Gisuru School for Deaf Children
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Start: Feb 3, 2020 - End: Mar 31, 2020
Daniel Johnson is a native born Burundian and an Evangelical Missionary. He is also the school’s founder and General Manager. Daniel has consulted with energy professionals in Burundi to put together a design outlining exactly what is necessary to complete this permanent energy source for the school.
The combined cost of materials and manhours required to install the system is close to $10,000USD when complete. Exact expenditures will be tabulated and forwarded to the grant donor upon completion of the structure.
Duration of time necessary to secure building permits and construct the system will be within ninety (90) days of receiving grant funds.
A detailed accounting of Use of Funds will be supplied to the Grantor. Any remaining funds after expenditures will be noted and returned to the Grantor or, if allowed, used for other projects at the school.
In 1981, Dr. Andrew Foster, well-known for establishing 30 schools for deaf and hearing-impaired children worldwide, visited Burundi to start work among its deaf population. While there, he met Harry & Ruth Johnson, missionaries also working with the deaf population. Together they founded the first school specifically designed for hearing-impaired children in the capital city of Bujumbura.
Ephphatha School for Deaf Children, provides education on a residential basis for hearing-impaired children. It is one of only three such schools in Burundi, as there are no government provisions or aid for children with hearing impairments.
A project that began under a tree with five deaf-mute children has grown to over 200 children. The children are provided primary and
secondary school education while adults with hearing impairments will be offered the opportunity to receive vocational training. The five-hour distance between Bujumbura and Gisuru makes it impractical for deaf children in eastern areas to travel to the Bujumbura school in the west.
The Gisuru School in located across the country in eastern Burundi. It was founded in 2015 by Daniel and Anne Johnson, from Oak Lawn, Illinois, USA. Faculty residences, dorm rooms, meeting hall, classrooms, and an office have been constructed. Government authorization and approval was secured. The campus was ready to begin student instruction in October 2018. The Gisuru School officially opened its’ doors with forty-seven full-time students in attendance and living on the campus ranging in age from six to twenty years of age.
We have government approval to conduct general school curriculums from Kindergarten through 9th grade. Our mission is to expand one additional grade each year.
Initially, the school divided into two separate developmental tracks. The first, for younger children planning to continue through the regular school system. The second, for older children requiring more advanced programs.
These deaf students become fluent in conversational reading and writing, as well as proficient with use of sign language skill in two languages.
Future plans will offer graduating students the ability to learn a professional trade in carpentry, advanced sewing techniques, mechanics and welding. These valuable trade skills will provide a decent wage and increase quality-of-life for the student’s family and community.
Tuition, room & board are primarily funded through a structured sponsorship program developed through an international organization known as “Allow the Children”, an NGO based at Lynchburg, Virginia. ATC facilitates sponsorship for humanitarian development projects throughout many countries worldwide.
Gisuru Deaf School Background
Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world. The lack of accessible health care, combined with poor nutrition, has resulted in children with various birth defects including hearing loss and deteriorating aural function at a very early age.
The Eastern side of Burundi consists of three Provinces (States) totaling eighteen Communes (counties). Our existing students originate specifically from six of them, with new students coming from three additional communes each year.
We offer the families of hearing-impaired school-aged children enrollment into the Gisuru School at no cost to them. During 2019, we identified and registered thirty-three additional students for the current school year.
Burundi’s underfunded public-school system does not offer special needs education. Without the ability to read and write, hearing-impaired children around Gisuru are denied access to a basic education.
Students attending the school do not have financial resources required to travel five hours away to the Bujumbura school. Without rudimentary education and ability to communicate, it becomes impossible for these bright young people to secure self-sustaining employment.
This led Daniel and Annie Johnson to take up the task of building the special needs school in the Eastern section of Burundi at Gisuru. Housing structures have been erected, teachers trained, and students receive much needed education. Each student requires donor sponsorship to cover the cost of tuition, room and board.
The Gisuru School for the Deaf is registered as a 501(c)3 business with the United States Internal Revenue Service through their money management company, CMML, Inc. Student are sponsored by monthly charitable donations.
Fund Leader: Steve Grutzmacher
Fund Type: Schools, Fine Arts, & Athletics, Mission Groups & Missionaries