Messages About Self-Help From Around The World

Each of the following approximately three-minute videos features a person who stutters from various countries, explaining about self-help in their own country in their primary language. The videos were shot during the International Stuttering Association Congress in Cavtat, Croatia, and Sofia, Bulgaria, May 2007 by Tom Kuster and are placed online with the permission of each presenter. The videos were put on the MSU streaming server by Travis Kump in two formats - mp4 (which will play on Quicktime) and wmv (which will play on Windows Media Player). Both options are available for either Macintosh or PC if you download the freely available players - download page for quicktime media player and download page for windows media player. Each video below is copyright protected and may be linked or copied only with permission and proper attribution. For permission, contact

You can post Questions/comments about this project until October 22, 2007

Orlin Baev, is from Sofia, Bulgaria, where he is a student in Clinical Psychology. He is 35 years old, was a sailor formerly worked in agriculture and in a pastry shop. His future plans are to be a specialist of Integral and Transpersonal Psychology. He is interested in Integral Science, yoga, esoteric science and hopes to be a therapist working with persons who stutter. He is a member of the Bulgarian Stuttering Association. Bulgaria
in Bulgarian
Anita Scharis Blom was born and raised in the Netherlands, but is now married and living in Sweden. She works as a secretary and as the IT support/teacher assistant in school. Besides that, she is a board member of the local chapter (SSF), chairperson of the Swedish stuttering association (SSR), vice chair of the European League of Stuttering Associations (ELSA) and a member of the advicory board for the International Stuttering Association (ISA). She states, "I have stuttered since I was 9 and had a troublesome youth, but this helped me to now work with and give advice to people who stutter of all ages and help them to break down their barriers and show them the world is at their feet." Sweden
in Swedish
Moussa Dao, Dr. Dao is a pharmacist in the West African nation of Burkina Faso. He lives in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. He has stuttered since childhood. Four of the eight children born to his mother stutter. In February 2002 he created and is president of Action Against Stuttering (abbreviated in French A.C.B.) the first association of people who stutter in his country and West Africa, and third association throughout all of Africa. He is a member of the International Stuttering Association advisory board and has participated at many meetings, presenting in Burkina Faso, Perth (Australia), Lyon and Toulouse (France), Lome (Togo) and Cavtat (Croatia). Burkino Faso
in French
Hermann Christmann, has implemented projects on the prevention of stuttering, stuttering and the labor market, and treatment of stuttering in children, as well as smaller projects, such as interviews of adults who stutter abour their life experience, and translation of books on stuttering and treatment of stuttering from Swedish into Danish. (Co-)author of books and several articles on stuttering. Has given university lectures on stuttering, and congress papers and speeches on stuttering. Chair of the Association for Stutterers in Denmark. Is co-founder and past chair of the Stuttering Information Center of Denmark and advisory member of the ISA. E-mail: Denmark
in Danish
Mel Hoffman, is from Sunnyvale, California where he lives with his wife, Ruth. They have two grown children and five grandchildren. He is a retired. Certified Public Accountant. Formerly director of taxes at Ampex Corporation. Member of the board of directors of the National Stuttering Association from 1983-1994, serving some of these years as either secretary or treasurer. He attends and occasionally facilitates the San Jose chapter of the NSA. In 1996 he was part of the first group of four that was elected to the NSA's National Stuttering Hall of Fame. He is a member of the International Stuttering Association, serving on the management committeea and the board of directors. He was ISA Treasurer for six years and currently is an advisory member of the ISA. He is also a member of Speak Easy International Foundation, Inc. (Paramus, NJ). His therapy background dates back to a nine month program under Dr. Charles Van Riper in 1957-58. United States
in English
Arne Hope is from Stavanger, Norway, educated in organisation theory and public administration He is married and has three children and two grandchildren. Formerly, he worked as the head of the administration in a small Norwegian municipality. Currently he is a senior advisery officer for the Rogaland Couunty Council, working a mong other things on health-related issues, coordinating the regional work for the public health, and writing papers for the council. He is a member of the Norwegian Stuttering Association (NIFS) since1998, and has been the chair since 2004. Norway
in Norweigen
Shinji Ito, is from Osaka, Japan where he is the Executive Director, of the Japan Stuttering Project. He established the first self-help group of persons who stutter in Japan in 1965. In addition to his duties as Executive Director of the Japan Stuttering Project he does private practice and teaches speech therapy at several universities and vocational schools. In 1986 he served as the Chairperson of the first International Conference on Stuttering in Kyoto. Later he was involved with the founding of the ISA as a member of the Board of Directors. He has also been organizing summer camps for children who stutter and their parents for 17 years. He has published more than 10 books on stuttering. Japan
in Japanese
Dritan Kici, is from Tirano, Albania where he lives with his wife and two children. He is is a freelance journalist interested also in stuttering and communication research and is involved together with Michael Winkler in organizing Global Interhelp Community – GIC, a Voluntary Informal Organization based on the NEED for Help and the Possibility to fulfill it. For more information visit and Dritan is the director of the Easy Word Project in Albania and an advisory member of the International Stuttering Association Board of Directors. Albania
in Albanian
Thomas Krall is from Germany where he is a teacher of mathematics, sports and music at a comprehensive school. He is currently on a sabbatical. Chair of a stuttering self-help group in Duesseldorf, Germany, 1989-1991. Chair of the German stuttering association, 1992-1993. Member of ISA management committee,1995-1998. Chair of ISA board of directors, 1998-2001. He is currently a member of the International Stuttering Association Board of Directors. Germany
in German
M. Prem Kumar, is 29 years old, single, and from India. He is a person who stutters who can at times speak very confidently. He states that his stuttering in inherited. He has completed a Master's degree in Computer Software Engineering as well as hold 13 additional educational degrees yet because of his stuttering, is currently unemployed. He has had various jobs, but the management was not satisfied with his communication so currently he has dedicated himself to do something for the PWS in India. . India
in English
Joseph Lukong is a person who stutters. He is from Douola, Cameroon, West Africa and has a Bachelors Degree in law. He is Coordinator General of Speak Clear Association of Cameroon, SCAC, a national self help movement for people who stutter. He is board member and secretary of the International Stuttering Association, ISA and a member of the International Fluency Association, IFA.. Since 1999, he has been actively involved in promoting stuttering awareness, self help research and treatment for people who stutter in Cameroon and the rest of Africa. In collaboration with the ISA, he organized the first African conference on stuttering in Douala Cameroon in October 2005.. He has written articles on stuttering that have been published in many international journals and magazines and has presented papers on stuttering during workshops and conferences in Cameroon, UK, USA, Germany, Australia, France, Ireland and Croatia. Cameroon
in English
Jiri Mazoch, writes, "I am a stutterer, since age 7, from the Czech Republic. I am 51, married and have a 24-year old daughter. I am a mechanical engineer and work for a small company as a designer of the mixing equipment for chemical and food industries. I am a member of the oldest Czech self-help group for stutterers named Balbus. We get together only about 3 times a year in various places of the country. At these sessions the members talk about their speech problems, practice various speech skills and they generally support each other. We also practice telephone conversations via the internet (Skype) several times a week. I have undergone many therapies but only with a temporal effect. Unfortunately, there is no special therapy for adults in Czech Republic. Our self-help group is the best speech therapy for me. Czech Republic
in Czech
Mario Medven, is 25 years old and as from Zagreb, Croatia. He writes, "I am person who stutters, and a member of The Croatian Association for People Who Stutter 'Hinko Freund.'. I joined the self-help group when it was started, seven years ago. I gained fluency mostly because of the self-help group and support which I get from people with similar problems. I saw many advantages that group therapy offers, and soon I become the leader of the group. I would recommend everybody try to work in group after they finish some therapy. . Croatia
in Croatian
Velda Osborne is from England, United Kingdom. She writes, "These days I think of myself as a person who sometimes stammers. I am mostly fluent and occasional dysfluencies do not stop me in my tracks any more. It was not always thus: until well into my forties I saw my entire existence through the window of stammering. Increasing involvement with the British Stammering Association got me used to the sound of my own voice and helped me to take risks by contributing more in a variety of speaking situations. I was elected Chair of the BSA in 2005 and am greatly enjoying the challenges which the position offers. Being immensely proud of our achievements means I am happy to talk about stammering to anyone who will listen, which in turn reduces my own fear of stammering." England
in English
Benny Ravid, is from Tel Aviv, Israel where he is a software engineer. He is the former webmaster of the International Stuttering Association website and the chairperson of the International Stuttering Association Board of Directors. He is also the founder of AMBI, the Israel Stuttering Association and webmaster of AMBI website .. Israel
in Hebrew
Indra Lel Shrestha, writes, "I am President of Nepal Stutters' Association as well as member in Advisory Committee of International Stuttering Association. I am Civil Engineer. We have developed the self help group of stutterers and formed the Nepal Stuttersí Association in April 2003. It has seven district committees. Its members are in twenty five districts of Nepal. We are organizing the stutterers and creating awareness about stuttering. We are also conducting various advocacy programs, due to the fact that stuttering is recognized and included in the definition of disability by the Government of Nepal." .. Nepal
in Nepalese
Salad Tutana, writes, "I am from Kenya. I work with Community organizations as a development worker. I am also the founder of Speak Easy Association which was formed in 2005 after the Africa conference for people who stutter. The two major steps we taken include an interview we conducted which was broadcasted by the media twice throughout the country. The other important step was to support legislation where stuttering will be recognised as a disability like any other. The bill is before the parliament for approval. We also provide awareness for the rights, recognition and acceptance of people who stutter in our respective societies. I attended the World Conference in Dubrovnic Croatia where we learned, shared experiences and made alot of friends in the interest of people who stutter. .. Kenya
in English
Ella Valve, from Finland writes, "I have stuttered since I was 3-years-old. Our stuttering association is for everyone that stutters, is a family member or is just interested in stuttering. The association is almost 40 years old and I have been involved for 5 years. I find our association to be very supporting and helpful and have especially appreciate it to be a forum where you can expand your stuttering knowledge and exchange views with different kinds of people. I think that for most of our members our association is place to meet good friends even though we do deal with serious matters too. I'm glad about our international connections and friends. Our summer meeting 2007 we met with Estonians!" Finland
in Finnish
Ronald Van Drunen, is a legal consultant from Netherlands. He writes, "After having done some fluency shaping therapies, which were not very helpful to my, I have been in therapy in 2003 at the University Hospital in Rotterdam learning how to accept my stuttering, and as a result of that I wanted to meet more people who had overcome there difficulties. After visiting some workshops organized by the Dutch Stuttering Association, Demosthenes, I got very enthusiastic about the work Demosthenes did, so I decided to join. During the general meeting of 2004 I was elected secretary. Together with the other board members we organize workshops and self help weekends, we publish a magazine and a newsletter and put a lot of effort in trying to raise the public awareness for the difficulties people who stutter can face." Netherlands
in Dutch
Zongshan, Li, is from Beijing, China, where he is a member of the Beijing Stuttering Association for the past six years, as well as a member of the China Stuttering Association. Currently he is a Pd.D students at the Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he is focusing his studies on the tree-ring research on the Tibetan Plateau. For this conference he is pleased to introduce current development of the China Stuttering Association and send the welcoming comments for the next International Stuttering Association world congress to be held in Beijing in 2010. .. China
in Chinese
You can post Questions/comments about this project until October 22, 2007

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