See the moment a deaf child "talks" for the first time
Imagine never experiencing the sound of music. Imagine never hearing your own name spoken aloud. Imagine never hearing your mother's voice telling you that she loved you. Imagine never hearing your own voice ring out in laughter. Now, imagine never hearing the voice of your own child. What a lonely existence to live in a world that you could not be fully a part of.
15-year-old, Patrick Otema, was born deaf in a country that believes that deafness is a curse. He lives in a remote area of northern Uganda with no access to schools for the deaf. He's never learned sign language and has never had a real conversation with anyone, not even his own father and mother.
Read more ¿Qué más?: Watch the incredible moment a deaf toddler hears his dad's voice for the first time
Patrick spends most of his day alone in his hut, in his own world. This is typical of most deaf Sub-Saharan Africans. If you've never been taught sign language, your ability to communicate with others is rudimentary at best leaving the deaf person imprisoned in their own solitary. I don't know but I think if I were left alone in silence I would go insane or at the very least live a very angry existence.
According to the World Health Organization, Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the world's highest rates of disabling hearing loss in children.
"The rate of deaf people in Uganda is twice that of a developed country like the U.K.," Bogado wrote on Reddit. "That's because a very large number of people become deaf after contracting endemic diseases like measles, mumps or malaria."
Many of these individuals do not have access to sign language education.
Luckily for Patrick, Raymond Okkelo, also deaf, has returned to his village to do something unprecedented, teach other deaf people sign language. Raymond lost his hearing from malaria as a child. Just a few months ago, he traveled to the capital for intense training in sign language. Now, he wants to offer Patrick and others like him a way out of the fearful silence they have always known.
In one class, you can see the difference being able to communicate makes to Patrick and all the students. It is our basic desire to connect with other human beings and to be deprived of that through deafness or any other disability must be torturous. The look on his face after realizing that he can "speak" to others with his hands is priceless.
Thank goodness for people like Raymond Okkelo who give back and make this all possible. This simple act has given Patrick his life back.
Watch the video of his story, it will make you smile or maybe cry!
Image via Youtube