To mark the International Deaf Awareness month, SAFA Masters and the Tshepiso Mokoena Foundation (TMF) have been giving hope to deaf school children. The aim of the initiative is to bridge the gap between deaf and hearing children through sports.
SAFA Masters and the Tshepiso Mokoena Foundation are using soccer as a tool to empower deaf and hearing children. TMF project co-ordinator Molaodi Machitje says: “The main vision that the foundation has is to bring about equality and inclusiveness particularly for the deaf community, because most of these guys have been side-lined when it comes to some of the well-known contributes that happen in our daily lives. So we saw it as an opportunity to try and bridge the gap between the two communities.”
Soccer legends are fully behind the TMF initiative. Football legend Johnny Masegela says: “It is very important that they get involved. They raise issues like whenever they play soccer games, the referees are not trained to communicate with them and players playing against them are not accommodating them as people with disabilities. It’s a very serious issue that needs to be addressed.”
Deaf children from M.C. Kharbai and Sizwile School for the deaf are enthusiastic about the chance to play sport.
In December, last year the TMF started the initiative by donating 400 soccer boots to deaf children.