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Software Programming Courses for Deaf Indigenous People in Guatemala

A project from Equilibrium Foundation gUG.
in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

A one-year vocational training providing deaf indigenous adolescents in Guatemala with key qualifications in all areas of software development and graphic design.

S. Konaretzki
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About this project

In Guatemala, there are more than 100,000 deaf women, men, and children. Most of them struggle against a three-fold discrimination because they are disabled, poor, and also indigeneous. The vast majority are therefore marginalized, undervalued, and undereducated. As there are no special provisions for deaf children in public schools, less than 30% of them receive formal education. Moreover, the education they do receive renders ineffective due to the lack of interpreters and special education personnel. The absence of education opportunities has limited the potential of many deaf people and leaves most of them in a state of dependency or underemployed in menial jobs.

Our Project

Together with our local partner organisation Todos Somos Uno, we will overcome the vicious cycle described by building up a vocational training center that provides software programming courses for the deaf community in the country's second largest city Quetzaltenango. Starting in early 2021, we will be conducting a one-year vocational training for 10 indigenous deaf adolescents to become software programmers. Based on the German dual vocational training system, the participants will be taught in several learning locations in practical and theoretical phases in software programming languages as well as in personal and social skills by certified IT-experts and special education workers. 

The one-year vocational training is a part-time course providing the participants with key qualifications in all areas of software development within 600 hours of teaching lessons. The National Experimental Institute “Gabriel Ariola Porres”(INEGAP) and the University of Mesoamericana (UMA) will provide seminar rooms and the necessary equipment. The vocational training is divided into two semesters. The first semester introduces the basics of software programming and graphic design. The second semester will deepen the participants practical knowledge on e.g. Java, Kotlin, HTML5, CSS3, etc. Moreover, all participants will be trained in social and personal skills and some as trainers to train other participants the next year. 

After successfully completing the training, all participants will earn their living by carrying out paid software projects in a team with an experienced IT-expert. In the long term, the participants will become role models for peers and benefit their families and the deaf communities in Guatemala.

Call for Donations

To complete the financing of the vocational training, we need your support to provide the necessary funding. With your donation we will be able to offer a scholarship for each participant and cover all costs. This includes the cost of teaching materials, transportation, catering as well as the expenses for trainers and experts.