Our Talking Hands has two primary goals: to provide customers with unique, high quality, handmade products and to afford Ghana’s deaf community with meaningful employment.
Guiding us in our mission are the following core values:
- Deaf Artisans in Ghana are as talented as any Artisan anywhere.
- Ghanaian Artisans have a strong tradition of ingenuity and brilliance.
- Premium products can be created in Ghana in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.
- Everyone has the potential to be an Artist.
At Our Talking Hands, we see a future where Deaf Artisans in Ghana are revered for their talents and respected as equals within their communities. We believe that a person without confidence has problems seeing their own value, and is a reflection of how the community in turn sees the diffident person. Through the process of empowerment, Our Talking Hands Artisans develop confidence and take pride in their work. Our Talking Hands Artisans are valuable members of their communities.
In Ghana, the deaf are at an economic disadvantage. Deaf people are marginalized by stigmas rooted in traditional beliefs and are often relegated to the outskirts of towns. Those lucky enough to be placed in schools are given hope, while many do not have the opportunity to attend schools and remain in their villages and left to a life of hard farming and manual labor. Many people believe that the deaf cannot learn and, therefore, there is no reason to send them to schools. Others believe that deafness is a curse, passed along as punishment for past transgressions. At Our Talking Hands, the deaf and hearing work side by side. We seek to dispel harmful myths while producing some of the finest African arts and crafts in the community.
Our Talking Hands is rooted in the deaf community, but remains open to any artists or groups that commit to working with the deaf community as educators, employers, or mentors. We value independence and wish to empower individuals, but we also strive to promote interdependence through collaboration and inclusion. Proceeds from our sales assist in the development of schools for the deaf in Ghana, with the hopes of growing our mission to include neighboring countries in West Africa. By supporting the local schools in Ghana, we hope to equip the students with the necessary skills to gain employment and become economically independent.