Happy New Year! To kick off the new year, we want to share a little recap of all that happened in 2018. 2018 was the year when it all properly started, and it’s just getting better from there. Volume Up! and JakSL were assembled, but couldn’t have without the help of the team, which was also established in 2018. We strived to build a better future for the deaf and non-deaf communities and ended up with an organisation and tool to use to be the bridge between the two worlds. Throughout the beginning, many of the team did not know how to communicate anything in sign language. However, now, those members know the very least to sign their names and basic forms of conversation. This flourished as the team visited deaf schools, to implement programs and donate to the cause, as well as just constant exposure to the language as caused it to infiltrate our knowledge. Learning sign language along the way, just by being exposed to it, really does prove the ease of how we can begin to bridge the deaf and non-deaf communities together. Summer came, after much hard work and perseverance, when the team was ready to launch the app JakSL to provide the world with a platform to learn BISINDO, which once again serves as a pathway to bring the non-deaf and deaf worlds closer together. After a successful launch on August 9, featuring other fellow deaf activists, the organisation was off to a great start resulting in multiple newspaper articles as well as a whirlwind of opportunities which followed. International Sign Language Day 2018 was one of the main opportunities which allowed us to partake in the first of the event-type in Indonesia to celebrate the deaf and to further raise awareness of how a disability should not be considered an inability to do good. Jerick, our founder, was as seminar coordinator for the event, meaning that he took charge of organising the seminars that were taking place and got to connect with all the speakers. Other activities happening on the day included games, a Sign Run, and a blood drive that all the attendees could take part in to celebrate the efforts to raise awareness of the deaf community and what we can do to help them out. We feel very grateful to have been able to contribute to such an event and have the success and praise that we received, helping us strengthen the ‘bridge’ we are building. Not only have we been able to connect with others through existing platforms, but also our own social media platforms (which you can check out on our website home page) has enabled others to reach out to us for information and collaboration projects. It really is the year for online networking. One of the exciting messages we got on our Instagram regarded a research paper from a student at the University of Indonesia (UI) who was interested in our work. We met with the student after school one day to discuss the pathway of the research for the paper and had an interview about how we think technology, which we use, helps the deaf community’s image in the long run. In the end, the paper was submitted to a competition and we are eagerly waiting for an update on how it went. Further opportunities to make change for the deaf community arose when we came across this project to give hearing aid dehumidifiers to deaf students. Jerick, in particular, was able to use his knowledge and skills in chemistry for this project which therefore also augmented his skill level while also benefiting the deaf community in the long run. One thing we have learnt this year is how important, and how much we can use, our knowledge in almost every subject to make a change to just one single community. The ease of it seems to be a rush in the body, inspiring us all to make further change to the rest of the world. We also got to work with Starkey, a similar organisation to our own, to give free hearing aids to kids in need. Although we could not attend the giving event, we helped organise the event and the preparatory steps needed to take before the event could take place. One of the most rewarding parts about this year was how we could use our platform to inspire others and be leadership roles to others and promote that leadership to the rest of our community. Jerick gave a leadership presentation to teachers from around the world (through a program organization called JAWS) in collaboration with BSJ school’s CAS staff and volunteers. This was exciting to take charge to promote what leaders do and the importance of them to make change. And finally, Jerick’s TEDX Talk hosted at BSJ allowed him to further delve into the successes and the story behind Volume Up! which raised awareness for our cause to the BSJ community. It’s been a great year and much more is to come. We would like to thank you for all your support and enthusiasm towards our organisation and your participation in many of the events we have been so blessed to take part in. Thank you for coming along with us on this journey and we hope you have had a good new year so far! Follow us on social media to continue with us on our journey to bridge the communities together.