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British woman contributed 22 years to helping deaf people in Kunming

By : InKunming | Published: 2016-March-25

Ingrid discussed cloth size with a deaf colleague in her company. [Provided to InKunming]

In 2015, Tina Redshaw, consul-general of the British Consulate-General in Chongqing, with some British colleagues, visited Ingrid’s factory in Kunming. [Provided to InKunming]

[InKunming--Interviews & Polls]  From learning Chinese in Kunming to managing a company for deaf people to work in the city, British woman Ingrid spent 22 years. Looking back over 22 years’ experience, Ingrid said: “Kunming, the city, has become my home. I have no regrets having made such a decision to live in Kunming.”

One afternoon in March, 2016, Ingrid communicated in Sign Language with a deaf colleague at her company in a corridor of her factory. Using Sign Language, she asked the colleague to modify cloth size, and then went back to write emails to American customers on computer.

This is a scene that Ingrid never imagined 22 years ago. In the winter of 1993, Ingrid came to Kunming, Yunnan for the first time. On that occasion, she just wished that she could learn some languages of ethnical minorities of Yunnan Province in a term of five weeks.

However, she found the province had some charms for her. Diverse ethnical minorities of the province and simple folkways in the locality attracted her a lot. So Ingrid decided to come back to Kunming next year. After she came to Kunming again, she did not leave the city for a long time again.

In the following 21 years, Ingrid learned Chinese and Chinese Sign Language for the first few years, worked as a project leader in a NGO in the middle term, and then in the end established a company for deaf people to work in.

In Yunnan province, she helped hundreds of deaf people to learn Chinese Sign Language, and to learn skills to support themselves independently. And because of her outstanding contribution to the province, Ingrid was awarded a provincial prize titled “Expert of Colorful Clouds” by Yunnan government in 2001.

To help local deaf people to have better lives, Ingrid not only worked in a NGO to do so in the first-half of her time in the province, but also built a platform for deaf people to work and earn money in the remaining years of her time living in Kunming.

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