Thursday, 27 September 2012

Natotela sana



The past few days I have laughed, cried, danced, signed, learnt, taught... but most of all I fallen in love.  In love with Zambia.. with Zambians.. with the amazing work that Sound Seekers is doing here.. and with all the Deaf children that I have been lucky enough to meet on this trip.  Spending time at their school is one of the best experiences of my life and one that I will never, ever forget.

Within minutes of arriving their smiles were infectious and I had about 20 children surrounding me making me teach them the BSL alphabet and then they wanted to know every word... good, happy, hungry, proud, school.. all giggling and showing each other the differences between the languages.

Below are just a few images from spending the day with the Sound Seekers team who were providing hearing tests and hearing aids for the children at the school.  I have so many more images, some video and a whole lot more to say about this incredible trip.. so I'll be back.. but first I have a flight to catch..







 *Natotela sana - Thank you very much in Zambian (Bemba)


Friday, 21 September 2012

sound seekers

Image from Sound Seekers website

























This is pretty huge for me. Actually it's probably one of the biggest things I've ever done.. and I am a huge mixture of mega nerves and stupid excitement.  On Sunday I'm off to Zambia to document the work that the wonderful charity Sound Seekers is doing over there.

If you read my blog you might now that Deafness and the Deaf community is quite a big part of my life.  I've been learning British Sign Language for the past four years now and before the photography I worked as a Support Worker for Deaf Adults, volunteered for a Deaf and hearing Youth Theatre group and also acted with Deafinitely Theatre, a Deaf led theatre company.  Also, completely no connection to me learning BSL whatsoever but my Dad is also Deaf.  He was one of the only Deaf professional footballers as he began to lose his hearing at 28 and has worn hearing aids in both ears for as long as I can remember.  It's funny.. a real strong memory of growing up is play fighting with him and hearing his hearing aid whistle...

I'm hugely passionate about Deaf issues and looking at the barriers that Deaf people in the UK still face on a day to day basis.. I can't imagine the struggle, or, well the complete lack of any sort of support that Deaf or hard of hearing people often have in developing countries.

This is why the work that Soundseekers is doing is so important.  Sound Seekers are a charity who work to improve the lives of Deaf and hearing impaired children and adults in the developing world.  They develop and support projects that improve access to education, lessen the impact of hearing loss and raise awareness of Deaf people's abilities and needs.

Image from Sound Seekers Website















   









In Zambia they are currently setting up the HARK! project which will focus on improving audiology
facilities at the main Hospital in Ndola, they will be providing audiology training for several Zambian clinicians and technicians and will also be offering an outreach service providing hearing tests, hearing aids and primary ear care (prevention of ear infections etc) to surrounding communities through the provision of the HARK! vehicle.

I'll be spending four days with the charity out in Ndola.. shadowing the Project manager Emily Bell, meeting the audiologists, seeing the HARK! vehicle in action and taking photos ready to be used on their website and future funding applications.  I am so thrilled that after nearly two years of trying to make this trip happen that we are finally doing it.. and I am just completely over the moon that I get to help in some small way.  Since I began taking photographs this was always something that I wanted to do.. to give back in some way.. I know this trip is going to be a pretty huge experience for me in so many ways, not only is it a huge personal challenge but also seeing everything first hand.. I have a feeling my heart is going to be overwhelmed with emotion for the people, the country and the work being done....

I'm going to try and blog whilst I'm out there and I'm wanting to make a bit of a video diary too so you'll be able to see exactly what I'm up to..  waaaaah.. can't believe I'm really going!  Wish me luck!!


Sunday, 16 September 2012

fiona and jonny..

Woah. Hands up who thinks Emma was in her total element yesterday..

Monday, 10 September 2012

little vintage

If you are anything like me then at the moment ALL your friends are either expecting or have just had a little kiddiwink.. I'm not kidding.. everyone is pregnant!  It's a stupidly exciting time for me as one of my best friends has just had baby Freddie to who we're going to be God Parents too.. and my other bestie sent me a photo of her first scan the other day.. I can't wait! So to celebrate I have the BEST online shop for all you new Mamas and Papas..

Little Vintage is the UK's only dedicated vintage childrenswear online boutique and aims to bring unique vintage pieces together for children of all ages.  Prices are equivalent to new high street childrenswear, starting at £8 for a cute little romper suit.  Each product is cleaned, pressed and gently scented before being sent to it's new home.. how absolutely gorgeous are these outfits!!!







Emily Silverwood, former buyer turned teaching assistant launched the boutique in April 2012.  Emily admits to loving anything vintage and saw a sneaky gap in the market for children's wear as vintage for men, women and home's is so popular.. ..and oh my goodness.. I want it all! Every little outfit is just soooo beautiful.. I just wish some of it was in big girl's size!!

Emily has also very kindly offered 10% discount by typing in the discount code EMMACASE at the checkout! So what are you waiting for??? Go check it out! :)