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Ephphatha School for the Deaf, DR Congo

Providing great opportunities for deaf students who have been stigmatized because of their disability

Ephphatha School for the Deaf began under a tree with five deaf-mute children in 1994, and has since grown to over 200 children. The children come from North Kivu province and are provided with primary and high school education. Deaf-mute adults are also given the opportunity to receive vocational training. Ephphatha provides a safe haven for those who have been rejected by society.

Ephphatha’s Principal, Charmant Mutata, leads a team of 17 dedicated staff. All teaching is in sign language, and the students are taught the Government’s curriculum requirements. Other subjects, such as hand and machine sewing for girls and woodwork and carpentry for boys, equip the students for a future within the society of North Kivu. Initially, Ephphatha sought out deaf students who had been stigmatised because of their disability. The parents now recognise that it provides great opportunities for their children.

Democratic Republic of Congo

IndiaStraddling the Equator, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is the second largest country in Africa after Algeria. The 61 million inhabitants comprising 250 ethnic groups speaking 700 local languages endure one of the world's lowest living standards. War, government corruption, neglected public services and depressed copper and coffee markets are contributing factors.


Australia UNDP 2015 Human
Development Index
Democratic Republic of the Congo
2nd of 188 Global Rank 176th of 188
82.4 years Life Expectancy at Birth 58.7 years
13 years Average Years of Schooling 6 years
Population earning below
$1.25 / day (PPP)
$42,831 Gross Domestic Product
per capita (2011 PPP USD)