China: Qian Qian Shou
Project SERVE is a volunteer development initiative to enhance integration between the deaf and hearing, develop character & build capacity for deaf youths aged 18 to 35 years old. Project SERVE was started off as a TOUCH Silent Club (TSC) program in 2014, before it became a shared project between TI, TSC and TL&M (TOUCH Leadership & Mentoring). The vision is to create enabled communities here and in the Nations where the deaf and hearing can lead and work together to serve the needs of the communities across the nations.
Using Service-Learning as pedagogy, Project SERVE aims to empower the deaf in leadership skills while serving a needy community in China as well as to build an understanding of the different culture(s) and sign language(s).
In 2015, Project SERVE made its second trip to China, this time partnering with YMCA to reach out to a Deaf school in Shanghai. The Xu Hui University of Continuing Education Shanghai was appreciative for an opportunity to see their own Deaf students working together as a team with another organisation to serve another community in need. In 2016, Project SERVE was in China for the third time. Mr Du Jian, the principal of the Deaf school was impressed with what he witnessed.
IMPACT OF LEARNING AND APPLICATION OF DEAF YOUTHS IN SINGAPORE
- Through Project Serve, 5 of the deaf youths who was initially the clients of TOUCH Silent Club has come back to serve as a volunteer in TSC project for the deaf community in Singapore and out of the 5, 2 was raised as volunteer leader in leading community project for the deaf.
- A shift in their mindset “Call to be served and not to be served” -> seeing the needs to rise up as a leader (volunteer) to give back to their own deaf community. From beneficiaries to volunteer.
- The sphere of influence to become a leader from the Singapore Deaf to Shanghai Deaf has enlarge the capacity of the Singapore youths to realize they have the potential to reach out and be a positive influence to the deaf community.
- The deaf and hearing working well together to serve the community together.