US Peace Corps Volunteer Creates First Swazi Sign Language Manual

At least 16.8 percent of Swaziland’s population is living with disabilities. Despite considerable progress in terms of legislation over the past few years, people with disabilities still face obstacles in their efforts to lead a meaningful life. U.S. Peace Corps Swaziland volunteer Pamela Keilig, who was working with the School for the Deaf in Siteki, had a vision to assist hearing persons to communicate with deaf persons. So Pamela worked with Mrs. Simangele Magagula, the Regional Inspector of Special Education and former head teacher at the School for the Deaf, to create the first Swazi sign language manual.

On November 30 during the commemoration of the International Day for Persons with Disabilities held in Manzini at the Mavuso Trade Fair Grounds, Pamela presented the finished product consisting of three volumes to the Acting Deputy Prime Minister Princess Tsandzile. The observance of the Day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.