Tū Kōkiri students promote Youth Week by reaching out

By Numia Ponika-Rangi

Under the slogan "We are the Future", a group of deaf youth have gone out into the community in support of Youth Week.  

The aim of the students from Tū Kokiri Service of Kelston Deaf Education Centre (KDEC) is to promote NZ Sign Language and help out people affected by earthquakes overseas. 

The deaf youth of Auckland have opted to go out into the community to meet and greet, to promote NZ Sign Language and to support Youth Week.

Carl Ross from KDEC says, "Throughout NZ, half of all students in our schools are deaf and the majority are Māori youth.  What we're doing now is developing a Māori Education Strategy to support our deaf youth to follow their educational aspirations."

As well as promoting sign language, they're also collecting donations for the deaf families affected by the ravages of torrential weather overseas.

Ross add, "Today they're cooking sausages, fundraising, and teaching Sign Language so people will realise it is a language in its own right."

One KDEC student, Phillip explained, "We're cooking a BBQ to collect funds to send overseas to help those affected by the devastating earthquake.  Some have died and others remain hungry.  That's what this is for."

It takes a lot to get out and promote any language and Sign Language is no different but these students have been pleasantly surprised by the support and kindness of the community.