New Teacher At Hope School

We have not yet had a chance to introduce to our supporters the newest volunteer to work at Hope School, but for the time being we can tell you that she is Lisa Zara from Rochester, New York.

Lisa, who is the only qualified teacher at Hope, used to work in an American system where she would interpret for a deaf child in a ‘hearing’ school. She is with us for a year. She is being helped by Martha, a teacher who has no experience of working with disabled chldren, so is learning from Lisa.

Lisa has already reported one fascinating little story which shows just how much aspects of our work can affect the happiness of a person’s life – she is teaching sign-language to the parents as well as the children, which has always been something that concerned us - if the children learn to sign and the parents don't it still makes for difficulties in the home.

It seems that one of the mothers has been beating her daughter because the deaf daughter could not understand what the mother wanted her to do. Lisa found out, was able to show the mother signs for love, and so on, and recruited her to attend Hope School. This has had a marked difference, and the daughter now comes to school in a much happier frame of mind.


It was amazing enough when HHI managed to start the Hope School for the Deaf, rescuing the children which had been decribed by the director as "the forgotten ones" and now, believe it or not, there is going to be a second deaf school!

The venture came from the director's visit to Zambia earlier this year. "I was taken to the Gweembe Valley, which is probably the hottest place I have ever been to in my life, and which is only reached through mountain passes and 'roads' that seem to be dried-up rivers. When I got there, they had rounded up 33 deaf children to be presented to me - I was rather nonplussed!"

"It turned out that, just as in the case of the Monze school, there are a number of deaf children for whom there are no teaching facilities. However, there is an existing school, St Patrick's, which has been very happy to co-operate on the idea of a special project for the deaf. This school was started by the Catholics in the 1930s, and is not a school as we would think of it - it's just a collection of old buildings. They showed me one derelict building and said that if we could repair it, furnish it, dig latrines and get a teacher, we could have it. The work has already started, and although we didn't expect to open until January, there's now a chance that we may be going by September."

One very helpful aspect is that a teacher at the existing school has a deaf child - this teacher has volunteered to work at the Hope school during the summer, to receive some training which will come in useful when the new St Patrick's School for the Deaf opens.