Tanzatoto Foundation is committed to improving the living conditions of deaf children in Tanzania. Despite the rights granted to deaf children by the Tanzanian government, thousands of children are deprived of special care or education. Most of them lead isolated and invisible lives.
The population is poorly informed about the causes and consequences of deafness. This situation perpetuates traditional beliefs that lead to discrimination and stigmatisation. Tanzatoto wants to break the isolation of both the children and their families by making them visible and giving them a voice. Tanzatoto stands up for the realization of rights for deaf children at a basic level: in the family, the neighbourhood, at school.
Over a period of 3 years, Tanzatoto teaches parents and children to communicate with each other, including through sign language. After 3 years, parents and children have a gestural treasure of about 600 gestures, with which they can cope in everyday situations. A book with pictures of gestures is being developed for the gesture course given by a local teacher.At the Kilakala Unit for the Deaf in Morogoro, where Tanzatoto is located, Tanzatoto organizes a kindergarten class for deaf children.
Children receive education according to the Montessori method and learn to communicate in Swahili sign language. The kindergarten serves as a demonstration model for the education of young children with hearing problems.
Many parents are concerned that their children are not getting the right opportunities to live a full life. In Morogoro, therefore, parents have organized themselves to meet and talk to each other once a week. They tell each other’s stories through music, dance and theater and provide information to others about deafness. Tanzatoto supports this initiative.