Foundation for Civil Society (FCS) has issued grants worth TZS 200 million to 15 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) that support deaf people in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar. The support will go in implementing projects and interventions that improve communication between deaf people and the Police, Prisons and the Judiciary. The aim is to foster support to the rights of deaf people and advocate for the use of sign language interpretation in these government institutions.
During the contract signing between FCS and the various CSOs, Francis Kiwanga, the Executive Director for FCS said, ‘‘Deaf people face a lot of challenges as a result of the absence of sign language interpretations. Today we sign contracts with various CSOs channelling grants between TZS 10 and 20 million for initiatives that support the use of sign language to enable the deaf people to effectively communicate and access their basic rights while engaging with the various law and justice enforcement agencies. Our vision for the project is to see improved services for deaf people and ensure that they access their rights’’
The Vice President of Zanzibar Federation of Sports for the Deaf, a CSO based in the Isles, Jide Khamis Saleh said that deaf people fail to access various services due to the lack of sign language experts. Grants from FCS will go to improve the situation. “Over the years, FCS supported the initiatives of deaf people. We are grateful for the grants and the inclusion initiatives by this institution” she said.
The issued grant will go to support CSOs from 14 regions in Tanzania working on issues related to the rights and welfare of the Deaf people.