Saturday, March 17, 2007

Mute and Deaf

As part of Anne's religious activity, she takes care of members of her society in Sg Buloh. Last week, she met this new member. She's 18 and she's a mute and deaf person. I believe she's born that way. Her parents sent her to a disabled school and she learned to read and write basic Malay. Anne told me that she conversed with her mother in Malay - it is strange to see a Chinese mother speaking to her mute and deaf daughter in Malay - the main reason is that many of the schools for disabled are run by the government and many of them are run by Malay people.

Even though I have not met her, I felt very strongly about helping this girl. Everyday I encourage Anne to give her English lessons. I feel that being mute and deaf is not as bad as say, blind. If the girl knows how to read in English, I feel that she will be open to a whole new world - there are so many English literatures - non fiction books - religious, inspiration, history, you name it.. and of course novels. What's more, with the popularity of computers and Internet, this girl will be able to communicate with almost everyone, all over the world. She could blog, she could chat, she could write - heck, she may be able to make a living... all it takes is lessons in English.

There are members who does not want to go to school, members who are not filial, members who "lepak" their days away, members who are depressed and members who have financial, relationship and self esteemed problems. But really, compared to them, this mute/deaf girl is in a more desperate situation. Can you imagine living in a world of complete silence and no one is able to communicate with you unless they write Bahasa in a piece of paper? Can you imagine the loneliness and emptiness this girl feels every single day? If there is one person we can make a difference, it is to a person like her - and really, all it takes is a 30 minute/day English lesson! Something all of us can do, right?

There's this story that I read - I don't remember the source but I thought it was a talk given by Gandhi's grandson in Malaysia last year - anyway.. this man walked along a beach where thousands of starfishes were left stranded. He saw a little boy picking up a starfish, threw it back to the sea then picked up another. The man asked the boy why he's doing it as he's just wasting his time. There are tens of thousands of starfish to save. The boy picked up a starfish and said, "I made a difference to this one" and threw it into the water.

I hope Anne can make a difference to this girl.

3 comments:

Bahija said...

yes, great job there ! when the person herself also wants to improve, we - the capable shld render our assistance :) , she shld go and learn the lip languages. I am in the midst to check out some disabled information, and when i confirm the sources and information, I'll share with her, that will really make their community happy :), i am praying so hard that it is a positive news.....I'm so sad for my Teddy Bear, aiiiii - at times, i'm so hopeless - but he is there to inspire me to do what i can ...

Bahija said...

Hi, is this 18 yrs old kid still schooling ? if yes , i have very good news , there is an allowances for this special kid. This year is $500, next year it is increased to $750 mthly, the school will bank into her account only :) this is some good fund for her. This is what i call some good initiative from government la or good use of my income taxes ...

anti-ringgit said...

ringgit ah ringgit! in the past you are so unlike this. you will rather talk abt your computer games leh. aiyohh what a shocker!

are you ok or not? i am scared.

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