Ephphatha School for Deaf Children, Bujumbura, Burundi

Ephphatha School for Deaf Children, founded in 1981, is a Christian organisation which provides education on a residential basis for deaf children. It is one of only 2 schools for deaf children in Burundi as there is no government provision or aid for children with hearing impairments.
 
A project that began under a tree with five deaf-mute children in 1994 has now grown to over 196 children with these problems. The children are provided with primary and high-school education while adults who suffer from hearing impairments are also given the opportunity to receive vocational training at the school.
 
Ephphatha is located within the compound of its parent organisation, the Emmanuel Community of Churches, together with other social projects including a community based rehabilitation centre and a separate school for blind children.
 
Ephphatha School provides education and support to a range of ages:

  • Ephphatha School provides primary education (preschool and Grades 1-6) in a residential setting for deaf/hearing impaired children.
  • For older children there is a new ‘bridging’ class to prepare deaf children for a possible transfer to secondary education in mainstream government ‘hearing’ schools.
  • Ephphatha also offers the option of vocational training for older children in e.g., sewing, carpentry. 
  • A small egg production project provides additional income and food for the children.

Parents who can afford to do so pay modest fees, but the school relies on overseas support and some local donations to cover costs. Many students who attend the school are orphans, war refugees, and rely on sponsorship funds to provide uniforms, food, and school.
 
Please see their website for more information: http://www.worldshare.org.au