The Deaf Unit, Old Cairo
The Deaf Unit is a bilingual NGO currently serving deaf children (Christian and Muslim), 55 of whom live at the school whilst another 15 children attend classes from the surrounding area. Students enter the school when they are between 5 to 6 years old, and study at the deaf unit until Year 6.
When a child begins at the school, the first step is to communicate with him/her. “If they communicate by standing on their heads, we will stand on our heads.” Many families with deaf children have a private family or “home” sign language, however, at the school they learn standard Egyptian Sign Language. In about a month, they can learn enough sign language to communicate with each other and with the world around them.
The child's family then should choose one person, usually someone who can read and write, to learn Egyptian Sign Language. After the child learns to read and write in Arabic we then trying to teach English. “English is the language the world uses” and the Internet opens up all information.
The Deaf Unit has come a long way since it was opened 1982. The school has branched out into vocational training, teacher training for the Middle East, a Deaf Club, a Deaf Church and an audiology department is under preparation that will provide hearing tests free of charge. “Our target population is the people who cannot find or afford services." In these vocational training tracks, girls can choose sewing, weaving and embroidery whilst boys can choose carpentry, furniture painting, and metalworking.
The Rev. Faraj Hanna, Director
Address: 46 Amr Ben El Ass Street, Old Cairo
Mobile: + 01202229475
The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis
In His Steps (Film of the Diocese)