Saturday, 28 April 2007

more on Humble Hearts

Mzee Bubu got email from his friend:

Beatrice the Director have answered saying that the Humble Hearts money was stolen from her at gun point just outside the school gate. She was in shock for a whole week as she had never seen gunned men except of course in films.

friend said: we will pray for her and the school. It is the only school in Nairobi and Central Province that encourages deaf empowerment, good KSL and good deaf teachers despite the very small funding they have. No funding from the Kenyan Government.

Thursday, 26 April 2007

Humble Hearts School Robbed!

Mzee Bubu was told...

Humble Hearts School was recently robbed. The thugs stole more than 100,000 shillings from Humble Hearts School.

Beatrice the Director kept saying that they have no money etc but money there in the office, 100,000/=, a lot of money. They pay their teachers very low wages, about between 2000 and 5000 per month?

Mzee Bubu wants to know if it is true or not?

Sunday, 22 April 2007

update re Jean Claude and Norwegian Deaf Aid

MZEE BUBU wait wait.

Jean-Claude's Advisory Board meeting is a face-show. Just show good big smile-teeth.

* good writings on paper but not on ground work.

* one hearing asked JC why resource centre in Kisii strong village bush, not Nairobi where easy accessible?

* Deaf involved not ask questions. Just sat and ate pizza. More pizza. Eat more pizza. Lovely coke, thank you.

* They got 1,000/= each.

* Ogola talked saying wonderful JC he is the best, praise his good work.

Marit the big boss mzungu from Europe own Deaf Aid. Marit was silent no word like she has no idea.

In JC's invitation letter, JC said KNAD can go send one representative but KNAD end up having Wango & Ogola.

Washington Akranga went for big allowance elsewhere so he sent Ouma Dominic Majiwa to represent KSLRP.

JC was just pleasing Marit and it looks like JC is more powerful than Marit in Deaf Aid, he just using her to collect Norwegian funds. Poor Marit dont know anything and being fooled by business papers.

What you think, deaf community of Kenya, good or bad?

let Mzee Bubu know!

Monday, 16 April 2007

KSL Research Project

Mzee Bubu wants to know:

with the help of Europe, KNAD have set up a KSL Research Project at University of Nairobi. Even now, it is still a KNAD/UoN joint project yet the people at KSLRP make lies saying that they are independent not part of anyone or anything.

Only Washington Akranga's two wives work there make KSLRP look like a family project yes, Pauline and Francisca (Daniel Ogembo's ex wife). Is it professional?


* why are there no research lately?

* why is there no proper KSL dictionary?

* why is washington akranga always away teaching? Where do the money go to? Washington Akranga went to Deaf Aid meeting and ate the pizza there and he got 1000/= for attending. Did he give the money to KSLRP or did he pocket it?

* why is KSLRP more of a language center than a proper research project?

* why is very little research and academic papers printed?

* what does jefwi want?

* why does washington akranga have no university qualifications?

* why is there no interpreter training?

* why do KSLRP not work with Maseno University?

* why does washington's two wives work in the same office?

* What do Professor Okoth actually do? Why do he say silly stories in his CV saying that he have set up everything for deaf people in Africa and that deaf people are very thankful to him. He did almost nothing for deaf people and he have no real knowledge of sign linguistics.

* why is KSLRP a big embarrassment for sign linguists?

email from Disability Kenya

Disability Kenya
dated 13-Apr-2007


As the country gets deeper into election mood what are we doing to further enfranchise the disability community?

The current edition in the website accessible at explores these efforts including:

- The issues of resource equal distribution and disability.
- The increasing role of the media in inclusive civic education.
- The new Civic education programme on KTN interpreted into Kenya Sign Language.
- Adopt a digital school for Persons with disabilities.

Our usual e-books and policy documents are also available.



P.O. Box 73407-00100, Nairobi
Tel: 254 020 781159
020 2021044

Thursday, 05 April 2007

more on Amber Martin at GDC


Is a deaf American in her 30s. She have received her B.S. in Child Psychology from the University of Minnesota and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota's Institute of Child Development.

Her research focuses on language and cognitive development in both deaf and hearing children.

In 1998 Amber volunteered at Atfaluna Society for Deaf Children in Gaza City Palestine, a progressive school for deaf children from preschool through graduation.

She have attended hearing schools (mainstreamed) but have started to mix with the deaf community when she was in high school.

IDCS report - 29 Jan 2007



Kenya Society for Deaf Children (KSDC)
The International Deaf Children's Society
Dandora Deaf Group
Nairobi Familiy Support Services


KSDC received a one-year funding from the IDCS Small Grants Programme (SGP) for a project which focused on training families in Kenyan Sign Language. The project involved over 100 parents from five urban areas.

This case study focuses on a group of parents in Korogocho, an area, which is home to 150,000 people and is considered one of the most densely populated and unstable slums of Nairobi. KSDC faced numerous challenges in reaching parents in this area and many parents were initially unwilling to get involved in the classes. However at the end of the project there were around 20 parents who regularly attended meetings over a three-month period. Attendance was not totally constant due to the difficulties families face in making a living and challenges posed by poverty and HIV/AIDS.

The improvements in family communication that they experienced and the information and support that KSDC offered, encouraged parents to form an organised group. The group aimed to improve access to education for their children and also start a savings scheme.

This project involved KSDC in a new way of working. Where previously, KSDC had focused strongly on the provision of services to deaf children and their families, through the construction of schools, provision of subsidised hearing aids and the development of information leaflets, this project moved towards a more community based style of work

Initially the parents in Korogocho were unwilling to spend time coming to meetings and learning Sign Language. Many of them work in the informal sector, felt that their children needed to learn, not them and found it difficult to commit the time to this activity.


The existence of a community based programme run by the Catholic Church in Korogocho slum meant that KSDC was able to work with the existing community workers to identify and communicate with the parents of deaf children in the community. However the initial invitations to parents for Sign Language classes did not meet with success. The parents were very reluctant to attend and the turnout at the first few meetings was poor.

Parents were happy for their children to attend the informal school run by the community based programme and did not understand what they would gain from participating in meetings. Nevertheless, when questioned most parents acknowledged that their ability to communicate with their own children was limited.

The strategy used by KSDC and the community based programme to encourage parents had various strands:

* An introductory meeting in a hotel outside of Korogocho was organised. Food was provided and parents were invited to attend. The purpose of this meeting was to use the pleasant environment as a motivation to encourage parents to think about how learning sign language could improve family communication and what else KSDC could offer in terms of referrals to schools, and government audiology services. Although this exercise had a financial cost, it did attracted a relatively large number of parents and was a turning point in parents’ attitudes.

* Though this attracted parents for the “wrong” reasons – the meeting itself provided a space for parents to become aware of the “right” reasons. Presentations from active parents of deaf children from other areas of Nairobi were a key part of the workshop. It was also made clear that this meeting was a one-off opportunity and that the project would be run within the slum and would require commitment and self-motivation from the parents.

* KSDC organised a vacation playgroup alongside the classes so that the deaf children and their siblings could learn KSL and access learning and play opportunities outside of school time and alongside the classes for parents. A young deaf woman from Korogocho was employed part time to run the play group which happened alongside the Sign Language classes.

* Parents, themselves decided on the best days and times for training sessions and this was kept flexible. This helped parents to attend more regularly.


The programme made good use of an existing Deaf people’s organisation – the Dandora Deaf Group, to provide the trainers for Sign Language classes for parents. This also gave parents an opportunity to meet deaf role models as well as learn Sign Language from a native user of the language.

The training focused on learning language that was useful for the families and on revision and repititon. However most families felt that 3 months was not a long enough time to learn and would have preferred the lessons to last longer.

However one drawback was that the young deaf trainers used English as their main written language, which they had learnt at schools for the deaf. Parents requested written information in Kiswahili as they were mostly not able to read or understand English. A trainer / translator with spoken Kiswahili would have improved communication in the classes.

Nevertheless achieving a level of communciation with their children that they had not previously had changed parents' opinions about their deaf children.


Towards the end of the initial three months training, the parents’ attending meetings had formed relationships with each other. As the self help movement is relatively widespread most families knew about the activities of other self help groups in their area and felt that this was something which they could also be a part of. At the same time, KSDC was keen to maintain links with a group of parents who could act as a point of contact in the slum. Through this group, KSDC would be able to deliver other services such as subsidised hearing aids, school referrals, sponsorship links etc. They were also, therefore, keen to support the group to become a more sustainable entity.

The members agreed to contribute around KSH 100 per month towards a small savings scheme, which helps they agreed not to draw on until significant amounts had been saved. KSDC were able to provide a top-up amount of KSH20,000, which gave the group encouragement and a motivation to continue.

During the time we were being mobilised, we had no idea that it would become a reality to communicate with our own children…we can now basically talk to them, understand their problems, help them with homework, know when they are sick and send them to shops and markets…As parents living in Korogocho slums we have started a self help group…the schools for deaf children are far, some are 400kms from Nairobi and boarding and transport is expensive. We want to support KSDC in initiatives that promote the need for deaf units or a school for deaf children in Nairobi. Mother of a deaf child

KSDC also plan to link the groups with other sources of support such as funding from the Ministry of Youth for community groups and microfinance programmes targeted at women’s groups.


* Involving younger siblings in the playgroup or older siblings in the class gave families more incentive and opportunity to practice signing at home.
Giving parents the opportunity to meet deaf adults who worked in the playgroup and as Sign Language trainers gave another perspective on the capabilities of deaf people and raised aspirations for their children.

* The Dandora Deaf Group had learnt English at their residential school, whilst the parents would have benefited from a Swahili language interpreter / trainer.

* It would have been useful to include information about other topics – such s education, causes of deafness as well as Sign Language training.

* A flexible curriculum was used which suited the parents, many of whom had only basic education. Visual training materials or materials in Swahili might have supported the learning process.

* The project focused on quantity of parents rather than quality of training - and some families felt that duration of training was too short and the level of skills learnt too low. More funding, and a better training package for trainers would help this.

* A more effective evaluation mechanism for parents' signing ability would help demonstrate the effectiveness of the project to funders and others.

* Organising opportunities for parent groups in different areas of Nairobi to meet each other and discuss their plans for the future would have been a motivation and source of ideas.

* Parents of young adults really want support in helping their children get access to petty business opportunities or employment.

Wednesday, 04 April 2007

Immersion in deaf culture in Kenya was eye-opening, says Amber Martin

Pioneer Press (a newspaper in St Paul, Minnesota, USA)
May 09, 2005

Immersion in deaf culture in Kenya was eye-opening

Amber Martin attended mainstream schools while growing up in St. Paul. Martin, who is deaf, started becoming involved with the deaf community during high school.

Since 2003, the 28-year-old has been president of the board of Global Deaf Connection, an organization that provides scholarships and sign language interpreters for deaf adults in developing countries. Recently, Martin led a team of volunteers to Kenya, where they worked with administrators, sign language interpreters and deaf students at a teacher's college.

"I got to know many of the students personally. Even though we grew up in vastly different countries, we share many of the same stories because we are deaf. At the same time, we have many differences because the Kenyan deaf education system has lagged behind ours. None of the students at college now had teachers who could sign fluently, and their education suffered. But now, with these deaf students pioneering the way for future children, that work will continue to change deaf education in Kenya.

"Kenyan culture is very rich and very respectful. In Kenya, respect for authority is extremely important, so it is important you acknowledge others' work and generosity. The deaf culture is very collective. There is a lot of support for each other and a very communal spirit.

"We had a period of training before we went to work. We had a deaf Kenyan culture facilitator who gave us a crash course in Kenyan culture and the deaf community there.

"Each country has its own sign language just like each country has its own spoken language. Some of the features are similar — such as some facial expression marking questions or emotions — but the vocabulary and grammar are different. Most deaf people can learn and adjust to KSL very quickly.

"We were immersed in the culture 24 hours a day, from breakfast to bedtime. We learned to eat new foods. We learned to negotiate our way through each day. We had to learn how to request transportation.

"When you travel, you go through certain stages of culture shocks. For some people, the novelty is terrific and makes everything look great. For the people adjusting to something new, it's more difficult, especially if they don't know what to expect.

"Later, both types of people start to merge toward the middle. You start to notice you can't have cold water every day or hot water when you shower. At the same time, you start to appreciate things you might not have noticed or things you can't get in the United States, like the very laid-back pace.

"I learned 80 percent of leading is just having the confidence to make decisions. The other 20 percent was accepting and admitting if the decisions do not turn out as planned.

"I also learned everyone has his or her own skill to contri-bute and a big part of my leadership role is finding out what those skills are and how to empower the team members to use their skills."

By Rhoda Fukushima, Pioneer Press

Nairobi's first bilingual school - Humble Hearts



(15 April 2004)


My name is Beatrice Anunda from Nairobi Kenya and I am 32 years old am a Christian. I work as a volunteer at Humble Hearts School for the Deaf as a teacher, counsellor, mother and friend.

I love traveling, meeting people and teaching, I spend most of my time at the school with children.

Humble Hearts school for the Deaf is located in Donholm Nairobi Kenya is a child welfare programme founded on voluntary basis by the community in the year 2003.

The programme which aims at promoting the welfare of deaf children from impoverished famished families of Nairobi was my own idea. The concept of the programme stemmed out of the live need for educational facilities for many deaf slum children not attending school. This was due to exorbitant fees charged in special schools. Many of these deaf children hail from poor slum families. Some have one parent, others have both parents, while others are completely orphaned. Being poor illiterate, semi-literate and without sign language knowledge the parents and guardians keep these children at home often not knowing what to do with them.

Others feel deafness is an embarrassment or a curse and end up hiding them The children have no books, shoes, wear torn clothes, are malnourished, full of self pity, and are often very defensive. A sense of rejection and lack of self worth creates a serious withdrawal syndrome that makes the children look less creative and unproductive.

The children's environment in the slum is really pathetic the population is very high and incomes very low. The school provides a counselling and support system, feeding and educating the children. It takes such a short time for the children to open up and cope with school life performing well discarding fear and self- pity.

The main objective of the programme is to instil moral and quality life into the deaf slum children through the provision of food, education and upbringing to present into the society responsible individuals from childhood.

* To help children heal from the trauma of rejection psychological and social ailments, denial and withdrawal through counselling and involvement in social economic activities.

* To provide primary and secondary and higher advance education for deaf children to deaf people.

* To establish vocational and professional training for skill and career development.

* To establish a bible college for the deaf.


Humble Hearts is still young - about 9 months now but it has performed extremely well.

Our children have really changed, they look better than when they joined i.e. healthy, friendly and they can read, write, sign, in fact we have upcoming artists whom we are encouraging. The school has 20 children though some are still out of school due to lack of transport. These children live far and all the school can do is visit them on regular basis and until we get a school van or establish boarding school.

We have four volunteers working at the school one of them is a deaf teacher who teaches mathematics and computer, he is an inspiration to this children


Deaf children are sometimes very short tempered and they always want a lot of attention. As a teacher, I find that you must love the deaf children to be able to teach because one needs to be very patient with them. For instance you might have to teach one topic 2 to 3 times in order for them to be able to understand and not forget.

Another challenge is to work with the parents who think that deaf children are not capable of learning and become independent people. Many parents believe that all deaf children will be able to do is house work, carpentry or get married when they became of age it is really sad. Often parents tend to be very stubborn and during our first visits to their homes, it takes a lot of counselling to convince such parent to bring their children to school.

Our school is housed in a church premise, the humble building is made of corrugated iron on both the roof and walls the floor is not cemented. We rely on donations from the community in order to sustain ourselves.

We hold a regular “harambee”. These are community fundraising events, where everyone is asked to contribute money. Our most recent harambee was not successful, we only managed to raise KSh 2,000 but our landlord wants KSh 7,000. He has already closed the church/school because the deadline was on 5th April. I have been forced to dismiss the children until we sort out the rent issue.

Tuesday, 03 April 2007

GDC Kenya


(mzeebubu got it from gdc mailout - see see)

Almost ten years after the concept of Global Deaf Connection was "born" in Kenya, the "cycle of success" has come full round to establish a local Board of Directors to formally register the organization in country as Global Deaf Connection/Kenya (GDC/K), and give more local oversight and direction of its activities..

Initially, a core group of GDC/K Board of Directors was selected from the Head Office. Appointments were Deaf and hearing professionals whom had a history of activism as individuals, and in organizations, promoting the development of the Deaf Community and education in Kenya. This group met in Nairobi in January, and identified additional members to make complete the GDC/K Board of Directors.

Currently the GDC/K Board of Directors is composed of seven Deaf and five hearing members, with one ex-official member.
The GDC/K Board of Directors is committed to working amongst themselves, and with its stakeholders, to create quality, appropriate, sustainable education for Deaf Kenyans.

MZEEBUBU: Nickson now the chair of GDC Kenya. Mzee Bubu glad see Nickson work a bit not sit fart fart.

Mzee Bubu BUSY!

Mzee Bubu very busy and sick.

sorry for the delay.

any news ua want talk, let mzee bubu know.

more GDC news!


We are excited to inform you of some recent personnel changes at the GDC office. Amber Martin has been chosen by the board to assume the CEO position. We value Ron Brouillette's instrumental work in assisting GDC in the past year to improve programs and raise our international standing within the Deaf community. Amber is now looking forward to continuing to strengthen GDC's programs and helping GDC continue growth.

Amber is a doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota studying language acquisition and cognitive development. She has been active on the GDC board of directors for five years, and has traveled to all of GDC's country sites. Welcome, Amber!

GDC Founder, Kevin Long & Ron Brouillette meet in Kamanthu, India.

Kevin Long, founder and previous CEO of GDC meet up with Ron in Kathmandu to discuss the present situation and the future. Kevin will likely remain abroad ron kev indiafor a longer time, but has agreed to continue on as an advisor, and to assist GDC in its future development. Following a two week trek in Nepal, Kevin and his friend, Sarah will return to London for the next two months or so.

shane mwangi resign KDCT chair

mzee bubu got this from his mate who is mate of shane mwangi


Jambo everyone!

I want to let you know that I have handed in my resignation notice to the Kenya Deaf Children Trust as the chairman. Increasing workloads in the KDCT and that I may move to Amsterdam to study General Linguistics which I will put use to my KSL research which is important for Kenya. Circumstances have made it difficult for me to deliever my duties as the KDCT Chairman and I have recommended Katrina Gwynne-Jones to become the acting chairwoman as I feel she is the most suitable one for the position and that she will ensure that KDCT will continue on. I may stay on the KDCT Committee as I believe that KDCT is a worthy cause for everyone to support - and that KDCT will need all the support they can get.

Let's support Katrina and Kenya Deaf Children Trust!


Shane (Mwangi) Gilchrist Ó hEorpa
Kenya Deaf Children Trust

Monday, 02 April 2007

Stephen Wathigo's new blog

Mzee Bubu very happy to see a new blog

we need more deaf blogs in Kenya.

get out and do more