Published Wed, Jul 25, 2018. Written by .
DOES GOD UNDERSTAND SIGN LANGUAGE?
This was a question one of IDEA’s high school deaf students recently asked.
The deaf children want and need to know that they have a Heavenly Father who understands them and loves them. They need to know that God did not make a mistake when he made them but that they are special. IDEA strives to help the deaf students understand who God is and His plan for their lives. We teach them that God understands their thoughts and hearts so they don’t even need to worry about language. We want them to know that they can talk to Him any time through prayer. The deaf children and young adults learn about God through the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. Students at IDEA are not required to participate in any bible lessons, but they have plenty of opportunities to learn if they choose.
HOW DO WE SHARE JESUS WITH THE DEAF?
It takes years of academic education for the Deaf to understand the Bible. This means that even the simplest Bible stories can’t be shared by simply sitting down with a group young children and reading to them.
The most effective method to share with the elementary school kids seems to be through the use of felt boards. If you grew up in church, you most likely know exactly what we're talking about!
For those unfamiliar with this technique, characters, objects, building, trees, and etc. are rinted on paper with a felt fabric backing. Backgrounds are painted on large pieces of felt which the cutout pictures will easily stick to making a complete scene. Our teachers are given the materials needed as well as the curriculum to follow. Because of the deafness, our students are language delayed so the stories can be adjusted to every level.
Bohol Deaf Academy is our private high school located in Tagbilaran City, Bohol. The deaf kids who reach this grade have come far enough in language development to be able to read and understand. Bible class is incorporated into the curriculum of the school. In addition, every Wednesday night is Bible study night.
Each week there are numbers of Bible studies happening around Tagbilaran City for the Deaf and IDEA employees. These studies are set up for married couples and adult singles. Women from the Fly Tie Industry gather every Thursday evening while the ladies at the IDEA Admin Office as well as a group of men from the construction shop have their Bible study on Friday evenings. IDEA Philippines supports attending church or Bible studies by providing free transportation.
IDEA Philippines has helped establish a non-denominational Deaf Church where the pastor is himself deaf.
A number of young deaf adults have formed several spiritual outreach teams. Once a month these groups from Tagbilaran City takes the message of Jesus to the elementary deaf school in the different towns. These teams use dramas and skits to get their stories across. They also just spend time with the children playing games and making crafts.
We want every student at IDEA, their families, and the surrounding communities to know that they are loved by their heavenly father. With the support and prayers of people all over the world, we are able to share the good news of Jesus.
Published Wed, Jul 11, 2018. Written by .
Employment and Income Generating Projects (EIGPs)
Once students at IDEA graduate, the next step is to find out what they want to do. Young adults that finish their schooling are in need of jobs, but there are very few regular businesses that are willing to hire the deaf. So, IDEA has established a number of businesses to offer employment.
All of the deaf employees are expected to become proficient in their jobs as they must compete with all other regular businesses. The hallmark of IDEA’s EIGPs is quality, good service, good facilities, and fair prices. It is on these qualities that we are able to succeed with our businesses.
If a business does generate a profit, that amount is funneled back into educating and caring for the deaf children in the schools.
Here are some of the businesses we are now involved in:
The Garden Cafe
Garden Café was opened in 1984. Initially it was a small bamboo snack center, but has undergone many renovations. The most recent was to turn the entire restaurant into an Old West themed restaurant and museum.
Dao Diamond Hotel and Restaurant
This small hotel is most popular with NGO (non-government organizations) and LGUs (local government units). They hold their live-in seminars and workshops here. It also caters to local and international tourists as well as group student tours.
IDEA Cafe and Pension House
This small lodging house and restaurant is located in the quaint little town of Jagna, Bohol. It is a very clean and comfortable operation offering 14 well furnished private rooms and a spacious restaurant. All agree that the Garden Café restaurant in Jagna has the best food in town!
Hammer and Nails Livelihood Center, Inc.
One of IDEA’s Employment and Income Generating Projects (EIGPs) is the construction shop, now officially named Hammer and Nails Livelihood Center, Inc. (HNLC). The majority of its employees were once our deaf-student beneficiaries. HNLC offers services such as electronics/refrigeration/appliance repair, furniture and upholstery, landscaping, masonry, automotive services, welding, painting, carpentry, and many more. It works on the repair and maintenance of the EIGPs and IDEA dormitories and serves as our vocational training center for our high school deaf students. The shop is also looking forward to accept contracts outside of IDEA in the future.
This industry produces artificial fishing bait. Mart Lerma, also Deaf and the only man in the group, leads a very industrious group of female workers in producing fishing flies and lures. With over 500 patterns our ladies produce 50,000 fishing flies per month.
IDEA is dedicated to helping students not only succeed in school, but in their adult lives. These businesses offer them the opportunity to support themselves, and in many cases their family. So, some of our recent graduates may end up working at one of the places above that offers employment to deaf individuals. Your continued support and prayers make this after graduation program possible along with the IDEA schools.
Published Mon, Jun 18, 2018. Written by .
The team from Billings headed to the Philippines to help work on dorms, landscaping, and spend time with the kids. The trip was filled with hard work and fun times! Here is a little snippet of what the team accomplished during their time in the Philippines:
The team worked on painting the kids dorms on Thursday. Since Friday was a holiday, the kids had the chance to go home for a 3 day weekend. But, 56 of them stayed to help and work with the team! This made for a fun weekend for the team and the kids!
The kids helped paint both the interior and exterior of their dorms. Some kids swept the school grounds to clean up leaves and debris. 4 students joined Becky and Martha in sewing new curtains! They all enjoyed their time spent with the team. There were lots of smiles and laughing all weekend!
After getting some of the work done, the team spent a day on a Barrio Tour and zip line across the Loboc River. After dinner, the kids enjoyed bible study (Jesus Time) and some play time!
The trip was filled with fun times and also very productive for the team to meet in person with everyone over in the Philippines. Having a team in the Philippines and in Billings, communication is very important to make sure the kids are getting the best learning experience. The 2 teams work hard together from a distance in many aspects to make IDEA possible.
Thank you to everyone for all the prayers and support!
Published Thu, Jun 14, 2018. Written by .
March 28th, 2018 marked the day 16 young men and women graduated from the Bohol Deaf Academy!
Graduation day brought joy and gratefulness to the students of Bohol Deaf Academy (BDA). The graduates and their parents celebrated the long-anticipated day with a graduate procession, Moving Up Ceremony, and Recognition Rites. A roller coaster of emotions flooded the graduates, their families, and teachers as they remembered the past and felt hope for the future.
Mrs. Marilou Hinlo, the Guest Speaker and a teacher for the Deaf in Jagna SPED Center, felt honored by the invitation to speak at the ceremony where eight out of sixteen graduates were once her elementary students. She inspired the graduates saying, “You are all capable. You are all deserving. It is in belief, courage, patience, and hard work that will surely lead you ahead and give you a bright future.”
One of the exciting things about this graduating class is that it has two sets of brothers and sisters graduating together – Charlie and Cheryl Mae Wahing and Eric and Eva Besinga. The siblings are among the students who excelled at BDA. Charlie received the Mayor Leadership Award, Service Award, and Athlete of the Year Award while Cheryl was the seventh honors in class. Eric was also an Athlete of the Year, Performing Ambassador of BDA, and Service Awardee while Eva was the fifth honors and an Artist of the Year.
One of the parents, Mrs. Carmen Madelo, shared her gratitude to BDA at the graduation for teaching deaf children the skills to make a living. She recalled how disheartening it was for her son, William, to be rejected several times from attending other schools because of his situation. Without BDA, William would have never received a quality education. Mrs. Madelo said she can’t help but feel proud of all of the children for accomplishing this milestone in their lives.
While every single person should have access to a quality education, not all deaf children or adults in the Philippines receive one. Graduation is a huge step for these 16 deaf young adults. IDEA will continue to support many of these students even after graduation as most of them will be employed and trained by IDEA-supported organizations.
Thank you to all of our supporters who make IDEA and these graduations possible!