An Inspiring Session at Pakistani American Cultural Center
By Dr Waheed Siddiqee
Milpitas, CA: In its monthly program on May 7, Pakistani American Cultural Center (PACC) invited Mr Richard Geary, Executive Director of Family Education Services Foundation (FESF).
Mr Geary is an American who has been living in Pakistan for the past 27 years. He and his wife founded the Deaf Research Program in Pakistan.
Mr Geary made a very inspiring presentation about the work he and his wife have been doing for deaf children in Pakistan. He said that there are currently 1.25 million deaf children of school age in Pakistan, yet fewer than 2% attend school. FESF has established seven Deaf Reach Schools and Training Centers that provide free education to deaf students. They are located in Karachi, Lahore, Hyderabad, Sukkur, and Nawabshah.
The centers cover all academic (Kindergarten through College) and vocational costs, inclusive of free pick-up and drop-off services in a 40-km radius as well as healthy snacks, books and stationery, uniforms, and excursions. Additionally, there are Parent Training, Teacher Training, and Job Placement Programs to assist deaf youth in gaining employment. Over 500 jobs have been provided in the past two years.
Mr Geary showed a three-minute video about the Deaf Research Schools. It can be viewed at: http://www.fesf.org.pk/deaf-reach-schools along with similar other videos. Every member of the audience was very inspired by the FESF organization and its services, and some attendees wrote checks to support the program.
The costs associated with FESF activities are borne by various grants from the government and companies in Pakistan and the US, as well as donations from Pakistan and abroad. Donations here in US may be made by writing checks to: I-Care Fund America (a 501c3 organization), 139 Charls Street #348, Boston, MA 02114. Mr Geary’s e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org .
Mr Geary was very appreciative of PACC for organizing this session. Delicious snacks and tea were served at the end of the program.