The World Federation for the Deaf is an international organisation promoting Human Rights for Deaf people around the world. Each country’s Deaf Association can join the WFD as members. Many countries have their Deaf Associations join as members. Currently the WFD has about 130 members.
Recently Deaf Aotearoa nominated Victoria Manning to be on the WFD Board. So, she went to Paris to attend the WFD General Assembly where each country voted for who they want to see on the WFD Board. Victoria Manning was one of those voted onto the Board. She feels honored to be on the WFD Board.
Victoria wants to acknowledge the support of Deaf Aotearoa to cover the costs for everything and also backing the nomination.
Victoria would like to clarify a few things:
- Victoria is not on the WFD Board as representative of New Zealand. She cannot lobby on behalf of New Zealand. The WFD Constitution states that WFD Board Members are to focus on International issues.
- In New Zealand, the Deaf Aotearoa structure shows that staff report to the Chief Executive, who then reports to the Executive Board. The Executive Board will not be reporting to the WFD Board where Victoria is a Board Member.
- Victoria is a member of the WFD Board and this is separate from her role with Deaf Aotearoa.
Victoria will be on the WFD Board for a 4-year term. She has two ideas she would like to work on.
- Focus on improving the lives of Deaf People in the Pacific Islands. They are really disadvantaged. They know what their priorities are, so will look at ways to support them achieving their priorities.
- Deaf Women. She notices that Deaf Women around the world, and in New Zealand too, are disadvantaged. As a Deaf Women herself, how can she improve the rights of Deaf Women?
In Paris the new WFD Board had their first meeting, but it was too short to have in-depth discussions. The WFD Board will be meeting again in November in Georgia. The new Board will have training and induction. Information will be shared about the history and background of WFD and what they have been doing.
After this meeting, Victoria will come back to New Zealand and provide us with an update.