Schools for Deaf Children


Our project manager Ineke Hendickx supervises three boarding schools for deaf children in Malawi. She does this (unpaid) on behalf of the Dutch Foundation for Deaf Care Malawi (SDM). This is their website: Ineke has now also been appointed by Bishop Peter A. Chifukwa of Dedza as project manager for Mua School for the Deaf on behalf of the diocese (again unpaid). The schools have been quite neglected in recent years. Therefore we have installed a committee of teachers and caregivers at every school. Together we work on solutions to the many challenges. There is a lot of overdue maintenance and there is not enough money to buy good food for the children.

The children, aged 6 to 18, first attend pre-school for four years, after which they attend standard 1 to 8 of primary school. They only go home for holidays three times a year and therefore spend a large part of their childhood here at boarding school. Despite the difficult living conditions, the children are very cheerful and curious. These schools are a solution for them: they finally have friends they can communicate with.

This is what we have already achieved :

  1. The schools were often without water. This meant that all children had to walk to remote hand pumps with buckets on their heads to get water to drink, wash themselves and their clothes, and clean their dormitories. Now every school has a solar water pump and the water supply is assured.
  2. All teachers have completed a permaculture training. Now organic fruit and vegetables are grown at every school, together with the children.
  3. Through German donors we have been able to supplement the budget for purchasing food and paying the doctor when children are sick.
  4. At Mua School for the Deaf, a solar electricity system ensures that the children, who use sign language, have light in the evening.
  5. A biogas plant has been built at Mountainview School for the Deaf. Now the cooks can cook on biogas stoves, the biogas being made from the manure of the cattle at the institute. No more trees are cut down on the site for cooking over a wood fire.
  6. We were able to provide two schools with laptops.
  7. We donated hearing aids and equipment for the audiology clinic.
  8. We have started a child program at all schools.

Child program

There is little to do for the children outside of lessons. There are no toys. Boredom sometimes led to mischief and 'running away' to the village or market, where the children came into contact with undesirable activities.

This has changed. Together with the teachers, Mieke Stroucken and Cas Hofstee, we have set up a children's program. The children can now, under supervision, play with Lego, cars and trains, color, read or tie a stuffed animal to their back.

In addition, every school now has a television where children can watch programs for deaf children. Or just watch football.

It is fantastic to experience how happy and cheerful these children become when they can play (and learn through play) in this way.


The boarding schools for deaf children are open to receiving volunteers. Volunteer work consists of working individually with the children, supervising the child program and spending time with the children after school. Interested? Send a message!

AAll photos on this page were taken by Matthews Hau Hau.