Have you ever wondered about the Deaf Community that exists outside of the UK? There are a lot of organisations and initiatives that you can be part of, such as the European Union of the Deaf (EUD). Recently our trustee – Paul Ntulila – attended a training workshop with EUD’s youth arm, the European Union of the Deaf Youth (EUDY). Watch the video to see Paul’s story in BSL or read the translation below.
Hello my name is Paul and I’m a trustee for Deaf Unity. I’m really happy to be invited to share with you a wonderful experience I had recently where I attended a workshop in Budapest, Hungary. This was a workshop organised by UBUNTU Europe: Deaf Youth for a group called the European Union of the Deaf Youth (EUDY).
The workshop covered several topics surrounding race, migration, and xenophobia. I really learned a lot and was given an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of human rights, and about some of the prejudices around migration and immigrants.
It really was an eye-opening experience, made more so by the fact that it was attended by representatives from the 27 member states of Europe. It was a truly unique experience where they really challenged our thinking. They gave us the opportunity to self-reflect and engage in discussions where we could really explore how racism and our environment can affect us personally in our work environment and our professional lives.
Being able to listen to the experiences from such a wide representation of member states, it really surprised me the diversity of experiences. This gave me a much broader understanding of the issues that people face and really empowered me to develop agency and understand my self-worth.
To think that if I hadn’t attended the workshop I’d wouldn’t have had this safe forum to discuss such sensitive topics and engage in those types of conversations. I hope in the future other young people can attend a workshop like this – I would certainly recommend it.
It was wonderful to see the diversity of ethnicities present at the workshop as it allowed us to explore how we can all engage as allies and work together across the globe and various diaspora to support each other, to build capacity within our communities and that we are working towards common and shared goals.
I wanted to share some International Signs (the ‘language’ of the workshop):
If you want to learn more signs, why not look for opportunities to interact with European deaf people or more globally. You could also check out content on YouTube and other sites to expose yourself to International Sign (IS) or American Sign Language (ASL) – they are different – it could be useful for you in the future.
Thanks for watching!
Note: International Sign is not a ‘signed language’ – it is a set of vocabulary that is ever-changing and varies depending on who is using it and where you are located. For more information, read our article on IS