Duskin Leadership Training in Japan

Lokesh's Final Report

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Final Report

Arriving in Japan

I came to Japan on 23rd August, 2001. I met other trainees from various parts of Asia. When I saw people from Pakistan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Philippines, I was surprised that they had same skin color as I do. I felt strangeness at first, but quickly realized that I could become friends with them gradually. When I arrived, I could not understand the sign language of Japanese deaf people at all. So from September to December, I studied the Japanese sign language by myself outside of my training program. Studying alone was not enough, so I made as many opportunities as possible to use Japanese sign language by participating in a local sign language circle or by playing with other deaf people. Thus I learned new words and came to understand Japanese sign language much better. Now I can communicate with the deaf in Japan quite well and am satisfied with my own effort.

Studying Japanese language was another tough task. I had not known about weekly report until I came here, so I was shocked when I learned I have to write a report every week. But I spent much time on my reports and studied grammar by myself and now I can write a report in Japanese.

What Surprised me about Japan

When I came to Japan, I was surprised at many things. There are so many high buildings and subway lines. I see many women smoking. When I was in Shinjuku, I was approached by a call girl.

There was another experience I remember. As I was new to the place, staff from the Training Department guided me at first. One day, I had an appointment with a friend and decided to walk around by myself. But I got lost. I went to a police box and the policeman kindly took me to the meeting spot. Unlike Nepalese stern policeman, he was very kind.

And I was surprised to see that in Japan, everyone, regardless of being deaf or not, exchange e-mails with each other using cellular phone. Moreover, there are many deaf people who live independently away from home. That was surprising, too. I was astonished to see Japanese people get undressed and go into hot springs or public baths. But I understood that this is one aspect of Japanese culture.

Individual Training

1. Visit to the Schools for the Deaf

According to the plan the Japanese Federation of the Deaf had made for me, I visited four schools starting in December. I noticed two points about which I have some doubts. The first is that the method of education differ from school to school. The second is that they use the oral method not sign language, in teaching children of kindergarten to junior high school age. In Nepal, sign language is used when children reach elementary school age. I think Japanese deaf children should be taught in sign language from an earlier age. In the elementary school classes, parents were observing. I found it very impressive. In Nepal, parents leave their children in schools and trust the teachers and institutions for the education of their children. But I think it is very important that parents get interested in school education and utilize the knowledge and experience they get through observation.

There are special programs for teaching skills like haircutting, dentistry, processing wood and so on for so that the hearing impaired can seek possible future occupation in these areas. As we do not have these kinds of special programs back home, I wish they could be introduced into Nepal.

2. Japanese Federation of the Deaf

At the Japanese Federation of the Deaf I learned about the details of its establishment and its management. New members are recruited at local, prefectural, regional and national levels and they pay membership fees which become the funds of the federation. The funds are also raised by selling videotapes and books. I appreciate the energy of the staff and the members. They raise the funds by themselves. I feel that their way of management is effective and contribute to their growth.

3. Ikoinomura and Fureai-no-sato, Donguri

I received training at Ikoinomura in Kyoto for a month. There I experienced weaving and other activities in cooperation with elderly deaf people. Even when I was in trouble, the deaf people there would know everything in detail and teach me what they know.

I also took training at Fureai-no-sato, Donguri. People with hearing and mental disabilities are working there by crushing cans of juice for recycling, or baking bread. I tried their bread. It tasted good. Seeing their hard work, I felt I should learn from them.

At Ikoinomura and Donguri, the people sometimes go to zoo. Working hard every day at the same place is stressful, so they try to find a way to relax. Inside the zoo facilities, I saw guide maps using not letters but pictures, which I found to be very helpful.

4. Sign Language Course

I went to a lot of courses and lectures on sign language. The instructions were easy to understand. The students were strongly motivated and studying hard wanting to become good at sign language. I was moved by their attitudes.

5. Department of Sign Interpreter at National Rehabilitation Center for the Disabled

Students who want to become sign interpreters learn signing, not of every exact Japanese words, but Japanese sign language which is basically used by deaf people. The instructors use no verbal language in the class. They communicate using sign language only. I was impressed to see students work hard to master the skill. To my regret, while the training was full of information, it was I wished it could be longer. It was the most impressive training I ever had.

My Dreams

I learned a lot during this one-year course of training in Japan. I had been engaged in various activities in Nepal but I had been feeling that I had reached my limit. But after this training in Japan, I now feel that I have gained confidence and ability to be active again. I do not want to just bring back what I have learnt, but to adapt it to Nepalese culture and customs.

I shall find a job when I go home. And at the same time, I shall take an active role in movements to improve the welfare for the deaf people in Nepal.

Nepal consists of 75 regions and there are many deaf people. Those who live in provincial areas do not have knowledge or information to improve their welfare. I would like to visit those provincial areas and teach them what I have learnt in Japan.

I would like to collect information about deaf people in provincial areas and let the government know their situation which cannot be known otherwise. Should the government refuse to listen to me, then I shall organize a movement with other deaf people. I want the movement to be not only for the deaf but also for those who have other disabilities. I think it is important to work in cooperation with other organizations for the disabled.

I would like to train sign interpreters. They should not only learn the skill but also have understanding of the deaf. And I would like them to participate in activities with us.

If the government agreed to support us, then I would like to support schools for the deaf, nursing homes for elderly deaf people and schools to train sign interpreters. I also want to support those who live in provincial areas to come to the urban areas and get information.

Rather than receiving support from other countries, I want to solve various problems by Dreams I Share with 9 Fellow Trainees.

I believe my fellow have gotten a lot of knowledge through my training. We dream of positively developing our own countries using what we have learnt in Japan. We would like to work hard and not to fall behind developments in Western countries. I think it is important for us to exchange information about what kind of activities we participate in back home and whether we find and effective ways to share our problems and promote our programs. I hope each of us play an active role in our home country and I hope we can continue to support each other in our personal growth.


I would like to thank to the people from the Duskin Ainowa Foundation and people from the Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities for their support. Also I owe the success of my individual training to the support from the Japanese Federation of the Deaf. Thank you very much.

What I learned during this training are my treasures. I shall work hard to make use of these.

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