Meet the deaf Gambian lady who inspires all

Binta Badgie

Binta Badgie

Mustapha K Darboe

Life, they say, is a test. And often only a handful of people who are put to test come home shouting and celebrating.

The chances of success becomes even more limited when one is a disable but Binta Badgie, a deaf young girl, has successfully turn that deficit into a surplus.

Binta, 23, has studied at Nusrat Senior Secondary School and graduated with 7 credits including English but a failure in Mathematics.

She said she wanted to study medicine but was denied entrance at the University of the Gambia.

Binta said that experience made her cry.

“My dream was to become a doctor so that I can help people,” she said.

“But all my hopes were dashed when they (UTG) office of admission told me that they can’t take me. I felt rejected and I cried.”

Binta might have cried but, like all ambitious people, she knew her life goals were within reach.

She then joined St John’s School for the deaf to help her fellow deaf children in English and History.

“Educating the deaf children of my country is my core Dream- a dream to win a better life for them,” she said.

“Education is a fundamental part of human development. Children need good education to be productive individuals in later life. Educating children alone is a very difficult task and when we talk about deaf children it becomes harder still. A deaf child needs twice the attention of a normal hearing child. It’s my core dream to establish a quality educational institute for deaf children in The Gambia, empower the children for survival in this ruthless modern age of competition.

“Deaf children have the disability to hear and that means that their disability is in their hearing. However, this doesn’t mean that that they have a total inability to hear sounds. What they cannot hear, they make up for what they can see and feel.  Feelings and emotions make up an integral part of every deaf individual, be it a child or an adult. It’s what they use to understand this world and what goes on around them.

“To provide them with a good education will help them a lot in their lives. It’s a long journey towards achieving this dream but nothing is impossible. The Identifying stages have started and there are questions like”

She added: “… it is very important to have a quality educational institution for the deaf in my country. A facility that will concentrate mainly on their needs and how to motivate them enough to be dedicated to the learning process that will bring out the best in them.

The biggest challenge is poverty… The next is the unwillingness of many parents who think it’s worthless to send their deaf children to school because they think that deaf children are brain-dead as well.  And the third is finding quality teachers for deaf children. Teachers who are sign language oriented and with the acumen to be what their profession demands. The other one is lack of sufficient funds to run such a quality educational institution and the shameless embezzling of these scarce funds by self-centred, self -serving so called “saviours” of the people.”

Binta now studies human resources management and labour relations at the American International University in The Gambia.

She also currently works with a group of deaf women in trying to help them learn about women’s rights, human rights and many development issues.

They started the association in April 2014 and she said they meet on a weekly basis.

Binta is one person who believes that there is best in every situation and she has proven it.

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