Whoever is deaf, blind, or different in any way is hardly visible in Korea. Parents are ashamed of and do not know how to deal with a child that is different.
I do not know why the schools for the deaf are built in very remote areas, except for the ones in Pyongyang and Hamhung. But it does not have to remain this way, does it?
What we have reached so far is so encouraging that we dare to dream further: On the small map below you will see two places marked in red. One is the capital of the province North-Hamgyong: Chongjin. With over 325,000 inhabitants there is still no school for the deaf here yet. Their school is in a village further north, which according to my calculations takes at least a whole day by car to reach and is therefore too far away for most families.
About 0.02 to 0.1 percent of the human population is either born deaf or becomes deaf before their 18th birthday. In poor countries the number tends to be higher. This leads to the conclusion that there are probably more than 300 deaf persons in the city of Chongjin alone, which are enough children for a whole school! Nobody can answer Robert Grund’s enquiry why this city does not have such a School.
We have therefore joined forces to find out how to promote a school there, even though it is the task of the state to provide such a school. We are convinced that it is important to make the officials aware of this fact – and if possible to take the first steps in this direction.
One possibility is to first open a special kindergarten and a center for the deaf. For example, with a wood shop as it was successfully done in Pyongyang. It is obvious that a school will have to follow
up the kindergarten and we hope that the state will provide one. We are excited about opening the first kindergarten in Chongjin!