Kisii School of the Deaf Orphans in Kisii County has appealed for help to mitigate their myriad of challenges which have been compounded by novel pandemic.
Speaking at the institution in Bomokora village, Riana ward, school Director Peter Ogango said the institution is unable to pay rent for the five rooms, buy food and pay electricity bills after support from friends diminished during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Director, himself deaf and a former sign language teacher, said although enrollment had increased from 12 children in 1997 to the current 45, the school was on the verge of closure for lack of basic necessities because majority of the children were either total orphans, or were from needy backgrounds and therefore could not pay for their upkeep.
Ogango however applauded the Kisii University, Catholic Church and seventh day Adventist Church for occasional support to the institution, but he appealed for more support to buy their own land saying raising
sh9000 for rent was becoming a toll order.
The 50 years old father of four decried high turnover of staff members due to lack of adequate remuneration.
He said the institution also lacked enough desks to enable them meet the Ministry of Health requirement on social distancing so as to contain spread of Covid-19.
The School Matron Josphine Moraa said the children needed urgent help to sustain feeding and pay the current 5 teaching staff.
Moraa said she had also contemplated leaving the institution as she had to go for months without pay, but changed her mind after considering she was the only member of staff without hearing problem.
She underscored the urgent need to acquire their own premises to minimize costs, and to build spacious rooms for social distancing as deaf persons had to clearly see one’s mouth and eyes as they were part of the sign language during communication.
She noted that their needed good social distancing as face masks were a hindrance during communication, although the fact that some were deaf and dumb minimized the chances of passing the viruses through saliva
Moraa however appealed to the parents with deaf children to bring them to the school saying they were assisted to live with the condition and grow up just like other children, besides developing skills for earning a living in future.
The institution has five teachers and 2 other workers, some deaf and dumb and others just dumb.
By Clinton Nyamumbo and Jane Naitore