USD Student Aims To Educate Deaf In East Africa

KPBS -- Many of us tend to take speaking and hearing for granted, until we lose the ability to do either.

So, imagine the challenge of pitching a business idea in sign language. That's what the first prize winner of the University of San Diego's Social Innovation Challenge did.

USD is a far cry from Burundi in East Africa, where Isidore Niyongabo lost his hearing at the age of 10 after suffering from spinal meningitis, a disease many people die from in Africa, he says speaking through an interpreter.

Niyongabo didn't give up. His father found out about a teaching program for deaf children and spent 13 hours on a bicycle with Isadore to enroll.

"He opened my journey for education," Niyongabo said. That 13-hour bike trip through scorching heat and mountainous terrain was his vision for me. I feel like it's my dad saying 'keep bicycling son, keep going.'" (Full Story