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The year 2019 witnessed significant changes in Niger Deaf Association. Thanks to the support from the WCARS project and the Government of Niger, the association successfully organized its general assembly (GA) in accordance with its statutes and by-laws. Although the GA was to be held in December 2017, it was delayed due to financial and logistical difficulties. The GA brought together deaf delegates from 7 regions of Niger, representatives of the Federation of the persons with disabilities and some stakeholders.

The new board members were democratically elected. The statutes have also been reviewed, updated and approved. Unlike the former board members, the election of the new board had a marked improvement in the representation of deaf women. There are now 19 board members of whom 3 are deaf women (compared to 2 in the former board), an increase of 25%.

At the 18th World Congress of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) in France, July 2019, the association was represented by a young and dynamic member. It was the first time a young delegate from Niger participated in this important deaf event. During his stay in Paris, he acquired knowledge by participating in various sessions’ activities and networking with other stakeholders and deaf associations.

After witnessing the historical elections of WFD board members, back home in Niger, he did the restitution to the board and the members of the deaf community and shared with them his impressions and suggestions. He expressed his desire to see the Niger Deaf Association more active in promoting the Deaf rights in Niger.

ASN participant at the WFD congress has resolved to support the establishment of the wing of the deaf youth of Niger.

Thanks to the support from the WCARS project, ASN also benefited from several training sessions organized for the board members, together with other activities. ASN celebrated the International Week of the Deaf which was well participated. The association’s International Week of the Deaf was graced by the Executive Director of Ghana National Association of the Deaf (GNAD), who participated in and mentored the association in accordance with the purpose of the WCARS project. ASN also successfully organized awareness workshop on sign language, deaf people’s human rights, advocacy and meetings of the board members.

The deaf women of Niger got training for the first time. Fifteen deaf of them received training on their human rights, membership mobilization, empowerment and their role in decision-making at the association level. With these skills building for deaf women and girls in ASN, arrangements are now made to establish a wing of the deaf women that would both amplify and take charge of the affairs of Deaf women and girls working in partnership with the main association, ASN.

Together, GNAD and all National Associations of the Deaf wish Association des Sourds du Niger good luck as the association continues to amplify the human rights of the Deaf community.