At yesterday’s school supply distribution, many students and their parents thanked the FOC volunteers. Sometimes it was in English, sometimes in Spanish, but today some students used their hands—for sign language.
Four students who have hearing impairments have been working with therapists at Manos y Voces (Hands and Voices). Friends of Cozumel helped Manos y Voces in 2012, by building the island’s first testing facility for those with hearing impairments. This small room is equipped with sound proofing material in the ceiling and walls and provides the doctor with the appropriate space to run hearing tests in a controlled environment. Six months ago, these two students were evaluated and it was determined that they were able to hear and differentiate enough sounds that they would benefit with a special type of hearing aids. They were provided with these aids and as a result, the students have made enough progress to now attend a regular school!
“One of the girls was so excited about the ‘Jesus Loves Me’ pencil pouch that she showed me and her mother when she unpacked it,” said Karen, an FOC coordinator. “I think she recognized the word Jesus. I told her she could thank the volunteer who made them and pointed out Ilene from Texas. The girl’s mother helped her practice what to say and I took her to Ilene. In nearly perfect pronunciation, she told Ilene thank you in Spanish. It was one of those truly priceless moments.”
The Manos y Voces students were very happy to receive their backpack of school supplies and we were just as happy to learn about their achievements. Felicidades—congratulations, to students, therapist and donors. What a great success story.