About Ephphatha Centre for the Deaf

Ephphatha Centre for the Deaf provides a safe haven for those who have been rejected by society due to hearing impairment. The centre began under a tree with five deaf and mute children in 1994 and has since grown to over 250 children.

The children come from North Kivu province and are provided with primary and high school education. Ephphatha also offers specialised medical care for deaf people, who would otherwise be unable to successfully access adequate care in the mainstream clinics due to communication obstacles.

Medical care is essential in order to access early treatment intervention, and Ephphatha is the only medical clinic in the region to provided specialist services for the hearing impaired. Ephphatha also conducts vocational training, so that deaf students in the region are able to earn a living. It runs an egg laying project and is building up a printing shop, to be able to offset the medical and educational costs in providing free services to the deaf community. These projects also provide an avenue for employment and training for deaf graduates. The Centre makes it possible to combat the discrimination and exclusion of deaf people in their families and communities.

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Partner Objectives

To provide free medical care to 114 deaf people.

To provide 150 teens with audiometry services to assess their level of deafness and place them in classrooms with teachers who are educated about deafness.

To provide training to four caregivers in sign language to enable better communication between deaf students, caregivers and medical personnel.

To train 50 deaf adults in reading, writing, arithmetic and sign language and in skilled work such as sewing, carpentry and basic computer skills so they main gain employment.

To establish income generating projects to enable the centre to become self sustainable and provide jobs to the deaf community.

Transforming lives in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Straddling 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. Our ministry partners in the DRC work specifically with people who are hearing impaired, have severe medical needs, or are vulnerable children or orphans.