About the Organization
The Ghana National Association of the Deaf-Youth Section (GNAD-YS) is a wing of Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD) and works for an active and productive Deaf community with access to education and information and steady economic activities that can sustain and maintain quality and a secure life.
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Goals included removing communication barriers, creating awareness and to advocate equal opportunities for Deaf people. GNAD-YS was established in 2009 through a pilot project with the Danske Døves Ungdomsforbund (DDU-Danish Deaf Youth Association). In 2014, GNAD in collaboration with DDU, sent two Deaf youth (a male and female) to Denmark for an international leadership and project management course for Deaf youth. Their studies and experience led to a preparatory and a pilot project between DDU and GNAD-YS (2015-2017). GNAD-YS believes that Deaf youth can lead if given the opportunity and the support needed- they can turn disadvantages into great opportunities!
GNAD-YS on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/gnadyouth
News article from September 2017 http://gnadgh.org/first-ever-national-youth-camping-and-annual-general-meeting/
GNAD-YS Board Members 2017-2019
Shakul Issifu, Treasurer
Richard Doku, President
Linda A. Gibbah, Vice President
Limani Kazia, Public Relations Officer
Cosmos Wuanka, Secretary
About the Project
A preparatory study conducted by GNAD-YS in 2015 showed that there was a lack of focus on the Deaf youth in Ghana who have barriers in all areas of life. During their first national youth camp in January 2017, representatives from Ghana regions discussed and determined that there was a weak organizational capacity, low education and awareness of rights among young Deaf people, and they were not included in decision making about their welfare in the society. These issues were most evident in the Northern and Central regions (Cape Coast, Tamale and Yendi districts).
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[Description: This video opens with a man signing directly at the camera. It will switch to a female and then switch again to another man both signing directly at the camera. It will end with all three together]
This project with MNI facilitated the positive development of Deaf youth in the Cape Coast Municipality by equipping the youth with knowledge on their Human Rights, Leadership and Advocacy skills to demand for their rights for inclusion in decision making regarding their welfare. GNAD-YS worked with public stakeholders such as organizations and government agencies that played an important role in the development and well being of Deaf people.
Hurray… Filled with gratitude to Mill Neck International (MNI), we proudly announced our successful completion of a Sensitization Workshop and Leadership Training for Cape Coast youth in the Central region. The Sensitization workshop which was a two-day activity was attended by over 40 Deaf youth around the Cape Coast municipality.
This Sensitization workshop was the third activity in the pilot project timeline; which purposefully was to create awareness of the project. The youths were brief on the project goal, timeline and its expectations. The GNAD-YS president, Mr. Richard Doku took the opportunity to give a brief history of the GNAD-YS. Concluding his briefing, the president emphasized that “unless Deaf youth strive for higher education and more knowledge, we will always linger behind our hearing counterparts.” The vice president Linda Gibbah also noted the challenges young female Deaf faced in saying “NO” when they meant to say so and the lack of self-empowerment so that they can act on they own authority. The vice president therefore lectured the young female participants on “Women empowerment” to enable them represent their interests in a more responsible way.
The leadership training was specifically for the ten selected leaders of the cape coast Deaf youth association. Mr. Cosmos Wuanka, the Secretary of the GNAD-YS led the training for the 3 days. Before this workshop, leaders were assigned Mobilization and Data collection (second project activity) on the Deaf youths within the cape coast municipality. The data enabled the leaders to be abreast with information and needs of their members in the association and how best to work about their problems for a change.
The workshop and training were made beautiful and interesting with games and fun that brought about excitements. We say a “Big thank you” to MNI for this support and we believe in better days ahead as we work hand in hand. GNAD-YS: Together We Can!
MNI project phase two: Advocacy and UNCPRD
The training was a success with presentations made by the board and participants (as a test of their knowledge and experience). The presentations included Leaders as Advocates, Challenges associated with leadership and advocacy, UNCRPD and practicing on the modes of advocacy.
Looking back into 2018 (while writing the Mill Neck International project – project funding 2018/2019), we had the thought to reach more of the deaf youth beyond the project goal. In our project application, we mentioned reaching at least 100 youths. Nevertheless, today we have gone far reaching over 1,000 including both primary target and the secondary target. The number of likes and messages on our Facebook page and WhatsApp continues.
The rise in number was due to the national youth camp which allowed the leaders from the various corners of the country to gather with their peers, share ideas, and had fun while learning. Thanks to the training and support of the MNI project team Sarah and Lisa, our leaders had a lot to teach back home.
The project site, Cape Coast municipality had already reached over five nearby towns where a number of deaf youth can be found. Thanks to President Joseph (president elect, Cape Coast Deaf youth association) who is working hard and selflessly to organize the youth in his region. His immense efforts has reached Winneba youth, a town almost 88km away from Cape Coast; Swedru, over 115km, Ajumako, Elmina and the other districts around them.
However, 14 out of the 20 youth leaders from the regions,who had a chance to participate in the training at the National Youth Camp had also been able to gather their members to share their knowledge and experience. Tamale in the Northern region, Wa in the Upper West region, Takoradi in the Western region, Accra in the Greater Accra region, Ashanti region, to mention but a few.
We have also received international correspondents from other countries such as Senegal, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Cameroon; all of which requested for partnership. “I saw some wonderful posts from Mill Neck International on Facebook. Well done to you and your YOM” Shirley (WFD-YS secretary) wrote in one of her emails to us. This is an awesome result. And as we proudly congratulate ourselves, we also wish to say a big “Thank You” to the entire Mill Neck Organization for the life changing work around the globe.
GNAD-YS ‘s next activity on the MNI project was the Project Monitory and Evaluation. Even as we awaited this activity, we have already witnessed the awesome effect of this project on the Department of Social Welfare; who had pledged their maximum support for the deaf youth in the Cape Coast Municipality, we also believe this project has brought a change to the lives of the deaf youth in the cape coast municipality. Today, we have 4 deaf ladies among the 10 leaders and 2 females among the 5 boards of the Cape Coast Youth Association (project site). We also believe that the result or outcome of this project will put GNAD-YS on a greater path towards achieving more for the deaf youth in Ghana.
GNAD-YS feels greatly indebted to MNI for the opportunity, support and the love shown us. Words cannot really express our appreciation. As we work towards the end of this project, we believe that we will be able to sustain our relationship with MNI for many more years to come.