A Deaf Wedding

Today I attended the wedding of a graduate from Nzeve Preschool!  Both the bride and the groom were deaf, as were several of the multiple bridesmaids, grooms men and dozen or so children in the bridal party!

Relatives spoke of the importance of accepting children – whether deaf or disabled in any other way.  They spoke of how the bride and groom had both attended school and had learnt practical skills as well. They explained how the parents had never complained but had got on with parenting their deaf children in the best way they knew.  It was a wonderful awareness meeting!

The best part was that about 50 deaf people, from Harare, Mutare and Masvingo came to support the new couple.  Old friends from school, youth project and younger children all turned up to be part of the very exciting day.  Young people I had not seen for several years were there and it was wonderful to meet them again!  I was very excited to meet the first deaf Zimbabwean pastor. I have seen her on Deaf TV, but to meet Pastor Mary and her husband from Morgenster Mission was very exciting for me!

Whoever would have thought we would have the wedding of a deaf couple, with a deaf pastor and at least 50 deaf guests amongst the 400 in total, in Mutare?

Congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Kanyemba and we look forward to many other weddings to come!  Even if they are not so big- it’s OK – we’ll be there to celebrate!








We were able to invite girls and young women to come back for one week at Nzeve Centre last week. We had such a good time together!

The participants all ran a small business activity (hair dressing, wig making, peanut butter, baking, sewing, selling sweets) for the week and then held a mini market on Friday.  They learnt about costing their goods, making a profit – or loss- and which services and items were good business.

We also spent time discussing risky behaviour and measuring risk in our choices – these young women have come a long way and they are willing to discuss difficult issues with their mentors. It was sad to see them leave, but they will continue to keep in touch through their mentors.

Another busy month at Nzeve!

There was drama in the lower classroom; sewing in the workshop; hair styling on the verandah and videos in the meeting room!  Young deaf women played board games to learn about their strengths and then broke into discussion groups to create an answer for an orphan worried about her HIV+ uncle living in her home.  Role plays gave the girls ideas of how to refuse to go with Sugar Daddys and art activities allowed them to demonstrate their creative abilities and learn new ideas about themselves.

We were delighted to welcome parents and representatives from our funding partners Johnson & Johnson to our Graduation event.

The young women are enjoying themselves, learning a lot and taking on business ideas.  They are all understanding more about the risks and prevention of HIV.  The biggest complaint we have heard is from the boys!  “When is it our turn?”

End of term!


News from one of our interns:

During the school term deaf youth have been taught different skills for independent living. Topics included:

  • Responsible money management
  • Standing up to peer pressure
  • Workplace behaviours

All the youth chose practical courses including building, carpentry, dressmaking, gardening and rabbit keeping. Gardening was a challenge this year due to the rains  – so the ground was water logged and weeds grew quicker than the plants!

One young lady who chose dressmaking, shared her hopes for the future, “If I work hard I will start a dressmaking business in town.” She is currently on attachment with a company in town – a wonderful opportunity for her to experience the workplace and learn appropriate behaviour and skills. Three other companies have accepted students on attachment.  This is a great addition to the courses they do.

Sanganai continues to equip young people with the skills they need for life, but there are many challenges for deaf youth in Zimbabwe as they try to make a living. Formal employment is almost impossible.

Our New Logo

Nzeve new logo


Thanks to everyone who sent in their entries.  The winning logo is shown.  Well done Steven Chikosi of Harare and an anonymous contributor.  $100 is on it’s way to you now!

Back to School!

We closed the preschool on December 7th and we started again today January 11th!  That’s a long time for a young child learning how to sign to be in an environment where almost no sign is used.  Deaf children can feel very lonely and isolated.  Then they get accused of being “harsh” when they show their frustration at being misunderstood or unable to express themselves. This is why we include the family in the activities at Nzeve.  Young children learn to sign but they need to have someone to sign with. Mothers bring their children to Nzeve and most of them stay to learn communication skills themselves.

We are looking forward to a good year at Nzeve!  We have lots to do and despite the challenges we face every day in Zimbabwe, we are determined to make a difference in the lives of young deaf children, youth and their families!  Please join with us in this- read our blogs, facebook and website regularly.  If you are able to contribute – please send gifts through our partners Operation Orphan, www.operation-orphan.org

We wish you all a Happy New Year and thank you for your support.  Send us a message or like on our Facebook page!  Let us know you are with us!

Time to cool off!

The rains came this week at last – it has been very hot and the children have enjoyed water play!  We were given a large paddling pool a few years ago and they have had fun cooling off. But on Friday it rained and everyone turned up in jerseys and woolen hats! By midday it had warmed up again and the children regretted their choice of clothing.  But the rains mean time to start working in the fields- this weekend people can be seen everywhere digging and preparing the land for the seed maize due to be planted.

We are hoping for a better harvest this year for Zimbabwe. Project Sanganai youth were trained a few years ago in conservation farming methods (Foundations for Farming).  They have already got their seed in the ground and they are keeping it well watered using the drip kit.