In 2002, an American volunteer named Lisa Zahra moved to Africa, an undertaking which was contingent upon her finding her own funding for airfare, lodging, and food. Utilizing 17 years of experience as an Interpreter for the Deaf, she taught Sign Language, English, History, and other educational basics to a community of Deaf children living in poverty-stricken Monze, Zambia.
Within weeks of her arrival to Southern Africa, she realized that her role would go far beyond that of a simple educator. The children faced taunting, theft, and physical abuse from their own parents on a daily basis -- a cruel and unjust punishment for having committed the crime of being born deaf. Lisa acted quickly, reaching out to the community and starting workshops for adults, many of whom she did not believe would ever attend any sort of parental counseling, much less a program facilitated by a cultural "outsider." Much to her pleasant surprise, the response was immense. Soon, most of the parents of her students, as well as several adults not involved with the Deaf community, were learning Sign Language and non-violent parenting. Most importantly, their children reacted with smiles, appreciation, and stories of reformed communication at home.
DEAAF is trying to provide the deaf children of Monze with an education that may be their only hope to experience and enrich the world around them through their own unique gifts. They will fly to a distant corner of the world, far away from the comforts of an industrialized society. Lisa Zahra has pledged to dedicate the rest of her life in service to those who are so desperately in need of her skills-- but she needs your help.
Click here to read Lisa's story.
Learn more about our mission by watching this brief video.