Initiatives in the field
29.06.2010

Communicating using sign language

On July 14, 2010, the judges of the Dans la boîte ! Emploi & handicap film festival awarded Colas its Grand Prize for the best film about employing the handicapped. The prize was presented by the Hangagés Club. The film tells the story of a young woodworker at Colas Madagascar who invented his own sign language that helps him overcome his handicap and communicate more effectively with his co-workers.

This young man, who was born deaf and dumb and lost his father at an early age, is sponsored by Terre des Enfants, an NGO that made sure he was able to go to school at the age of four. His mother worked there as a seamstress to meet the family's needs. After obtaining his primary school certificate he received vocational training in wood-working.

In 2007, Terre des Enfants found him a paid apprenticeship at Colas Madagascar as a level-3 skilled worker. When he became an adult in 2008 he was given a permanent OP1A position in the wood-working shop. Since his mother no longer works this makes him the family bread-winner. The fact that one of his co-workers already knew sign language made it easier for him to learn his new job.

Colas Madagascar continues to support Terre des Enfants by furnishing it with cooking wood and taking on two new apprentices.

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