Saturday, 16 July 2011

Malawi country report

There are 12 million people in Malawi and of this 6000 people are deaf.

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
Some achievements:
  • 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.

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