Paul Kiiza (cheeza). I am around 16, profoundly deaf but right now learning to sign, read and write at at great place called Buckley High School in Iganga. I am in my second year and came 3rd in my class last term! People say I am the life and soul of the party because I can be very funny. I love being with people, especially deaf people because we speak the same language!!
Paul (formerly known as Kurtis as he could write a K – and then it was a matter of guessing his name) was wandering the streets of Jinja, turned up at Child Restoration Outreach. With his humour, care for the little ones and wild gesticulations, he captured their hearts. Although an independent spirit sleeping wherever someone was kind enough to take him in, he is known by everyone in town.
Suggesting he might like to go to school, and after much research, Fingerprints took him for a look at Buckley High. It took some persuading, not of Paul, but of the school because street children come with a label and reputation. Some months later they agreed to take Paul on trial. It is one of the best decisions they ever made and are delighted to have him in their community.
Paul is keen to learn practical skills and is taking to carpentry. Next academic year he may well attend a Special School in Kampala which specialises in vocational skills.
Meantime, in the vacations Paul teaches basic signing to the girls at Emmanuel House and all the staff plus street children at Child Restoration Outreach.