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The deaf youth of Togo and Niger represent a living force and are rich in specific aspirations to improving the living conditions of the deaf people. The young people are undoubtedly a decisive age group, able to reason and act with maturity.

With the successes recorded by the Youth Wing of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) and the Deaf Associations of Ghana, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Germany, United States of America, Angola, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, etc., the deaf youth in other countries like Togo and Niger also need to get involved and establish their own wing to resolutely carry the voice of the deaf youth at national, international events or in public debates.

It is necessary to move beyond the idea that the young people will one day “inherit” the national board of the National Association of the Deaf; in fact, today they have an important role to play in building the Association of the Deaf in their country. They rightly need to be heard and be able to speak out for the value of their contribution to the mother association to be recognized. Their participation cannot be relegated to an uncertain future: the Association of the Deaf need their help now. Actions for young people should therefore aim to empower them to ensure their full participation in all aspects of socio-economic life as meaningful and full partners. The National Association of the Deaf must help them go out to meet them. This approach must be holistic to reach out to all young people, this constantly evolving group.

Above: the Board of the preparatory committee for the deaf youth wing of Togo.
Below: the Board of the preparatory committee of the deaf youth wing of Niger.

It is clear that awakening the consciousness of the young people to the issues of the Association of the Deaf is not a new mission. The responsibility is on the National Association of the Deaf to help the deaf youth to break down the barriers that stand in their way in order to gradually make them fit for responsible life, that is to say, make them active citizens. It is in this sense that Association des Sourds du Togo (AST) and Association des Sourds du Niger (ASN) have decided to help the deaf youth to overcome a number of challenges that are incumbent upon them. The national board members AST and ASN therefore want to offer them a ground of experience conducive to the harmonious development of the deaf youth and deaf community members.

Thanks to the support from the WCARS project, AST and ASN have established in March 2021 a Preparatory Committee for the Deaf Youth Wing. The preparatory committee is made up of the young people between aged between 18 and 30, regardless of gender, religion or ethnicity / culture.

The WCARS project wishes a good luck to the deaf youth committee of Togo and Niger and remains available to provide any necessary assistance to the national Deaf association of these countries for the success of the deaf youth actions.