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About Us History

uncle andy photo

The Start

The Father Andeweg Institute For the Deaf (FAID) was founded in 1957

by a Dutch Anglican Minister Father Andy Andeweg (1932-1999).

 This school was one of the very many schools he established, enabled, 

or helped to get started. Over the years many teachers were trained in FAID

 who went on to start or teach in different schools.




Location

FAID is situated just besides the Highway to Damascus. The school has been bombed and shot at numerous times over the years. Father Andy managed during some of the most violent times to bring the children and the teachers to a safe place for the school year i.e. Switzerland during the war in the seventies, Holland during the war in the eighties, and Cyprus during the war in the nineties. This was made possible through a great network of friends of Father Andy, and by KLM airlines allowing the children and teachers to fly for free on empty seats in their planes.




About The School

The school is run on an oral basis and the children are encouraged to use speech at all times. Children are taught to speak both Arabic and English. Classes are grouped on the basis of each pupil's strengths, needs, abilities, and compatibility. Class sizes are small and one-to-one teaching is essential for the success of each child. The school brings the children as far as junior high exam level.


Communication Skills

It is vital that deaf people develop their communication skills when they are young. A deaf person with communication skills finds it much easier to find a job than a deaf person that can not talk or lipread. Also the wages for someone who has good communication skills is much higher. Some of the children start school when they are older (9 - 15 years) and for them good education is essential since most of them leave before they are 18.



Funding Problems

Father Andy passed away in 1999 and the school has found it hard to find funding since then. Currently (2012) it costs approximately $3000 per year to educate one deaf child, but because of decades of war and shortage of money there is little financial support for these children in Lebanon. Also, the school building is in need of a lot of maintenance.




Cross Community

FAID currently has 73 students in total, aged 3 years to 18 years. 47 children are Day Students and 26 are Boarders. The school operates on Christian principles but is made up of

68 % Muslims (Shia and Sunni)

10 % Druze

22% Maronite and Armenian Christian

A great deal of time and effort is being spent on making sure the children get on well together, and no racial or religious tensions arise. Each morning at assembly the students pray together for peace, tolerance, and guidance.


Outreach

FAID community outreach program includes

audiological assessments

cochlear implant therapy

hearing aid evaluations

fitting and repair of hearing aids

All done virtually free of charge.




Spiritual Message 

The Spiritual Message of FAID has always been We are all children of God. God loves us all and wants everyone to do well in life. Therefore we have to be supportive and caring towards each other in order to become equal citizens who can reach our full potential.

© Friends of FAID Ireland 2012
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