The High School, Reverend Muhoro School for the Deaf is situated in the remote Mukurwe-ini district, near Nyeri on the slopes of Mount Kenya. Started in 1993 with only six deaf boys, the school now has over 200 deaf pupils, aged 14 to 22, and is now mixed with boys and girls dormitories.
The school integrates with more than 100 full hearing pupils, which helps the deaf pupils to retain their power of speech – a unique pairing which also teaches the full hearing children how to interact with someone with a disability as well as learning the useful skill of signing.
Robert first heard about the project’s needs 2002 when he met the district’s MP Mutahi Kagwe at a charity event in the UK. He was told that with no welfare system and limited state funding, the school was heavily dependent on charitable support.
“When I learnt about the wonderful work – and the pressing needs – of the school, I was delighted to help and have since made numerable visits and throughout, had the support of our manufacturing colleagues in donating the diagnostic and hearing aid equipment which has been magnificent. We have taken hearing aids from all Manufacturers like Phonak, teaching aids from Starkey, GN Resound testing equipment, an Oticon Otoscope and batteries from Rayovac. Starkey have each year kindly produced the ear moulds from the impressions we supplied.”
From the first donation of a clinical audiometer for testing hearing, the school built an audiometric room. Though rural, the testing and fitting facilities at Reverend Muhoro are probably the best in East Africa. We are kept busy at the school, holding free ear ‘clinics’ for the local community and giving expertise on many aspects of ear care. On our visits, each weekend clinic is attended by an ENT consultant, a Doctor, audiological nurse and resident audiometrician.
We see this involvement as a long-term commitment and visits are made yearly. We would like to thank the hearing aid manufacturers, our colleagues, patient donations and some Rotary clubs for their generous support.