In partnership with the Diocese of Central Tanganyika (DCT), our mission is to provide outstanding services and opportunities for Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals in Tanzania though partnerships with local organizations and individuals who share our goals. These services include education, health care, accessibility through language learning and sign language interpretation, and the training of Tanzania Sign Language interpreters. Our aim is for Deaf Tanzanians to become empowered as we provide equal opportunity to language, education, health care and spiritual growth.
About the Viziwi Project
VIZIWI is a partnership between the Diocese of Central Tanganyika (Anglican), headquartered in Dodoma, Tanzania and led by Bishop Dickson Chilongani, and Bethany Community Church, a non-denominational church in Laurel, Maryland, USA. The partnership has grown to include other churches and many individuals from the US who are passionate about Deaf empowerment; and we collaborate with other NIGOs and the Tanzanian Deaf Association (local branch in Dodoma).
The structure of the partnership can be broken down into two core teams which can be considered hubs. On the ground in Dodoma, we have a team comprised of Project Manager and Assistant Project Manager who oversees the day-to-day work of the project, under the guidance of DCT leadership. In Washington, DC we have a team compromised of 4-5 key players whose primary responsibilities include fundraising, community awareness and advisory/consultation role. The the two teams work together to formulate short and long terms goals and set project priorities and vision.
Viziwi Partnership Teams
Bishop - Diocese of Central Tanganyika (DCT)
Prof. Grace Mbise
Canon - Diocese of Central Tanganyika (DCT)
Assistant Project Manager
Washington, DC Team
Nathaniel Yates, Sr.
Pastor - Bethany Community ChurCH
DIRECTOR OF U.S. ENGAGEMENT AT CONVERGE INTERNATIONAL MINISTRIES
DIRECTOR OF CROSS-CULTURAL MINISTRIES - BETHANY COMMUNITY CHURCH
Tanzania Sign Language Training
Effective communication for deaf people must be sign language based. Unfortunately, many deaf children and adults in villages have no formal language and have never learned sign language. We are providing training in Tanzania Sign Language in rural areas and villages to both deaf and hearing people to enable the deaf community to have access to information and be able to communicate with their families and friends. We have already seen evidence that this is resulting in better community life experiences in their respective communities.
Education - Sponsoring Deaf Children
We currently sponsor 17 deaf children to Kisasa Primary school, Kigwe Primary school, the recenly established DCT Vocation Training Center at Buigiri, or at the Vocational Training Center (VETA). In Tanzania, opportunities for post-primary school education are very limited for deaf children. To the best of our understanding that this is the first time in Tanzanian history that such a large number of deaf children are being given the opportunity to attend primary schools or post-primary vocation training!
As additional funds come in from our generous donors, we will continually increase the number of deaf students we sponsor. It costs only US$250 per year to sponsor one deaf student.
Sign Language Interpreters
We provide Tanzania Sign Language interpreters for key services such as Sunday church services at the main cathedral in the capital city of Dodoma, and in a number of regional centers as well. Bible studies, deaf sports programs and other work is also coordinated through our deaf ministry office in Dodoma.
- Establish a deaf unit at Jubilee Secondary school in Dodoma.
- Collaborate with Tanzania Association of the Deaf and local interpreters organizations to establish interpreting standards, which may, among other benefits, may result in the creation of a basic certification for interpreters.
- Collaborate with Tanzanian government to improve services for the deaf. Such service may, but not limited to, providing government-employed teachers of the deaf at schools sponsored by or partnering with our project.
- Provide advanced training for our Tanzania Sign Language instructors so they can improve the vital service they provide: Teaching Sign Language to deaf and hearing people in the rural areas.
Viziwi has only 2 paid/full time staff who are both based in Dodoma. Everyone is a volunteer. As the project grows both in size, number of programs we establish, we need volunteers who can help us reach the next level. Below are some key areas of need.
Thank you for your interest in our work and for considering to donate to this project. If you’d like to donate, please fill out the below donation form.
Join "Friends of Tanzania"
“Friends of Tanzania” is our ever-expanding mailing list of partners in this important work. If you would like to be added to the list, please send an email to [ email coming soon ] You can also fill out the form found on the contact page.
Help Spread the Word
Tell your family, friends and coworkers about this exciting project and how it is making a difference in the lives of many deaf Tanzanians.