The Bridge of Hope is a program whose main goal is to bring Jesus Christ, God's Bridge of Hope, to the hearing impaired. Our other goal is to help them integrate, both socially and professionally, into mainstream life by offering them life skills in a formal school setting.
We began the Bridge of Hope school for the hearing impaired in 2003 because there are no higher level schools for the hearing impaired in Moldova. We realized that once out of high school, they don't have the skills to integrate into mainstream society and are ostracized because of their disability. Desperate and hurt, these young people become involved in gangs and resort to robbery. As a result, half of them eventually find themselves in prostitution or behind bars.
We help the hearing impaired overcome their bleak outlook by empowering them with the Word of God, giving them the foundation for a meaningful life. We teach them English and computer skills, helping them make an honest living in societyonce they graduate.
The program is a two-year, full-time post high school curriculum taught by Christian teachers who are professionals in their fields. The six young men whom we chose as our first group of students have recently graduated in spring 2005. In the summer of 2005 these six were counselors for their 90 deaf peers at the Bridge of Hope Christian Camp. They did a great job presenting the Gospel and a 20-30-member bible study group meets weekly as a result. A church for the deaf will soon follow.
We are currently teaching a second group of students composed of 3 girls and 2 boys, set to graduate in 2007.