speech camp

Silvia (San Pedro Sula, Honduras)

She came in for evaluation, head down, lacking confidence but filled with hope that maybe these people who came from America might be able to help her speak. Silvia was born with a cleft lip and palate. She was unable to have either birth defect corrected until she was in late childhood. It was not until she was 11 years of age that she found a visiting Interplast surgical team from the U.S. and could get these defects corrected. By that time the pattern of social rejection and debilitating speech was well established.

Manipal (Hyderabad, India)

Manipal and his father came to the EARTHSPEAK speech camp in India dressed in the simple dress of the rural people and carrying all they owned on their backs. They were both barefoot. In the father's pocket was a bag of lentils, their food for the week they would be staying. He didn't know that food, transportation, and training were all provided at no cost.

The father knelt to bless the feet of the EARTHSPEAK team as they walked into the room. He was a simple man from a remote village over 500 kilometers from Hyderabad. He brought his son to learn how to help him speak normally.

How EARTHSPEAK helps

EARTHSPEAK is engaged in building parent speech training programs that complete the job that cleft palate surgery begins.

How we connect with others

When we engage with other people in life, we have two primary ways of connecting: We look at each other "face to face" and we use our speech to convey our thoughts and share our being.

Practice time

The red hat club

EARTHSPEAK has adopted red baseball hats as hard-earned prizes to be given at the end of each speech camp to parent/child teaching teams. The hats say "Camp Earthspeak."

Some day children from different parts of the world may meet wearing these hats and they will all know that having overcome the same difficulty united them.

For these children it is their "red badge" of courage and hard work.

Visit to Hyderabad, India

February 2009, Hyderabad, India. EARTHSPEAK has been working in Hyderabad since late 2004. This trip united team member Andi Jobe from the United States with India team members, including Dr. Mukunda Reddy, Head of Plastic Surgery at the Nizams Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS) and Ch Bhargavi, the newly hired Speech Pathologist on the Cleft Palate team at NIMS.

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