Deafness, Bandawe and our kids.

Stuart teaching to his class

So far we had never realised that the Marajowi kids had never gone to visit Bandawe school for the hearing impaired. Deafness can be a confronting reality to face when you have not seen it before. Unfortunately still today, kids with different types and levels of disabilities are left alone and abandoned to their own destiny here in Malawi. They are often a burden no one wants to take care of. Bandawe (and 3 more schools in Malawi) take very good care of people with a hearing disability and work hard to give them a future. Malita has been here since 2010 and today we only come here to visit her. At the same time we are also very curious to see how Witness, Ramos, Joyce, Katie and Gift will react to this.

Wonder is definitely their first reaction. Malita’s class is having their regular lessons under a tree today, so that we can also be present. Each of the 6 students of this class, introduce him/herself with sign language. Then they do some exercises in chichewa (the local language), english and math. The level of the exercises is basic, but they all master the sign language perfectly. Even if we don’t understand what they say in detail, we can easily recognise the dynamics of every school class. There is the best learner who wants to show off in front of the teacher, the shy ones and those who are not interested at all as well. A ‘whole universe’ in just 6 people.

Ramos, Witness, Joyce, Katie and Gift seem to be very interested by all this. Their impression is a good one. They say, despite the huge lack of resources, the school is doing a very good work with these students. They are impressed. It is also good to see that as soon as they get the chance Witness and Ramos mingle with the other students and play football together.  When we go and visit the dormitories, one of the students is having issues moving her mosquito net. Wit helps her immediately, without being asked. We are really proud of these guys!

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