The idea to start a deaf school in Dodoma was born in the year 2001, after Robin had worked about 5 years in a village, called Kigwe in Tanzania, 40 km outside of the city of Dodoma. This initiative started with a small preschool class with 1 deaf boy and 2 deaf girls in a normal house in Dodoma. In the year 2004 we were assigned a block of land by Dodoma municipality in the suburb Kisasa. Consequently we good start preparations and construction of 3 classrooms and 2 dormitories, one for girls and the other for boys. In 2006 the school in Kisasa started officially under the name “Dodoma Deaf School” with 12 children.

Through our school, the EOTAS Foundation wants to offer deaf children fair opportunities to learn, play and develop themselves to the best of their abilities, so that they can earn their own money in the future.

From kindergarten up to group 8, the school now has about 130 pupils, which is close to maximum capacity. The EOTAS Foundation in Tanzania entered an agreement of cooperation with the Tanzanian government in 2007. This means that the government now provides 19 teachers and basic food for all the children at school. EOTAS employs a total of 22 Tanzanians as support staff for the school.

The school is performing well academically! Our students have been able to pass their final exams every year since 2015 and are allowed to continue to secondary education. As a foundation, we are very proud of the children and staff members. This result sends a clear signal to Tanzanian society that deaf children deserve a good education and that they can qualify for further education.

Living in school

Children come to our school from all over the country. The pupils who attend the Dodoma deaf school have a wonderful, safe place where they can learn and develop themselves together with other children. Many of these pupils’ parents live too far from school to be able to go back and forth every day. So many of these pupils live in boarding at school. Fortunately, many of them can return to their families during the holidays.

The downside of this beautiful place is that, more than once, people come to the school just to drop off their child with a bag of things and than they disappear again. The children are left behind and unfortunately often we can not find the family again. What offers comfort is that at least that child has now found a good place with many friends and with a chance of a good future.

Professional training

Now that many of our deaf children in Tanzania have completed their primary education, we can consider the important next step of our EOTAS education program. From the moment we started building our Deaf school in Tanzania, there was a focus on self-reliance through quality vocational education.

Now the time has come that a number of our school-leavers have completed secondary education, but they still do not have practical skills with which they can become economically self-reliant. Thanks to large funding from the Liliane Foundation and from our private donors, we have now been able to build the vocational training campus. Children who have completed their primary education can continue to secondary education and then follow vocational training through us, or go directly from primary education to our vocational training. The vocational training is carried out in collaboration with government institutions, so that the young people ultimately receive a recognized diploma and have the actual knowledge and skills required to earn their own money.