In 1999, during our clubs first year, we came across an incomplete school classroom in a village around 11 kilometres away from Moshi (Mwasi, Kusini). The classroom was meant for 8 deaf children, however it had no roof and no furniture. Children were actually taught were sitting on stones!
In partnership with our fellow humanitarians from the Lions Club of Ijsedul Tervuran of Belgium we managed to obtain enough funds to complete this unfinished classroom. By the year 2000 we had handed over a complete classroom, fully furnished, to the school authorities.
We had great publicity and support from the initial project and this helped to reach Mrs Joyce Mallya, the Manager of Community based rehabilitation Tanzania (CCBRT Moshi) which is an NGO funded by CBM Canada whose main task is to conquer vision 2020; to reduce as many blind people by searching house to house. During this search for the blind, Mrs Mallya came across many deaf children and due to her nature of helping people she managed to spare her family house for these deaf children to be housed and through the municipal council she arranged for some teachers to educate the children. The number of students however was increasing day by day.
Mrs Mallya approached us after learning about what the Lions Club of Moshi Kibo had done in Mwasi Kusini and after meeting we achieved and concluded:
- Moshi Municipal council to provide a land and teachers who will be paid by the council including contributions for food as in other Government schools.
- CCBRT will scrutinize the children
- Lions Club of Moshi Kibo Will look for Donors for construction of the center.
Eventually we obtained 4 acres of land for the school for the deaf which we named ‘Msandaka Lions Deaf Centre’. The Lions Club of Ijsedul Turverun of Belgium had agreed to offer us continuous support along with our Ambassador in Belgium Professor em Dr. Wim G Blonk who was a retired director of the European Economic Commission (EEC) for the allocation of the school.
oon after the first classroom was opened in 2001 at the new centre, it became apparent that there were many more deaf children in Moshi (Over 100 at the time). Since then we have made considerable efforts with our members and partners to develop and build the school and have grown the project from just 10 students to a full centre for deaf children currently with over 100 students.
At present the 4 acre plot houses 9 classrooms, 1 vocational training classroom, 1 compute classroom with 25 pcs, 1 multi-purpose hall, 4 dormitories, 1 kitchen and 1 administrative building. We hope to continue to develop this project in the foreseeable future!