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Silent Orphans

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We have come across some horrific stories of physical violence that have ended up in death but many are of sexual exploitation and abuse, trafficking, dangerous work and programmed religious indoctrination of the sole purpose of recruitment of child soldiers.

Many traditional practices, such as arranged child marriage, are also harmful, especially to the female of the species due to not being developed yet to have children. The silent Orphans have been vulnerable in the face of natural disaster and human conflict since the last 66 Years of United Nation violations. All of these inhumane threats have had a long lasting effect on the children’s health and mental well being. The saddest thing is no one really knew that these children have been suffering for decades, as it is not reported in the mainstream media and who would care if they don't hear through charity organisations, through disasters. No one knew that some are Deaf, Blind and have learning difficulties such as Dyslexia until now.

Who are the Silent?

Hearing impairment and deafness are serious disabilities that can impose a heavy social and economic burden on the silent individuals, families, communities of Kashmir in the Sub Continent of Asia. Since village living requires so much daily work to cultivate crops and cook meals families do not have time or the means to help their disabled family members become active in the field of communication and are not encouraged to learn knowing there will be no benefit by giving such important time.

These Deaf children may communicate by simple signs to tell when they are hungry, but they can't communicate much more than that. They can't tell anyone when their shoes have become too small, when they need another blanket on cold nights or how they feel when they're sick, this is life for the silent children of Kashmir.

These silent children tend to be isolated from society in ways that people with hearing struggle to understand, they are often seen as burdensome and in some cultures and faiths seen as bad omen for their families. Education for the Deaf in Kashmir is severely lacking as they are often denied the opportunity to live independent and fulfilling lives.

It is well documented that children with hearing impairment often experience delayed development of speech, language and cognitive skills, which may result in slow learning and difficulty progressing in school. This leads to children being socially excluded from their communities and not having equal chances to participate actively in the social and economic domain due to their disability.

Dyslexia

These Deaf children are known to have difficulties in reading, but there are no tests that can be used by teachers to measure deaf children's reading levels, we use testing methods used by REMPLOY on disabled members of the community. Cashmir welcomes disability learning tests from all academic institutes and we encourage you to contact us to help these disabled individuals by such means.

Given the genetic basis of dyslexia among hearing children, it is likely that a percentage of deaf children will also be dyslexic. However, dyslexia among deaf children is poorly understood and not researched enough, consequently a diagnosis of dyslexia in a deaf child is very rare. This has implications for the level of support deaf children receive and a few families have time to cater to children with special needs.

Lack of skilled medical care exacerbates the problem, we need an early identification and investigation system to help support these individuals by building a scope of confidence knowing all has not failed. It is also generally assumed that deafness rates in developing countries are higher due to the amount of limited treatment options, malnutrition, and chronic illnesses that affect hearing. This can be mitigated by deploying the correctional treatments through our projects that is why it is imperative that we deliver these protocols to save the lives of these silent children.

There are many hard of hearing children around the world who can function as fairly easily. These children are usually provided with hearing aids, but most families in the developing world cannot afford them. However in Kashmir it is not a simple case of not affording the treatment, it is a case of finding such treatment should the minds of the parents be pessimistic in the knowledge that there are organisations like Cashmir who will do their upmost to help these silent but not forgotten children.

Cultural attitudes also contribute to the lack of urgency when it comes to deaf children’s education. There are some harmful stereotypes about the Deaf that are common in many countries. Some see deafness as an act of fate or a sign of God’s punishment. Deaf children are often hidden because they are considered a source of familial shame. They may also be pitied and seen as burdensome and helpless, which can result in abuse such as sexual violence towards deaf women.

These negative attitudes generally increase the isolation of deaf children and feed into the stigmatisation of deafness. Governmental policies that fail to protect the Deaf from discrimination, as well as derogatory language similar to the English phrase “deaf and dumb”, are manifestations of this stigmatization, this needs to be changed in every village, in ever community, in every place.

However most of that training has been aimed at the hearing community and Cashmir has been predominantly working in isolation from other organisations.

This year we would like to work with other organisations with similar aims and objectives, this way we can achieve more and by doing so the silent will be heard and will see further as the saying goes "we can see further standing on the shoulders of giants".

Working with Volunteer Scotland has produced some outstanding results. These results come in the form of exceptional  volunteers. The indepth interviews that we did with the volunteers showed that we had exceeded the expectations of the first workshop.  Reflecting on this it was probably due to the experienced evaluation of course materials and facilitator skills that gave remarkable results showing the strengthen of our charity in Scotland and Kashmir.

 

Social Networking

Cashmir Foundation has only recently set up a facebook page however for the participants and supporters of our organisation this has been a real positive experience.  Our volunteers are able to see what happened during workshops and thus comment and reflect socially online.

 

Never forget Kindness

We are a small organisation with a huge task but that does not deter us and we are motivated even more so when we see the language of the silent.  As these Deaf children were challenged and they thrived, the joy of their discoveries was incredible.  One of them described it best – ‘This is the first time that we have been taught in our own language about our own language.  But it is more than that it is the first time that we were really taught and we really learnt that there are people who care, we will never forget your kindness.’

 

Where Cashmir can reach to help and communicate to lessen the burden of failure, then these children are not alone and they do have a voice through Cashmir because Life is Precious

Cashmir is working very hard to deliver this program with the help of preferred partners, together we can help alleviate suffering of the silent children of Kashmir. 

Cashmir will build in areas to accommodate learning facilities where there is none and promote the heritage, arts and culture of Kashmir for the silent children of Kashmir. 

 

 

 

Cashmir - Life is Precious