What Happens When A Deaf Teenager In Uganda Finally Learns Sign Language?

  • Patrick Otema lives at home with his father in northern Uganda. He was born deaf and there are no sign language teachers in that region. Otema has never held a conversation with another human being. His father has a few rudimentary gestures to get him to do things, like tend to the garden.

    That all changes when Raymond Okkelo shows up. He’s a sign language teacher and has gathered deaf members of the region together for the first time to teach them signs. Even after learning just a few signs, for letters of the alphabet and farm animals, you can see the change. Otema’s eyes light up and we see his big, bright smile for the first time.

    In an area where there are few luxuries and life is a struggle, this is a rare moment of beauty and wonder. This full episode of Unreported World premieres this Friday on the UK’s Channel 4.

    Please, Channel 4, let us see the episode here in the states. We like to be inspired.

    Watch the preview clip here.