"Ecole des deficients auditifs" is an initiation of the association of parents of deaf children in Timbuktu. It was established in 2007 with support from the Norwegian Stromme Foundation and the French Embassy in Mali, allowing us to hire two trained teachers and management, and construct three classrooms and latrines. Today, there are 30 children enrolled at the school and three teachers. This school is the first of its kind in the region and is greatly welcomed by the Ministry of Education.
Due to the lack of special schools in Timbuktu, deaf children in the region have historically been excluded from receiving education. This school is the first of its kind in the Timbuktu region provides these children with an equal opportunity for education. However, the school receives no financial support from the government and faces a challenge in meeting costs of teachers' salaries, school supplies and fuel for school bus transportation.
Lack of funding has led to teacher resignations and decreased student enrollment. Continued funding of this project will ensure sustainability of this school and long-term socio-economic reintegration of children with hearing loss.
This project provides not only basic education for hearing impaired children, but also vocational training for at least 50% of children in special schools. It provides socio-economic reintegration and professional opportunities for hearing-impaired students in the region, giving them an equal opportunity for success.