59 MOSE STREET (+26) 097 610 9055

Welcome to DEAAF,
Deaf Education & Arts for African Families!

DEAAF, Deaf Education & Arts for African Families, is a not-for-profit organisation committed to providing much needed schooling to deaf children within the African continent.  Our goal is to provide education, assist in poverty and hunger alleviation, and encourage the local community and government to become actively involved to ensure deaf children have an educational future that is often taken for granted in more well developed countries.

Happy Environment

The children and parents that join us at The DeSanto Centre for the Deaf  are all welcomed into a homely environment where they can learn and grow. Lisa is filled with smiles whenever you see her, and her love for the children is exhilarating.

Active Learning

Our students ages, range from three to twenty two. Our students have classes after eating their breakfast from 08:00 to 14:00. Science and Art, Math and Art are just a few of the many subjects being taught. We now have a full curriculum.
Teachers proficient in sign language are able to communicate with all of our Deaf students.

Exciting NEWS!!

Sewing Lessons

We will be starting a skills workshop soon! Emma Simunchembu is volunteering her time to teach sewing lessons for all the kids at the DeSantos Centre. We look forward to welcoming her at the centre.


Every Wednesday we have sports with Paula and Louisa who are volunteers from Germany.

Our Mission

DEAAF, Deaf Education & Arts for African Families, was created with the vision to provide education to children who are deaf or hard of hearing. We also work with parents in order that they can better communicate with their children and, in addition, strive to eradicate the negative stigma associated with deaf children. In arousing social awareness, we encourage the local community to participate in educating not only deaf children but also themselves regarding deaf culture. By affiliating our organisation with the community, governmental, and not-for-profit organisations, we aspire to initiate and manage programs highlighting the fact that deaf people in Africa are capable of making a positive contribution to society.

Learn more about us

What to Expect

Center Times:
Monday to Thursday from 7:00-14:00
Friday from 7:00 -12:00.

At the DeSanto Centre for the Deaf the students are learning new vocabulary every day which is quite exciting to see. They are learning how to read English, how to write in their notebooks, and some basic Math. They are also learning social skills, how to share, and how to be kind. Some of our students come from their villages with minimal social skills, no language skills , and very little interaction with society. We incorporate a curriculum which includes more than your basic subjects. We teach concepts about "The oneness of Humanity".

Their daily lessons are on the nice big blackboard inside their classroom, which has a mixture of English, Math, Reading and Writing.


Our students are given transport to and from the centre every Monday to Friday mornings. After each of these lessons they are transported back to a collective point from were they can disperse to their homes.


The playground at The DeSanto Centre for the Deaf is always a work in progress and we keep adding facilities and apparatuses as we grow. The kids can enjoy playing on a wonderful green lawn and a Volleyball net makes for good fun in the afternoon.

Meals & Routine

Each morning as the students arrive at the DeSanto Centre for the Deaf, they are welcomed with a healthy breakfast. We then have story time, where they sit and participate in describing what they are learning with pictures and sign language.

Lunch time is enjoyed with fun conversations and a full tummy. After lunch we go back into our classrooms to review what we have already learned in the morning, before going home at 14 hours.


Spend two weeks in Zambia where you will have the opportunity to interract with our Deaf students and learn sign language at the same time. Spend a few days exploring the Livingstone/Victoria Falls area.


Lisa Zahra is a sign language interpreter and founder of this project DEAAF/The DeSanto Centre for the Deaf. She started this not for profit in 2002. She was interpreting for Deaf students in the U.S. for 15 years and now has been in Zambia for 16 years with this project. With 31 years of experience under her belt, she continues to strive for excellence. Life skills are being taught along with teaching Deaf Adults about HIV/AIDS, hygiene, English, Math, Reading and Writing. Lisa also has workshops on non-violent discipline for parents of Deaf children. She was invited to lecture at the INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL FOR GIRLS AT BANANI in Lusaka and continues to educate parents in the surrounding villages of Livingstone Zambia.


Founder and President

Founder of Deaf Education and Arts for African Families/(DEAAF on facebook) Director of The DeSanto Centre for the Deaf (both DEAAF and The DeSanto Centre for the DEAF are one and the same)



Memory cooks breakfast and lunch for our students,  and helps us maintain a friendly environment with a positive attitude at all times. Memory helps in planning our lessons, and provides good feedback since her four sons are DEAF and are coming to our classes.


Assistant Teacher 

Sylvia assists with the preschool for deaf children. Sylvia is Memory's sister, and lives with Memory and her husband and their four DEAF sons. Sylvia is planning on going to college to become a special ed teacher which involves becoming more proficient in Sign Language.


Assistant to Lisa

Sydney is an allrounder! He helps with yard work, keeping the front and back yard looking beautiful, helps us in the morning with the preschoolers, and stays involved with the children at play time.


Assistant Teacher

Foster is DEAF and has had experience teaching  young deaf children. She is a great asset to us, and the students adore her.  She has patience and knowledge beyond her years.


Assistant Teacher

Dipo has a degree in Special Education and English and is now volunteering to help us progress further.



Mr.Songolo is a community leader and The DeSantso Centre's Advisor. We are so grateful for Mr. Songolo's participation in helping us move forward.

Our Facilities

The facilities at The DeSanto Centre for the Deaf is always a work in progress and we keep adding apparatuses as we grow. The kids can enjoy playing on a wonderful green lawn and a Volleyball net makes for good fun in the afternoon.

Comfortable eating area

Each morning as the kids arrive at the DeSanto Centre for the Deaf, they are welcomed with a healthy breakfast. This is to ensure they are ready to learn. Lunch is served at 13:00. The children all interact with each other, conversing and enjoying each other's company while they have a nutritious lunch. We then wash up and get ready for the taxi to take us home.


We have a lovely green lawn and a volleyball net that the children enjoy during play time.


We have two class rooms; one for the younger children and one of the older ones.