the WFD Members Directory: https://wfdeaf.org/who-we-are/members/wfd-members/name/fiji-association-of-the-deaf/

About the Project

Many Deaf people in Fiji and Samoa do not have access to any form of formal education or access to justice and fair treatment in all areas of our lives such as the workplace, community and public services. It is from our outreach programs and community awareness that new members are identified and we can bring them to the town centers for trainings in the area of human rights, empowerment, financial literacy, etc. When lobbying the Fijian Government for the rights and equality of Deaf people in Fiji, we are often asked for evidence and information about Deaf people living in Fiji and islands. There is a desperate need of data and evidence collection across the country and our project ‘Identifying Deaf Fijians’ helped build our database, collect evidence and create reports to present the Government and start advocating for the rights and equality of Deaf people in Fiji, including a legal status of Fijian Sign Language. FAD also has a strong desire to help our neighbouring islands. Last year we went to Samoa and supported them to establish Deaf Association of Samoa, which was successful in terms of completing legal items such as constitution, election of the board, mission and vision of the organisation and so on. Our sub-project ‘Fulfilling Deaf Samoans’ helped provide more training how to lead the organisation. That included leadership training, how to conduct meetings, how to advocate for the rights of Deaf people, how to approach higher level such as the Government and so on. Both projects in Fiji and Samoa helped Deaf people become empowered to lead independent lives and be embraced as equals in their home and communities.

Update #1

Fiji Association of the Deaf recently hosted a successful event with WASLI, August 17 to 19, 2018

Data Collection Activities, Fiji

Workshop & Training Activities, Samoa

Facebook posts

If you would like to learn how you can support Fiji and Samoa, please email FAD at [email protected]

More Projects To Explore

a group of men and women holding up a sign "With Sign Language Everyone is Included"

Fiji Association of the Deaf

Data collection to build a database, collect evidence and create reports to advocate for the rights and equality of Deaf people in Fiji

Do You Want To Learn about Developing a Project?

Read through our Planning a Project page

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