In developing countries deaf is often a forgotten group. Many receive little or no education. Without education, they lack the basic knowledge which is a prerequisite to becoming independent. DMI Norway is working to create better living conditions for deaf. By also giving them access to the word of God, their sense of dignity might also be strengthened.
DMI Norway believes that communication is of fundamental importance. Without the possibility to communicate, deaf in developing countries do not have the same opportunities that we experience in our part of the world. Deaf language is sign language. Deaf communicate with each other in sign language. DMI Norway is therefore using sign language as the main language.
DMI Norway focuses on three areas:
- Development of churches for deaf
- Self-support for deaf
Churches for deaf
One of our main goals is to develop churches for deaf. We run Bible schools, arrange courses and workshops and provide our workers with guidance along the way. We train local young deaf who go on to form deaf congregations in cities and villages in Africa and Asia.
Our focus is God the Father’s love. Jesus showed people this love. Our experience is that this message lifts people out of a black and white thinking, where life is mainly about commandments and rules, right and wrong. When people get to experience God the Father’s love, it often has positive effects both in their own lives and in their communities. DMI wishes to build churches which can be of help to the deaf community in different places.
Schools for deaf
DMI Norway strongly emphasizes the importance of education for deaf. Without an education deaf have very limited opportunities to develop themselves. Independence is the key to active participation and future employment in the society. Some deaf children attend regular school where they do not get an education in their own language. Often they understand very little of the lessons. In deaf schools, classes are taught in sign language, their own language. They are then able to understand and acquire knowledge. DMI Norway has therefore started several schools and ensures the continuous operation of these schools.
“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime. “
DMI helps deaf in developing countries gain financial independence. This applies both to the operation of schools and churches locally, but also to the personal finances of individuals. This is possible through the support of DMI’s “Sustainability fund” which has been set up to establish income-generating projects in the various fields. In addition, micro-finance systems are established several places where individuals can get cheap loans to help start up their own businesses.
Financial independence leads to confidence. DMI aims to make our fields in developing countries as independent as possible of donations from Western countries. Our principle is to provide help in a way that makes the recipients able to support themselves in the long term.