Emerging Countries Bursary



Azima Picture (1)Azima Dhanjee (Pakistan)

Being raised by Deaf parents, I was always bothered by the lack of accessibility and resources available for the Deaf in Pakistan.  I am a 20-year-old CODA who started ConnectHear, a social startup working to increase Sign Language literacy and inclusion for the Deaf in Pakistan. In the past year, ConnectHear trained 150 hearing individuals with basic level Pakistani Sign Language and introduced 10 interpreters in the market. Along with that we organized the first Deaf inclusive concert, worked for Election News accessibility with a renowned TV channel, conducted an inclusive Model United Nation with ROTSKY International and provided Deaf with an opportunity to showcase art through a Deaf inclusive theatre competition. All those activities that my parents once used to miss out on are now accessible and nothing can make me happier than that.

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Inise TawaketiniInise Tawaketini (Fiji)

My name is Inise Tawaketini. I am a teacher by profession but an interpreter at heart. I did not choose to be a Sign Language interpreter but rather it chose me when I met a Deaf girl in Nauru (Tuliana Waibuta) in 1998. She was my first teacher of Sign Language. My interest and passion grew in this area as I got more involved in her community, as well as the sign language interpreting and WASLI community.  I was recenlty on the volunteer organising committee of the WASLI Oceania Conference in Fiji, 2018. Thank you WASLI for your support to be part of the Paris Conference. This will be my first ever World Conference and I am elated with this opportunity to learn and better my skills to do what I love to do.

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Joneti RokotuibauJoneti Rokotuibau (Fiji) 

I am Joneti Rokotuibau, the Vice Chairperson for  the Sign Language Interpreters Committee in Fiji.  I was a teacher at the Gospel School for the deaf from 2001 until mid-2007, when I was elected the Chairperson of the SLIAF Committee. From 2007 to 2011, my role was coordinating all sign language interpreters’ services in Fiji in collaboration with the Fiji Association of the Deaf, supervising High Schools Interpreters, negotiating pay for the interpreters with the Ministry of Education and training new interpreters. I am also a freelance interpreter experience in Court interpreting, health, workshops, parliament sittings, Institutions, Deaf community and TV. I conducted a one-week workshop at Aroligo Care Center in the Solomon Islands. I am currently the curriculum coordinator for the Gospel School for the Deaf.

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Mohamed Chegri

Chegri Mohamed (Morocco) 

I have a Bachelor’s degree in modern literature, am fluent in Arabic, French and conversational in Spanish and English.

My sign language journey began in 2006 with a rich experience in a centre for education of deaf children in Meknes where I was a trainee for two years and then teacher for five years.  In 2009 I attending training on sign language interpreting supervised by professional interpreters from the University of Hamburg.  I started my career as a sign language interpreter in 2012 where I have since worked at large events in Morocco and elsewhere.  In July 2017 I worked at the United Nations in Geneva.  I am the main sign language interpreter accredited by the Moroccan Federation of the Deaf.

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