International Volunteer Programs in Deaf Education
Volunteers on World Endeavors Deaf Education projects empower Deaf communities by increasing education, literacy, job skills, and economic self-sufficiency. Volunteers partner with existing support agencies for the Deaf that work to improve local educational infrastructure and help both adults and children improve their signing and literacy skills. Volunteers with signing abilities may assist in classrooms, provide after-school tutoring to Deaf students, or teach computer and other skills classes. Volunteers without signing ability can provide general support for the Deaf community and contribute to advocacy and outreach projects.
With any volunteer project, the nature of volunteers’ work begins with the needs of the community. The specific tasks volunteers carry out depend on the specific project, the time of year, the country, and most importantly, the specific needs of the individuals they are helping.
The Value of Volunteering Abroad
World Endeavors’ international volunteer programs have lasting benefits for both host communities and individual volunteers. Volunteering abroad is a valuable way to contribute energy and enthusiasm to projects that host communities have identified as important. In addition to serving the needs of communities around the world, volunteers gain a better understanding of other cultures and become more engaged global citizens.
In the Spotlight: Deaf Education Abroad
Deaf Education projects provide participants, particularly those with an interest in signing or Deaf culture, an opportunity to contribute their skills and passion to helping Deaf communities worldwide. Volunteers immerse themselves in local Deaf communities, exchanging ideas and learning about their host cultures while making a difference to local Deaf adults and children. Volunteers have the opportunity to learn some of their host country’s sign language. These projects build bridges between individuals and cultures.
Eligibility for Volunteering Abroad
Volunteering abroad can be a life-changing experience, with unique rewards and challenges. To meet the challenges of these projects, it is important for participants to bring both enthusiasm and humility to their projects. Successful volunteers combine energy and a strong work ethic with respect for their local communities and a willingness to listen and take direction.
Volunteer projects in Deaf education are open to both Deaf and hearing participants, and to those with and without sign ability. Volunteers who have experience with American Sign Language or other signing systems find that these projects are a fantastic way to make use of their skills and contribute to a community. Participants who don’t have a background in signing or Deaf culture can also put their skills and enthusiasm to use, assisting in classrooms and participating in outreach projects.
Where Can I Do this Project?
World Endeavors offers the following Deaf Education volunteer projects: