Deaf Action supports two dormitories in the Visayas region. They provide accommodation for up to 40 deaf students who come from remote villages where there are no schools for the deaf. The dormitories are at Bacolod on Negros Island and Borongan on Samar Island East. Deaf students stay at these dormitories and attend a government school that caters for the deaf or a Special Education (SPED) Centre. The dormitory leaders are deaf themselves and give loving care to the students 24 hours a day.
Bacolod is a highly urbanized city of half a million population. Sugarcane plantations are the major agricultural crop in surrounding areas. The young children at Bacolod are cared for by deaf house parents and a trained teacher of the deaf in a home away from home. They are given nutritional food, medical care, help with homework, opportunities to use computers and time to just play with their deaf friends. The deaf community at Bacolod has also established an Internet Café where deaf people and the dormitory students can develop computer skills and have access to the Internet. This provides important learning opportunities for older students to extend their education, but they badly need new computers costing up to $1000.00. The internet cafe also provides a place where the deaf can gather and socialise.
Borongan has a population of about 60,000 people and Samar Island is known for beautiful black and white sand beaches. The teenage students at the Borongan Dormitory are very keen to learn and share the cleaning and cooking duties under the direction of their deaf leader. Some students are orphans, and many started school late because there are no suitable schools near their homes. They are so grateful and happy to go to school for the first time in their lives.
An organic farm has now commenced at Zamboanguita on the south coast of Negros Island where vocational training in farm skills is offered. Fruit trees, a vegetable garden, and a piggery have already been started. A couple from Canada are leading this venture and a deaf-blind man and his family are working here. It is hoped that this project will give training to deaf people and provide income to support the dormitories and self-help projects in the future.