Dennis Drake of IDEA Philippines dies

By J. Jala | 07:40 PM January 20, 2021
George Dennis Drake. Photo: IDEA International Deaf Education Association

George Dennis Drake, founding chair of the International Deaf Education Association (IDEA) Philippines, died on Wednesday, January 20, 2021, IDEA International Deaf Education Association confirmed.

“Heaven gained another angel today. It is with deepest sorrow that we announce the passing of our dear Founder/Director, Mr. George Dennis Drake,” the IDEA International Deaf Education Association posted on Facebook.

Dennis whose life gave the deepest impact in the quality of life of the deaf community in Bohol and Leyte.

“Dennis lived a life of love and service to the less fortunate and he has changed the lives of the Deaf in Bohol and Leyte, Philippines,” it added.

Wake will be open to family and friends on January 21 at 1 p. m. until January 23 at Funeraria Gomez Udtohan.

Burial schedule to be announced.

Sagbayan Hope Village. Contributed Photo

‘Garden Cafe’
Drake arrived in Bohol in 1980s as a peace corps volunteer.

When he found out that only one teacher trained in sign language and seven students, he and a friend developed plans to open classes and schools for deaf students.

He talked to government officials and got them to allocate classroom space initially in Tagbilaran City and then in a second town, Jagna.

After his time with the peace corps was over, he decided to stay.

He established the nonprofit International Deaf Education Association.

He also established Garden Cafe as an employment in income-generating projects. The restaurant now is housed in a two-story, air-conditioned building with a staff of 35, most of them deaf.

IDEA then opened up a hotel called the Dao Diamond Hotel in 2000 and IDEA Pension House in Jagna.

He also set up the Bohol Deaf Academy in 2005. The schools of IDEA are spread across Bohol and the island of Leyte.

Drake was also instrumental in establishing the Sagbayan Hope Village, a housing project for families displaced by the 7.2-magnitude earthquake on October 15, 2013.

May his memory be a blessing.

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