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£499,687 grant to support deafblind people in Peru

9 October 2013

A young deafblind school girl being taught to write by a teacher

Global deafblind charity Sense International is to receive £499,687 from the Big Lottery Fund to support deafblind people in Peru.

The project will improve the primary education, livelihoods, health and human rights of deafblind children and adults and their families in South America. Deafblind children are often excluded from education due to their complex communication needs and the project will provide training for teachers to help them communicate with and better support deafblind children in the classroom. Sense International Peru will also share their experiences of advocacy and provide training to other professionals and partner organisations in Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela that will benefit deafblind children and adults.

Sense International has been present in South America since 1995. In 2003 it supported the opening of the Helen Keller day centre for deafblind people and in 2004 Sense International Peru was established to support development of an infrastructure of services and advocate for deafblind people. Its mission is to help deafblind children and adults to live, learn and thrive.

James Thornberry, Director of Sense International, said:

"Sense International supports deafblind people in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Tanzania, Peru, Romania and Uganda and without support many will lead short and lonely lives. This funding will allow us extend our work in Peru and across South America and help ensure that more deafblind people than ever have access to an education and the support they need to go on to lead full and productive lives."

Peter Ainsworth, Big Lottery Fund UK Chair, said:

"This funding will bring real change to the lives of deafblind children living in areas where access to the right education, care and support is vitally needed but not readily available. The Fund is supporting grass roots work tackling the causes of poverty and deprivation, to help improve the lives of some of the poorest people across the world."

Visit Peru page to find out more about the work we do there.

Media enquiries

For further information contact the Sense International press office on +44 (0)20 7014 9381.

Notes to editors

Sense International works in Bangladesh, India, Kenya, Peru, Romania, Tanzania and Uganda. In many places, deafblindness is not understood, services are non-existent and deafblind people and their families struggle on in difficult circumstances.

Since 1994 we have established vision and hearing screening programmes for young children, trained health and education professionals and persuaded governments to build infrastructures of support for deafblind people and their families. We invest in local professionals and organizations in order to ensure that we have a lasting and sustainable impact. Sense International is the sister organisation of Sense.

Deafblindness is a combination of both sight and hearing difficulties. Some of these people are completely deaf and blind, but others have some remaining use of one or both senses.

Causes of deafblindness include premature birth and exposure to rubella during pregnancy, which can cause babies to be born deafblind. Some genetic conditions such as Usher syndrome can also result in deafblindness. People can also become deafblind at any time through illness (such as cerebral malaria), accident or in older age.

About the BIG Lottery Fund

Big Lottery Fund logoThe Big Lottery Fund, the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40 per cent of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.

The Fund is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since its inception in 2004 they have awarded close to £6billion.

The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.



First published: Tuesday 18 June 2013
Last updated: Friday 6 December 2019