Children and young people from the North Legon and neighbouring communities have benefitted from sign language and IT classes as part of the ‘Wisconsin in the Community’ Corporate Social Responsibility programme.

The sign language classes, offered with the assistance of volunteer Patrick Sarfo from the Lutheran Church, took non-deaf children through the basics of communicating with those with hearing impairments. 

Over a period of six weeks, the children, aged between 7 and 14 years, learned how to sign the alphabet and numbers up to 20, as well as how to exchange basic greetings and day-to-day conversation in sign language.

One of the participants, Jude Gyane, 12, a student at PreSec Primary School in Madina, said: “It is important for us to learn sign language because we need to learn how to communicate with those who are not like us so we can involve them more.”

The children expressed their excitement at the chance to learn at a university at their tender age and for the opportunity to learn a new language and make new friends.

The summer educational CSR programme included a two-week IT course geared towards recent SHS graduates. 

The SHS leavers were exposed to the basics of the Microsoft Office Suite as well as Web Design and Development. Each session included practicals and assignments.

Yvonne Takyi, 17, a former student of Aduman Senior High School in Kumasi, who lives with her grandmother in Tema, said:  “I learnt how to make faster calculations using Excel and also how to make report for a company or an enterprise. 

“We also learned how to send messages or letters faster to group emails and were also taught how to design a website.”

Yvonne, who wants to study medicine, added: “This course will help me in future to be able to do things faster because now I know a better way of doing it.”

The SHS students also benefitted from career and self-development advice from Wisconsin’s Career Services Officer, Ms Ngozi Dickson. The young people learned the pillars of success, which include self-discovery, time management and ascribing to the right values. 

Ms Dickson advised them on the dangers of spending too much time on social media or using it in the wrong way. The young people also prepared a four-year plan for their lives, which they were encouraged to keep and refer to from time to time.

Participants were presented certificates at the end of their respective courses.