Going To Ghana 2012

It’s true!! It’s true! The Signing Time Foundation is partnering with Signs of Hope International for a ten day humanitarian mission to spend time with, support, and do service projects for the deaf students in deaf residential schools.

We will be leaving the second week in January, yes time for all of those fun immunization shots again🙂 Right now there is a team of nine that are going. You will see all kinds of fun and crazy fundraising opportunities coming your way, I am sure something will speak to you. In our fundraising efforts we will be paying the tuition for 9 deaf Ghanaian children to attend the deaf institution. We will also be providing these students with their school supplies for the year.

Plus, what great timing!! It’s almost the end of the year and I am sure there are folks who could use a tax deductible write-off (Yes, The Signing Time Foundation is a 501C3) so empty the coins out of your couches, and ask the organizations that you work for if they would be willing to chip-in. It’s a good thing for some of the most forgotten children.

When we went to Ghana three years ago, I was surprised how many people thanked us for our willingness to actually get on the plane and go, and they said it was something they would never do, but they were happy to make a donation and stay safely at home:) Don’t you just love the honesty?

Going to Ghana in 2008 altered me deeply. I recognized what a “consumer” I was. These deaf children had two outfits and one pair of shoes and that was it. When I returned home, I sat down on the floor of my walk-in closet and wept. In Ghana if you are chubby or fat it is a sign of wealth. You are only lean if you are poor. You are lean because you are hungry and you are doing manual labor and running from one place to another. You are lean because there is no excess. I tried to imagine the Ghanaian children’s response to seeing me running on a treadmill to lose weight, how absurd it might occur to them. Going to Ghana in 2008 gave me the first glimpse of the possibility of transforming my own life and my own body. I promised myself that when I returned I would not be seen as “rich, lazy, and comfortable.”

Leah was also altered when she returned from Ghana in 2008. As soon as we landed in Salt Lake City she declared, “I love my family! I love my school! And I love my country!” She was able to see how blessed she really is just to be born a deaf female in the United States.

Whether you give a lot or a little, it will make a difference. So many of the children were just happy to have a hug and someone to sign with, happy to have others who understand them.

You can make a difference right now by donating through paypal right here: (If you can’t see the chip-in widget, just refresh the page. If you still don’t see it, you can click the paypal donate button) Even small actions can cause huge reactions. Please spread the word and join us in our commitment to put communication in the hands of all children of all abilities.
~Rachel Coleman

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About Rachel Coleman

The opinions and late night musings published on this blog are Rachel de Azevedo Coleman's alone, and are not ever intended to represent the opinions and sentiments of any organization or product that Rachel is, was, or will be associated with. Rachel Coleman is the creator and Emmy-nominated host of Signing Time!, the children's American Sign Language vocabulary building series. She is also the creator and host of Baby Signing Time, Rachel & the TreeSchoolers, and Rachel & Me. Rachel now serves as the Executive Director of the American Society for Deaf Children, a 501c3 nonprofit established in 1967 by parents of deaf children. ASDC is the American Sign Language organization for families who are raising deaf children. www.deafchildren.org Motivated by her child, Leah's deafness, Rachel has spent the last 18 years creating ASL products to help bridge the communication barrier between hearing and signing communities. In 2006 Rachel founded the Signing Time Foundation, a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to putting communication in the hands of all children of all abilities. In 2014, the Signing Time Foundation launched a 50-Lesson online ASL curriculum called "Sign It: ASL Made Easy" that is available free-of-charge to families with deaf or hard of hearing children ages 36 months and under. Apply at www.mydeafchild.org. For those who do not qualify to receive Sign It ASL for free, they can find it for purchase at very reasonable rates on www.SignItASL.com. Rachel and her husband, Aaron, live in Salt Lake City Utah. They are parents to Leah who was born profoundly deaf, and is now a senior in college at NTID/RIT in Rochester, NY. They are also parents to Lucy who has spina bifida and cerebral palsy, and recently graduated high school. In 2010 the Colemans were joyfully reunited with Rachel's daughter Laura. Rachel is proud to be Laura's birth mom. Laura was placed for adoption as an infant in 1992 when Rachel was 17 years-old.

36 thoughts on “Going To Ghana 2012

  1. Thanks Lane and Amanda:) I feel like I have to say, when I gave the fabric to the dressmakers I expressly requested that the circular pattern run down the CENTER of the dress, LOL I didn’t want to look all “Hootery” oh well, not like I’m going to fly across the world and demand a refund.

    • Hi Rachel,

      I’m from Minnesota, but grew up in Accra,Ghana. I am delighted to hear that you are going. I wonder if you are going to visit New Horizon school in Accra, which is a school for kids with disabilities. My son, Ian has Down syndrome and has mild-moderate hearing loss. We all love your DVD’s and have been to one of your shows. Everyone I know who has seen your show loves it! Lots of people from my Ds support group watch your DVD’s and go to your concerts. Thanks for making learning signing fun! Best wishes on your trip to my old homeland! Take care, Annie

    • Hahahahaha! Rachel, your dress is gorgeous, you look like a queen, and not ‘hootery’ at all. What is emphasized is your defined neckline and waist, and the repeated pattern of the skirt and headpiece just draw the eye up and away too. Really. It works. Beautiful dress! Don’t give it another thought except for thinking you look beautiful in it! (Trust me, my degree is in visual arts!) 🙂
      Hopefully, the above will bolster your appreciation of the dress a bit – now I’m going to add to your fund a bit –
      Best of luck on your adventure!

    • Trust me, from my years in Africa I know they don’t even know the definition of hooter. And they won’t think a thing of it.

    • I wish there was, there are a number of problems with bringing actual goods, 1 we would have to bring the exact amount in correct sizes for each child or else a riot occurs. I had suggested that we do a soccer cleat drive because so many of the high school boys share 1 pair of shoes among 2 players, but I was advised against it. Also the headmaster often comes and collects anything that was distributed to the students and uses it for their family, which blows my mind, but is culturally appropriate there.

  2. I wish I learned sign language and be able to go to Africa for such a great cause. Stephanie choose to learn sign language so maybe next time you go I will send her. I am very proud of you guys!

  3. I am so excited to be a part of the group this time. Thank you to all who have and will donate, you have helped make this dream of mine a reality!

  4. You and the whole Signing Time family are truly amazing!! Y’all make a huge difference ALL OVER the world!! Have fun, learn from them (you educate them…yet they teach you more, I think! ;D)and come back and share!!

  5. You guys are amazing. It will be another great trip for sure. Can’t wait to hear all about it. The LaGrecas support your efforts (and a bit jealous of you all… Wish I were sitting next to you guys on the plane).
    Have a safe trip!!

  6. I may not be able to donate with my debit card (I’ll try, but my dad wants me to keep a certain amount of money in the account), but I’m GoodSearching for ya! 😀 I’ll also tell people I know to donate.

    I love that you guys get to go to Ghana. I wish I could go with you!

  7. Questions about the vaccinations: Which ones require boosters, and how often? I’d like to do some world travel myself and would like to get the shots far enough in advance to not make it a last minute scramble. But close enough to not need the shots all over again when the time comes.

    How much do the shots typically cost and how do we find someone to administer them? I asked my doc and he just mumbled something vague about travel medicine.

  8. Will you be flying (landing) in South Africa at all? I know some people have a connecting flight at Oliver Tumbo Airport in Johannesburg.We would love to come and meet you!!


    Wow. I am loving the dress and headwrap, as well as this wonderful cause. I, for one, would rather be one of those people on the plane with you than sitting behind at home. What an amazing experience!

  10. Hi,

    I’m the Family editor at Before It’s News. Our site is a People Powered news platform with over 4,000,000 visits a month and growing fast.

    We would be honored if we could republish your blog RSS feed in our new Family category.

    Please tell me what you would like as your byline (typically the blog’s name)

    You can have any text and/or links you wish appended to the end of each of your posts on Before It’s News. It should be around 200 characters or less (not including links). If you have html please send me that.
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    Please email me at Zstieber@beforeitsnews.com so our readers can start looking at Rachel’s Blog

    Zack Stieber
    Family Editor, Before It’s News

  11. My husband has gone on medical mission trips to Ghana the last two Januarys, and he will be heading over there again on January 26, 2012–probably about the time you return from Ghana. We have been signing time fan for over 5 years, but I had no idea you were doing anything in Ghana. I am planning to order some pins.

  12. you will be welcome to come and stay o
    n the land at kpone tema ghana we do not have water or electricity, it is 1and a half acres that as been bought by 1 of our friends in the uk ,for the disabled and less fortunet we serve the local community the best way we can , we have over 80 children regisered at the sunday school and of course none of them have a proper home to live in , i will be going back to ghana around the 20th january and we are going to send another 40ft container with the disabled equipment that we get through recycling here in the uk , if you want to know more contact me , together we can make a change , happy new year and blessings be with you always mavis hyde desouk.org

  13. Hi Rachel,

    I’ve only recently figured out who you were, despite using your Baby Signing Time flashcards (the Potty Time Android app is what put a name to a face and led me to your blog). Thanks for the excellent products.

    Good on you for going to Africa. I’d love to do some tangible humanitarian work.

    I was disappointed to see the progress you’ve made on donations, so I’ve just tried to give your campaign a little more visibility. I’ve also donated, and put in a gift match request with my employer.

    Best of luck with the trip.

  14. I love the dress and I love what you are doing!!!! Don’t ever stop doing it. If I could do more now, I would. I can’t wait for the day I can donate more time to causes close to my heart! Keep up the good work

  15. A couple days ago I contributed to your trip. You said that anyone contributing $50 or more would get an autographed picture and a letter. My family is very excited about your trip and about hearing from you. I was wondering if you could make the letter out to my daughter. Her name is Brenda Scott. I think my name on the donation is Malorie Hawkins in VA. Thank you so much for all you do. Have safe travels,
    Malorie and Brenda

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