Sad news from Jordan
If you have been on pilgrimage to Jordan with McCabe then you have probably visited the Holy Land Institute for the Deaf in the city of Salt, Jordan’s old capital. There you will have experienced the life’s work of Brother Andrew de Carpentier. It is with great sadness that we must report that on 1st October in Salt, Brother Andrew suffered a fatal accident whilst working to restore a church in the town, when he fell through an old balcony and died shortly afterwards in hospital. He was 71 years old. Brother Andrew, who was director of the Institute for more than 40 years, built up through his inspiring leadership, from a small primary school for deaf children, a leading institute for deaf and deafblind children. Under his leadership, the school grew from dozens of students in a dilapidated building to one of the best schools for the deaf in the Middle East. The school now has 150 students across lower and upper years, a boarding house as well as an outreach service covering the Jordan Valley and refugee camps. With his trademark humour and easy manner, he built a vast network of contacts, including the Jordanian Royal Family, providing a voice for the very poorest, the marginalised and the underprivileged. His family and friends organised a wonderful tribute to him and his work. You can see this online at: https://youtu.be/iru87wjPKCs
COVID-19 of course seriously impacted the Institute, with all pupils, including the deafblind, having to be sent back home – a very difficult situation for everyone involved. Particularly hard hit were the parents, some of whom had gone back to work, as the Institute is really home for many children. Distance learning has been difficult to manage for the teachers of deaf and deafblind children, but laptops and internet access was quickly organised for the children whose families could not afford them, and regular digital lessons have been prepared and even enjoyed.