Magwero School for the Deaf

Magret’s School in Chipata, Eastern Province

Sponsor Julianne meets her student, Magret

In August, 2017, we accompanied Winnet Phiri to collect her daugher, Magret from the school she has been attending now for almost two years for a holiday break, Magwero School for the Deaf in Chipata, Zambia.

It was a long drive over dusty roads to get to Magwero School in Chipata

Julianne has been sponsoring Magret since she began school for the first time at the age of  12. We can only imagine how difficult it must have been for her to be taken to a new place and dropped off, without understanding why. Magret has been deaf since she was an infant and lost her hearing due to illness. She had never attended school before and we are grateful that we had the opportunity to help her start off. Now after almost two years she has adapted and made friends at her school and has learned to communicate through sign language.

Magwero School for the Deaf was established in 1955 by Dr. Ella S. Botes, a Dutch Reformed Church missionary nurse and teacher. The school was the first of its kind in Zambia and children came from many parts of Zambia and Malawi as well.  
 
The Director of Magwero School welcomed our visit and asked one of the teachers to show us around the grounds. 

Our first stop was the maiz grinding area where the staple diet is prepared – mealy mealy or Nshima. We were also shown the husks of sunflowers which is pressed for oil. 

The vegetable garden looked very healthy, we were impressed by the size of the garden and the the amount of vegetables for the children.

The girls’ dormitory, with has its own well or borehole just outside where the girls can collect water and wash their clothes.

 

Each room sleeps between four and eight girls. There is a bed for each child and enough storage space for each student by way of closets and shelves.

The girls were happy to have visitors. It was the last day of term and they were busy cleaning up their rooms and clothes and getting ready to go home to visit with their families for a few weeks.

The boys were also getting ready for the break, cleaning and packing. They communicate through sign language, so for someone with hearing it was a very quiet visit despite all the conversations going on around us!

It was time to leave, but we will think often of Magwero School for the Deaf. They are helping these children who otherwise would live in a more solitary world. At the school they learn to communicate and find new friends.

3 Comments

  • Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

    • Rocco Hough says:

      Hi,
      The Bible Society of South Africa want to donate Bibles for the Deaf to your school for the Deaf.
      Can you please give us their addresses an e-mails.
      Thanks,
      Dr. Rocco Hough

      • Ree says:

        Dear Dr. Rocco Hough

        That is wonderful! The school for the deaf is in Chipata, Zambia, the Eastern Province. If you would like to write me at my email, you can write to ReeGillett@FundacionLivingstone.org
        You can also write to Stu who organizes the sponsorships at Project Luangwa in Mfuwe Zambia at: Stu@ProjectLuangwa.org
        That is so kind and generous of you.
        I am sorry I did not see your email sooner,
        Ree Gillett
        Livingstone Foundation for Africa

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