A Mother’s Story
This past March, three Deaf Child Hope staff members traveled to Honduras to spend time at two of our partners there. During that trip, a few parent interviews were conducted using a translator. As you can imagine, finding out your child cannot hear is very difficult news to receive when you know little about Deafness. What makes it harder is when there are no resources to help you navigate. Many parents of deaf children in developing countries don’t have a doctor nearby to give them a definite diagnosis. They have to travel great distances to seek help and with little to no money to do so. Not to mention all of the steps afterward. No accessible therapies, or the opportunity to get hearing aids. No cochlear implant surgery or regular visits with the audiologist. One family we met agreed to share their story. Yedri (pronounced Jed-ri) is 10 years old. He lives with his mother and younger sister in very rural Honduras. The teacher who is now working with Yedri to teach him sign language has to drive over 30 minutes from the closest town to get to their home. The interview was conducted at their home. While the adults talked, Yedri was walking around their small property and picking up pieces of a bicycle. First a wheel, then a chain, the handlebars, a seat, and so on, and showing them off to his visitors. The DCH staff wondered if he was trying to collect all of the pieces to maybe put the bike back together again or if they were all pieces from a different bicycle that he was trying to make into one to use.
We want to extend our thanks to Yedri and his mother for this interview and for allowing us to share their story.
How old was Yedri when you wondered about his hearing abilities?
Mother: “He was about a year and a half old when I realized he couldn’t hear. He wasn’t speaking at all which is what led us to find out about his deafness.
Was there anybody close by, such as a doctor, who could help you understand what this all meant?
Mother: “The first person to help us at all was Ellie, his teacher who found us when Yedri was 5 years old. He has learned a lot from Ellie. Before that there was nothing. No doctors, no school, no resources at all. I can’t send him to school with his sister because he can’t learn anything there. He only learns with Ellie because they can communicate using sign language.”
When Ellie first came into your lives what was your reaction to her? This white woman from far away who knew how to teach Yedri how to communicate for the first time.
Mother: “I gave thanks to God. He sent someone we needed so badly, who could help our family with what we needed to be able to teach our child. We have also been able to meet other children who are deaf just like him. He is very happy when he gets to spend time with those children.”
And their mothers, the mothers of other deaf children. That’s important too.
We want you to know that when we return to the United States we are still thinking of you and praying for you and for Ellie and Yedri and his education. We love you and are supporting you.
Towards the end, Yedri’s mother was getting choked up, as was the interviewer who is also the mother of a deaf child born into poverty.
Yedri is one of our many children still waiting for a sponsorship of $38.00 a month. If you would like to sponsor Jedri and be a stranger that turns into one of the most important people in his life, here’s the link. https://deafchildhope.reachapp.co/sponsorships/yedri
*Fun Fact- Honduran Sign Language is called Lesho. Lesho is very different from American Sign Language. All countries have their own unique sign language and is not universal.