59 MOSE STREET (+26) 097 610 9055



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.

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The DeSanto Centre for the Deaf teaches and encourages Sign language, English, Math, Reading, Writing, HIV/AIDS, Social Skills, Hygiene, and more. The DeSanto Centre for the Deaf and DEAAF (Deaf Education and Arts for African Families) are one and the same. DEAAF has their 501c3 not for profit status.


The DeSanto Centre for the Deaf operates from Livingstone, Zambia. The Centre is situated in a home that has been transformed into a school setup complete with eating area, classrooms and playground.


We need help with fundraising, writing grants, making presentations about The DeSanto Centre for the Deaf. You could also volunteer for two weeks or more, and come to Zambia. Donations are also accepted at DEAAF/The DeSanto Centre for the Deaf, Gary DeSanto [click here for info].


Currently, within Livingstone Zambia, education is unavailable to the over 245 Deaf adults and Deaf children. Parents or guardians have no resources to give these children the proper education, health and adequate living conditions required to ensure their survival. At the same time, many of these children live in small villages, many kilometres from Livingstone, without any means of transportation to reach school.


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.

We encourage and invite you to learn more about our organisation by sending an email to Lisa or to check out the new photos on our Deaf Facebook page.


If you are interested in traveling to Africa, while supporting a good cause, then this volunteer opportunity is perfect for you.

Gary and Gail DeSanto

"Think of all the things that were thought impossible until they happened." ~ Gandhi

Gary and Gail DeSanto has generously allowed Lisa to come to Livingstone Zambia to continue the dream of building a school for the Deaf children and for the DEAF Adults. 

Currently there are 250 DEAF Adults living in LIvingstone Zambia and 45 DEAF children under the age of 10. If it were not for Gary and Gail DeSanto, the dream of building this school would have died a long time ago. Mr. DeSanto and his team in Philadelphia are doing everything they can to raise more serious funds so we can start moving forward. 

The Ministry of Education in Livingstone Zambia has approved The DeSanto Centre for the Deaf, as well as the Disabilities Office who have been instrumental in ensuring our progress. Thanks to Kennedy Mwewa, Officer in charge of The Disabilities Office here in the town of Livingstone.

With the help of the DEAF Rotary in Rochester NY,  and The Livingstone Rotary here in Livingstone Zambia, we hope to ensure  our educational needs, which will be supplied by a global grant which was completed recently, We wait with excitement in our hearts, and love for our DEAF Community. This will ensure the future for our "forgotten DEAF Children and DEAF adults".

We will soon have a "skills workshop" for DEAF Adults so they too may give back to their community. They will learn carpentry, tailoring, cooking, and more.

What we provide for the children

Happy Environment

Active Learning

Creative Lessons



Healthy Meals

Happy Volunteers

Dedicated Teachers