The COSARAF Foundation’s grant funds the “Empowering Deaf Girls to Learn” project in Karachi focussing on the unique challenges faced by deaf girls to attaining literacy and communication skills, and thereby acquiring life skills and marketable skills that will promote their social and economic well-being.

Throughout the grant period COSARAF Foundation will sponsor the tuition of 50 female students to access education & attend Deaf Reach school in Pakistan. The grant will also be used to support 200 parents and siblings to also train in Pakistani sign language creating greater understanding, awareness and inclusion in their families and communities, thereby fostering a more nurturing environment for their development.

With the help of this generous grant, deaf students are able to continue getting quality education in their native language, which will ultimately help them become independent and inclusive members of the society.
Daniel Lanthier, Director of Operations

Please find below the story of Neha, a student at Deaf Reach School:

Neha is a 10 year old deaf girl who lives in Shahbaz Colony in Tando Allahyar Town in Sindh, Pakistan. She has two younger sisters, both of whom are hearing.

Neha’s mother always wanted Neha to go to school and recalls that when Neha was a year old, she would actually respond to sound. However, her condition started deteriorating after she developed a high fever at the age of two. Neha’s mother recalls that Neha had always shown a keen interest in learning. When Neha learned that her family could not afford to send her to school, she insisted that they at least buy her a clipboard. Neha would then borrow paper from her cousin, put it on her clipboard, and copy words from the newspapers and magazines. She longed to attend school like her peers and would be immensely upset when informed of the obstacles that stopped her from doing so.

It has now been few years since Neha joined Deaf Reach School, and not only is she able to sign but can also read and understand hundreds of words – both in English and Urdu. Every day after school, Neha buys the newspaper from the corner store and signs the headlines to her mother. Her mother particularly enjoys such moments with Neha, and is especially proud of her since she and her husband are both illiterate. When asked what she wanted to become after graduating from school, Neha said she wanted to become a Doctor for the police department.

Neha is now confident in her ability to learn and likes to gather her younger siblings and teach them at home. She has become an inspiration for her younger siblings and hopes to inspire more when she grows up.