First group of 14 interpreters were trained in 1999-2000. At the end of this training they received the first ever certificate for interpreting in Malawi. Following the training only 4 persons stayed in the field to work as interpreters.
There are some challenges we are faced with:
- There is only 1 interpreter per 200 deaf persons
- The profession of sign language interpreters is not recognised as a profession. This means that for example the interpreter is told to leave the meeting, because they are considered to interfere with the meeting.
- Lack of training and lack of knowledge among deaf persons, they do not know how to work with a sign language interpreter.
- Interpreting is mostly volunteer work
- The Malawi deaf association and Deaf Action from Scotland initiated a traiining and trained 18 interpreters. Two persons went to Scotland to become a trainer. They then trained the interpreters in Malawi. There are now two interpreters working full time for the deaf association and three are working part time on tv.