SHRUTI implements projects in partnership with the government, as well as a range of international organizations, such as
- Disability and Development Partners (UK), https://ddpuk.org/
- Abilis Foundation (Finland), https://www.abilis.fi/en/
- Royal Kentalis/ Kentalis International Foundation (The Netherlands), https://www.kentalis.com/
- MyRight (Sweden), https://myright.se/en/
- Swedish Association of Hard of Hearing Young People (UH) (Sweden), https://uh.se/english/
- All Nippon Association of Hard of Hearing and Late-Deafened (ZENNANCHO, Japan), https://www.zennancho.or.jp/zennancho-english/
- Workability International (Japan), https://www.workabilityasia.com/
- International Disability Alliance (IDA), https://www.internationaldisabilityalliance.org/
- International Federation of Hard of Hearing (IFHOH), https://www.ifhoh.org/
Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens and Kathmandu Metropolitan City
Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens (MoWCSC) is a governmental body of Nepal, which aims to empower women, children and senior citizens, especially those, who are economically disadvantaged and socially deprived. The Ministry is also a parental Ministry of the persons with disabilities of Nepal. The Ministry has several departments and sub-divisions to facilitate and implement its works.
With financial support of the MoWCSC, SHRUTI conducted various activities such as, awareness raising workshop, skill development trainings, disaster preparedness training, etc. for hard-of-hearing people of Nepal in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Similarly, with financial support of the ministry and supervision of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC), SHRUTI is implementing a project on speech and language development and educational support to the young children with hearing loss in 2021-22.
MyRight and Swedish Association of Hard of Hearing Young People (UH) Sweden
MyRight is the umbrella organisation of the Swedish Disability Rights Movement for international development work. MyRight is a politically and religiously independent aid organisation that works to ensure that persons with disabilities are better able to access their rights.
Informal contacts and relationships with the Swedish Association of Hard of Hearing Young People (UH) were started at the end of 2013, when UH representatives visited SHRUTI to explore local situations and issues of HoH, and partnership in Nepal. The formal collaboration with MyRight and the Swedish Association of Hard of Hearing Young People (UH Sweden) was established in 2018 after the approval of the project titled, “Improving the status of hard of hearing people in Nepal”. The project mainly focuses on four components. These include awareness-raising on issues of HoH people, advocacy for HoH peoples’ rights (communication and access to education), expansion of organizational network of hard of hearing people within the country, and organizational development. The implementation of this project is for 2018-2021.
Disability and Development Partners and British & Foreign School Society
SHRUTI’s collaboration with Disability and Development Partners (DDP), UK was formally started in 2014 as we conducted a project on “Early Identification and Support for Hearing Impaired Children”. This pilot project conducted ear check-up and hearing assessments for a total of 472 primary level children (age group from 6 to 12), and found 4.38% of children with hearing loss in two schools in Kathmandu and Lalitpur. The project also provided appropriate interventions, such as the distribution of hearing aids, rehabilitation, speech therapy and socio-counselling in the schools. Moreover, the project provided teachers training and awareness program for parents at 13 other schools in Kathmandu Valley.
In the second phase (2016), SHRUTI implemented a project titled, “Demonstration Model for Inclusion of Children with Hearing Disabilities in 15 Schools of Dhading District, Nepal”. SHRUTI replicated the same activities, such as ear check-up, hearing assessments and intervention programs at two schools in Dhading, and found 18.36% of 497 primary level students with hearing loss. The project also provided training to teachers and conducted awareness programs for parents at 13 other schools in the district. This time also, SHRUTI provided hearing aid, rehabilitation, speech therapy, and socio-counselling.
The findings of both studies revealed that the quality of education for children with hearing loss was extremely poor. Parents and teachers were not sensitized to the impact of hearing loss; so their awareness level was low. Hence, SHRUTI realized the need to provide specific training for teachers on the means to provide mainstream quality education to children with hearing loss. In 2017, the third project, titled, “Training to address the education needs of children with hearing disabilities in primary schools, Dhading Nepal”, supported by DDP/BFSS was implemented to conduct teachers’ training for primary level teachers of government schools in Dhading. The project conducted a training program for 162 teachers from 148 government schools and 5 resource persons of the District Education Office on how to set hearing loss children to teach them in the mainstream by providing inclusive education, creating and providing quality education, and identifying the children with hearing loss in the classroom. SHRUTI coordinated with the Department of Education of Nepal Government and professionals in education and developed a teaching manual for teachers. The manual provides knowledge on inclusive and quality education for hard of hearing and deafened (HoH/d) and promotes an inclusive learning environment in the mainstream classroom.
With the cooperation of DDP and financial support of the British & Foreign School Society (BFSS), SHRUTI has been implementing a project on “IT Training and Jobs for Hard of Hearing Young Adults” from October 2020 for three years. The project aims to train 60 hard of hearing young adults and supports them for the placement and jobs.
Royal Kentalis and Kentalis International Foundation
Royal Kentalis (RK) is a national organization in the Netherlands, specialised in providing diagnostic, care, and education to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind, and to those who have language impairment. RK has knowledge and expertise focused on bridging communication barriers. In line with UNCRPD, RK works with the conviction that – regardless of any disability every person is entitled to quality education and participation in social, economic, political, and cultural life in his/her best accessible language. Kentalis International Foundation (KIF) is the international project office of RK.
The President of SHRUTI had an opportunity to participate in a training on “Deaf Child International Development” organized by RK in the Netherlands in 2014. After that, the informal relationship with RK has been established by SHRUTI. In 2015, representatives of RK visited Nepal on a fact-finding mission to explore the possibility and opportunity to work for hearing loss with SHRUTI. After a series of visits to Nepal, in 2019, KIF of RK has started a project to develop an itinerant service provision for the development of Hard-of-Hearing children studying in mainstream schools of Nepal. With the financial and technical support of KIF/RK, the project aims to develop itinerant service provision experts in the speech-language development and education development of Hard of Hearing children. The proposed experts consist of an educational expert, child psychologist, and speech and language therapist. After the development of experts in SHRUTI by mid of 2021, SHRUTI become an expertise center and center of excellence for HoH children in Nepal; and it is ready to provide itinerant service to various mainstream schools where hearing loss children are studying.
ZENNANCHO – All Japan Association of Hard of Hearing and Late-Deafened People
All Japan Association of Hard of Hearing and Late-Deafened People (ZENNANCHO) is a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the welfare of people with hearing loss in Japan by improving social status, perpetuating support services, and promoting their independence and full participation in society.
After the earthquake in 2015, ZENNANCHO supported winterization materials and hearing aid batteries for the hard-of-hearing people of Nepal through SHRUTI. SHRUTI and ZENNANCHO are in a close relationship since the establishment of SHRUTI. ZENNANCHO and SHRUTI presented a comparative study paper on People with Hearing Loss and Disaster, titled, “Earthquakes in Nepal and Japan” at the 10th World Congress of the International Federation of Hard of Hearing People (IFHOH) and Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) Convention 2016, in June 2016 in Washington DC. Representatives of ZENNANCHO visited Nepal several times to explore the potential area of collaboration to work for HoH/d in Nepal. ZENNANCHO and SHRUTI jointly conducted a survey on the accessibility of hearing loss patients to hospitals, and jointly developed a project on the improvement of accessibility for hearing loss patients in hospitals in Nepal with the financial support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The project was approved in April 2021 and is implemented for 3 years from Jan 2022 at the Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH).
Abilis Foundation, Finland provided the first international grant to SHRUTI to raise awareness about the rights of people, who are hard of hearing and deafened in Nepal. Awareness-raising materials (leaflets, brochures, and posters) were developed, printed, and distributed. An awareness-raising workshop was conducted for more than 100 participants from different sectors. The participants increased their level of awareness on issues related to people, who are hard of hearing. Live manual caption was used for the first time in Nepal during the workshop.
LUSH provided two small charity pot grants to SHRUTI in its early establishment period (2014 and 2015). We were able to organize skill development training for hard-of-hearing people using these grants. The training on beads accessories, recycled paper crafts, garments, and knitting were most useful for the hard-of-hearing trainees. SHRUTI also conducted training on disaster risk reduction and preparedness drills to people with hearing loss with the support of LUSH.
Workability International Japan (WIJ): Immediately after the earthquake in 2015, Workability International, Japan had organized a workshop with the support of APCD, JICA, and local DPOs of Nepal (SHRUTI, National Association of Physical Disabled, and National Rehabilitation Centre of the Disabled, Nepal) in Nepal. WIJ supported skill development training and disaster preparedness training for the hearing loss people of Nepal through SHRUTI.
With the cooperation and support of the Worlds Health Organization (WHO), SHRUTI has been organizing various activities on the occasion of International Hearing Day, each year. Major activities were the reprint and distribution of awareness materials prepared by the WHO, hearing assessment, and awareness-raising to youth and the community.
Australian Aid seconded a volunteer to SHRUTI for a year to support organizational capacity development. It also supported a small grant to develop and print awareness-raising materials on hearing loss for students and parents.