Nurturing opportunity: photo of students with papaya tree

Nurturing opportunity

Work to construct a new toilet block and bio-gas plant at the Vocational Training Centre for Deaf Learners in the Kilimanjaro Region in Tanzania is well underway.

Signal supported a local parents’ association to open the centre, the first of its kind in Tanzania, and continues to support its development. This includes helping to establish income generating and eco-friendly cost saving schemes. These are important to keep the students’ fees affordable for families and cement the opportunities the centre provides.

It provides deaf young people, who often face discrimination, with a positive environment where they can learn through sign language. They can study for a vocational qualification in tailoring or carpentry, as well as gaining some entrepreneurial and agricultural knowledge and studying English, mathematics and general science.

Nurturing opportunity: photo of toilet block under construction

Toilet block under construction

The centre’s new toilet block is being completed under the supervision of our local partner Childreach Tanzania. This will increase the number of toilets for the students, staff and visitors from just two simple pit latrines to 12 cubicles, thus improving sanitation and hygiene.

The second phase of this project will be the construction of the bio-gas plant, which will transform toilet waste into gas for cooking and reduce the need to purchase expensive charcoal for the kitchen stove. The centre will also use the bio-slurry produced by the bio-gas plant as a fertiliser.

Bearing fruit

Nurturing opportunity: photo of students with goat

Vocational training centre students with goat

We are happy to report that some of the papaya trees planted at the centre a year ago have already started to bear fruit and the centre’s goats are thriving, providing nutritious milk for students who fall sick. Goat manure is also being used to fertilise the centre’s vegetable plot.

At the centre’s poultry farm, the older chickens have been sold and new chicks purchased. These have grown and started laying eggs both for sale and to provide extra protein in the students’ meals.

Income generated by the centre’s grocery shop has been used to buy feed for the chickens and contribute towards running costs like water bills. The shop serves the deaf students and the surrounding settlements. It is being well used by local people, helping to root the vocational training centre in the wider community.

We are grateful for the kind grants and individual donations which have made these projects possible.

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