20th Anniversary




2014 marked the 20th Anniversary for the Embangweni School for the Hard of Hearing. Since it began in 1994, the school has grown from 19 students and 5 teachers to  198 students and faculty of 15 in 2014. Each year the school has several students admitted to secondary school; many of them have completed 2 or more years and one has gone on to complete teacher training and is teaching at the Bandawe School for Deaf.

School assembly

It seemed appropriate to celebrate all these achievements and on October 3, 2014 the school held an anniversary celebration. Mr. M.B. Hara and the Rev. Lloyd Tembo , the two men credited with having the dream of such a school and making it come true, were there, making the day extra-special. They spoke about the need for education and especially for education of special needs students, including the deaf, reminding those in attendance that, until the Embangweni School for Hard of Hearing was begun, deaf students had to travel to the Blantyre area to receive education. This distance prevented many from going to school. The school at Embangweni, and its sister school now begun at Karonga, have made it easier for learners in the north to receive an education.

Rev. Lloyd Tembo      

Mr. M.B. Hara greeting Carol Nussbaumer
Also attending the 20th anniversary celebration were former teachers and students. Mr. M.B. Hara served as a volunteer teacher when the school first opened. Former teacher and interim head teacher Mr. C. Mondwe attended and apparently greatly enjoyed chatting with his former students! Mr. Mondwe is currently head teacher at the Karonga School for the Deaf. Mr. Maclon Zungu, formerly teaching at the school and now working at the Mzuzu Resource Center for special needs also attended. Mr. E.G. Mtonga, the first head teacher and now working in Zomba developing teaching materials for special needs students, was unable to attend. Two former students were able to attend: Fanny Singini (presently teaching at Bandawe School for the Deaf) and Frank Gondwe .
Tom & Jocelyn Logan of Marion Medical Mission, who provided funds for the first buildings and teacher houses, sent a letter of congratulation but were unable to attend. In their place, members of the MMM shallow wells team came and enjoyed the day.

20th Anniversary Celebration banner

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There were additional "red letter days" for the school during the anniversary year of 2014, including on November 8,  a donation of 140 mattresses from a Men's Guild in Lilongwe. These were badly needed and much appreciated and also show that awareness of the school and its success is spreading beyond the immediate area.


On October 16 the National Bank of Malawi sent most of its staff to present a donation to the Vocational Education department. The donation included new sewing machines, fabric and yarn for the Tailoring program plus many tools and 100 wood planks for the Woodshop program. The Bank makes a donation of this type to a school each year and learned about Embangweni partly from the web site. They also brought representatives of the media (MBC and Voice of Livingstonia), which increased the school's visibility!

Wood planks gift


Class 3 demonstrating e-readers to visitors


 The introduction of the Worldreader electronic reader program began when donors in the Estes Park, Colorado area provided funds for 50 electronic readers . These were purchased and downloaded with 100 books each. Mr. Jolia Mahemane was named Project Manager and trained the teachers as well as students in classes 3 through 9. Woodshop instructor Mr. Mzondi Longwe and his students built a storage unit for the reader units which enables them to be kept secure when not in use and also makes it easy to keep them charged.

Class 9 reading from e-readers and signing

Mr. Mahemane & Mr. Longwe with storage cabinet

 On October 23 the launch day was held. At the Launch event, The Right Rev. Dr. T.P.K. Nyasulu, CCAP Education Secretary, formally handed over the e-readers to the school and presented certificates of training completion to the teachers. A Certificate of Participation was presented to the school as well. Invited guests, including area headmen and heads of institutions as well as some parents and the media, were treated to demonstrations of the new e-readers by students in class 3 and in class 9. Everyone was suitably impressed! The program is so successful that students in classes 1 and 2 are also being trained and "e-reader" time is now in the official timetable.

Rev. Nyasulu, Carol Nussbaumer, Mr. Hara, Mr. Massa with certificates




Night-time study in solar lit classroom

During the summer of 2014, the school received a gift of solar lighting, thanks to Mr. Richard Keller of Loveland, Colorado. Mr. Keller's church, Mountain View Presbyterian, raised funds to pay for solar panels and lights on one classroom block. These were installed and provide light to three classrooms. The school is very proud to be able to offer a place for students to study after dark. As students in Class 9 said after a prolonged power outage: "The students at Loudon Primary ( a school for hearing students nearby) had to give up studying and go home. We just turned on the solar lights and kept learning."

                            Solar panels on classroom roof

2014 was indeed a banner year for the Embangweni School for the Hard of Hearing! God willing, it will continue to prosper and serve deaf Malawians for many years to come.