59 MOSE STREET (+26) 097 610 9055

Welcome to DEAAF,
Deaf Education & Arts for African Families!

DEAAF, Deaf Education & Arts for African Families, is a not-for-profit organisation committed to providing much needed schooling to deaf children within the African continent.  Our goal is to provide education, assist in poverty and hunger alleviation, and encourage the local community and government to become actively involved to ensure deaf children have an educational future that is often taken for granted in more well developed countries.

Happy Environment

The children and parents that join us at The DeSanto Centre for the Deaf  are all welcomed into a homely environment where they can learn and grow. Lisa is filled with smiles whenever you see her, and her love for the children is exhilarating.

Active Learning

We strive to learn while we play. As most of the children at The DeSanto Centre for the Deaf are as young as 3 and are all DEAF, we try and make every learning opportunity as fun and exciting as possible. Playing games and sports while learning has been the most beneficial way for the children to interact with their teacher and learning important skills of sign language. They also now recognize the alphabet, and are starting to learn how to read. They can write their names, and are learning basic Math and their vocabulary is growing. Lisa also teaches older Deaf children who attend classes in the afternoons. We have DEAF children of all ages, in the mornings it's preschool ages 3-10, in the afternoons we have DEAF Students ages 11-20.

Exciting NEWS!!

Sewing Lessons

We will be starting a skills workshop soon! Emma Simunchembu is volunteering her time to teach sewing lessons for all the kids at the DeSantos Centre. We look forward to welcoming her at the centre.


Every Wednesday we have sports with Paula and Louisa who are volunteers from Germany.

Our Mission

DEAAF, Deaf Education & Arts for African Families, was created with the vision to provide education to children who are deaf or hard of hearing. We also work with parents in order that they can better communicate with their children and, in addition, strive to eradicate the negative stigma associated with deaf children. In arousing social awareness, we encourage the local community to participate in educating not only deaf children but also themselves regarding deaf culture. By affiliating our organisation with the community, governmental, and not-for-profit organisations, we aspire to initiate and manage programs highlighting the fact that deaf people in Africa are capable of making a positive contribution to society.

Learn more about us


Centre times:

Monday to Thursday from 7:00-14:00
Friday from 7:00 -12:00.

At the DeSanto Centre for the Deaf the students are learning new vocabulary every day which is quite exciting to see. They are learning how to read English, how to write in their notebooks, and some basic Math. They are also learning social skills, how to share, and how to be kind. Some of our students come from their villages with minimal social skills, no language skills , and very little interaction with society. We incorporate a curriculum which includes more than your basic subjects. We teach concepts about "The oneness of Humanity".

Their daily lessons are on the nice big blackboard inside their classroom, which has a mixture of English, Math, Reading and Writing.


Our students are given transport to and from the centre every Monday to Friday mornings. After each of these lessons they are transported back to a collective point from were they can disperse to their homes.


The playground at The DeSanto Centre for the Deaf is always a work in progress and we keep adding facilities and apparatuses as we grow. The kids can enjoy playing on a wonderful green lawn and a Volleyball net makes for good fun in the afternoon.

Meals & Routine

Each morning as the students arrive at the DeSanto Centre for the Deaf, they are welcomed with a healthy breakfast. We then have story time, where they sit and participate in describing what they are learning with pictures and sign language.

Lunch time is enjoyed with fun conversations and a full tummy. When they are finished, there is still enough time to play before going home at noon. From one to three, our older Deaf children use our second classroom.


Spend two weeks in Zambia where you will have the opportunity to interract with our Deaf students and learn sign language at the same time. Spend a few days exploring the Livingstone/Victoria Falls area.


Lisa Zahra is a sign language interpreter and founder of this project DEAAF/The DeSanto Centre for the Deaf. She started this not for profit in 2002. She was interpreting for Deaf students in the U.S. for 15 years and now has been in Zambia for 16 years with this project. With 31 years of experience under her belt, she continues to strive for excellence. Life skills are being taught along with teaching Deaf Adults about HIV/AIDS, hygiene, English, Math, Reading and Writing. Lisa also has workshops on non-violent discipline for parents of Deaf children. She was invited to lecture at the international Bananni Institute for Girls in Lusaka and continues to educate parents in the surrounding villages of Livingstone Zambia.


Founder and President

Founder of Deaf Education and Arts for African Families/(DEAAF on facebook) Director of The DeSanto Centre for the Deaf (both DEAAF and The DeSanto Centre for the DEAF are one and the same)


Assitant to Lisa

Memory helps our preschool deaf students, assists Lisa in cooking lunches for our students,  and helps us maintain a friendly environment with a positive attitude at all times. Memory helps in planning our lessons, and provides good feedback since her four sons are DEAF and are coming to our classes.


Assistant Volunteer 

Sylvia assists with the preschool for deaf children. Sylvia is Memory's sister, and lives with Memory and her husband and their four DEAF sons. Sylvia is planning on going to college to become a special ed teacher which involves becoming more proficient in Sign Language.


Assistant to Lisa

Sydney is an allrounder! He helps with yard work, keeping the front and back yard looking beautiful, helps us in the morning with the preschoolers, and stays involved with the children at play time.


Assistant Teacher

Foster is DEAF and has had experience teaching  young deaf children. She is a great asset to us, and the students adore her.  She has patience and knowledge beyond her years.

Our Facilities

The facilities at The DeSanto Centre for the Deaf is always a work in progress and we keep adding apparatuses as we grow. The kids can enjoy playing on a wonderful green lawn and a Volleyball net makes for good fun in the afternoon.

Comfortable eating area

Each morning as the kids arrive at the DeSanto Centre for the Deaf, they are welcomed with a healthy breakfast. This is to ensure they are ready to learn. Lunch time is served around 11:15. The children all interact with each other, conversing and enjoying each other's company while they have a nutritious lunch. We then wash up and get ready for the taxi to take us home.


We have a lovely green lawn and a volleyball net that the children enjoy during play time.


We have two class rooms; one for the younger children and one of the older ones.