Supporting Education of Deaf Children in Zambia
December 14, 2022
We have admired for years the incredible work of the DeSanto Centre for the Deaf, and we are excited about our new partnership with them!
The DeSanto Centre, located in Livingstone, Zambia, provides a safe environment where deaf students can learn and grow. The school takes a well-rounded, holistic approach and caters to the individual needs of students, regardless of educational background. Students are treated with dignity and respect, as they learn to communicate in ways many were not able to on their own. Healthy meals, life skills coaching, organized sports, skill building and cooking are all components of their wonderful program, in addition to traditional schooling.
As Lisa Zahra, the director of the school, explains, “Because the development of a child’s brain and language skills begins very early, deaf children can start learning sign language at the age of three months. Early education is a strong component of educating deaf children, which is why we urge parents to enroll their children at a young age in schooling. The earlier we are able to teach deaf children, the better. They can be equal to their hearing counterparts, as language acquisition is imperative in the very early years. The DeSanto Centre aims to fill the gap of not only early childhood education for deaf students, but preparing them for future schooling and success.”
The DeSanto Centre also provides sign language education for the parents and family members of deaf students, as well as other support services. In addition to providing education, they assist in poverty and hunger alleviation, and they encourage the local community and government to become actively involved in order to ensure that deaf children have an educational future that is often taken for granted in more well-developed countries.
The DeSanto Centre has earned its reputation as one of the premier schools for deaf children in the region, and we have witnessed the incredible transformation of students at the school, as they have discovered a community that supports them in new ways of communicating, learning, and thriving.
Our partnership with the DeSanto Centre has allowed us to sponsor their fundraising efforts in the United States, as well as to provide grants toward teacher salaries and student meals. We are grateful to our donors, whose generous support has allowed us to participate in this important work!