Muscat – Esmani – a non-profit organisation – has launched an initiative to spread awareness on stammering in view of the fact that there are no centres to help those suffering from this speech problem and the lack of information on the number of those affected by the condition in Oman.
With the help of its 130 volunteers, Esmani has launched an initiative called ‘Listen to me’, which according to Yaqoub Nasser Mohammed al Numani, head of Esmani, aims to spread awareness on stammering in society and motivate young people to participate in volunteer work.
“The team also holds workshops in schools and universities to educate students about the importance of helping those who stammer because they are part of society and need help to integrate easily in communities. We have also started spreading awareness through social media,” said Numani.
Also called childhood-onset fluency disorder – stammering is a speech disorder that involves frequent and significant problems with normal fluency and flow of speech.
Numani informed that the team works under the umbrella of the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth and was started in 2019. “It is dedicated to give hope and empower children and adults who stammer, their families and professionals engaged in helping those who stammer through support, education, advocacy and research.”
Talking about the challenges, Numani said financial support is hard to come by.
“The latest global statistics confirm that there are more than 70mn people around the world who stammer. We have not found any information or statistics on stammering in the sultanate or centres that offer workshops on this speech disorder.”
Numani and his colleague Helal al Dhahli travelled to a few countries to take courses on stammering to become qualified trainers and to spread awareness of the importance of helping those who suffer from this speech disorder.
“Unfortunately, there are some parents who are ashamed of their children who stammer. We have prepared an integrated programme to help those who stammer, and cooperated with the Ministry of Education to conduct workshops in several schools of the sultanate.”
Of Esmani’s future plans, he said, “We want to establish a centre to present courses on stammering and to continue distributing leaflets that include information on the speech defect spreading awareness among community members to help this group. We thank the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Youth for its support.”
Numani urged parents to help their children who suffer from stammering and not be ashamed of them.