Programmes Goals About CDEO



Current Programmes include:

Ephphatha Institute for the Deaf (EID)

The CDEO owns and manages the Ephphatha Institute for the Deaf (EID) located in Kumba, South West Region. Currently, deaf children between the ages of 5 - 14 are receiving Nursery and Primary Education. The senior class takes the national First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC)Examination. EID has a record of academic excellence. A comprehensive Secondary School was opened in 2004. Its programs leads up to the GCE Ordinary level and technical exams. The age range of students in this sections is between 14 and 25 years. Theoretical as well as practical courses are offered in carpentry , sewing, agriculture, animal husbandry and business studies. CDEO attaches great importance to the education of deaf children and the Ephphatha Institute for the Deaf. EID equally has a Vocational school which currently has 30 students enrolled.

A Few EID Students

A Few EID Students

Sign Language Programme

Sign language classes are organised for parents of deaf children and other interested individuals . Classes are taught by trained deaf and hearing teachers. A three day training programme was conducted in June 1999 and this included deaf people from the town of Kumba. A total of nine people participated. Ongoing training is provided to CDEO sign language teachers. Funding for this programme was provided by the British High Commission of Yaounde and the Catholic Deaf Association (CDA), U.K. In January 2000, Rev. Fr Peter McDonough and Mrs Roslyn Robinson, representing CDA, U.K .gave a seminar on teaching sign language in CDEO’s office. The sign language teachers found the seminar refreshing.

Since May 1999, CDEO has organised many sign language sessions at CDEO's headquarters in Yaounde, the University of Yaounde I (Dept. of African Languages and Linguistics) and the Rain Forest International School, also based in Yaounde.

Two Cameroon Sign Language (CSL) classes, Levels I and II are being taught. CDEO’s professionalism and dedication in teaching Cameroon Sign Language( CSL) is being recognised in wider circles. The British Council in Yaounde awarded CDEO some funds to teach Cameroon Sign Language to 50 teachers from public schools in Yaounde.

Sign Language Interpreter Training
A Sign Language Teacher In Action        
A Sign Language Teacher In ActionTraining of Sign Language Interpreters, both in Yaounde and other parts of Cameroon is being carried out. This Sign Language Interpreter Training Programme was launched in 1996, thanks to the invaluable assistance of Ms Jane Berger, a US professional Sign Language Interpreter who served as a Volunteer in the CDEO for several months.

Twelve people participated in a two day sign language interpreter training programme in October, 1999. This programme was sponsored by the British High Commission to whom we remain highly indebted . Mrs Judith Henderson of the British High Commission visited CDEO to observe the training in process. She expressed her pleasure at what she saw during her visit. Due to the difficulty of bringing many people together, CDEO staff have designed an individualised training programme using video camera and a television set. Through the provision of sign language interpreters, deaf people are beginning to have access to education, some social services, television, legal and medical services just to name a few.

Leadership Development And Poverty Alleviation

CDEO helps young deaf Cameroonians in the development of leadership skills through seminars, workshops, promotion of Vocational Training , self-employment and community building. CDEO’s leadership in the handicap community was recognised by the Minister of Social Affairs, Dr. Fouda Marie Madéleine, when she presented CDEO the ‘Prix de l’Effort’ award as the most dynamic organisation in December, 1999. The president of the Cameroon National Association for the Deaf ( CANAD) also appreciates CDEO ‘s leadership programmes. During the year 2003, CDEO organised some seminars in the different Provincial Capitals of Cameroon. This was done in collaboration with interested deaf organisations that shared a common vision with the CDEO.

Adult Literacy Education

Literacy classes are organised for deaf adults in Yaounde. It is envisaged that these classes will eventually be extended to other parts of the country.

Public Education

This involves sensitising and creating public awareness of the needs of deaf people. It equally seeks to highlight the capabilities of deaf children and adults through seminars, exhibitions and lectures. CDEO sent a sign language interpreter, Mrs. Shu Jesse, to interpret during the opening ceremony for Commonwealth Week. This took place in Buea in March, 2000. This occasion greatly enlightened the public on the importance of using sign language as a means of communication for the deaf.

In July, 1999, CDEO provided a three-day training session to 24 parents of deaf children in the Mbingo Hospital area and also to 11 community volunteers.
Student volunteers from the American School of Yaounde ( ASOY) and the school of Social Affairs did their Community Service Requirement and Practical Training at CDEO.

CDEO continues to provide opportunities for public education on deafness. There is a great need for public awareness about the needs of deaf children and adults in Cameroon because many people in Cameroon still harbour the traditional believes and notions about deafness. Some think that deaf children are not intelligent. This of course is not true. CDEO has a grand vision and is trying to establish many programs to facilitate the empowerment of the deaf Cameroonians. In coming years, CDEO will be able to convince the average Cameroonian that deaf people are capable of attaining greater heights in all fields of human endeavour if given the same opportunities now enjoyed by the hearing population.

Health Education

Like all other people, deaf people have a right to good life and good health. Unfortunately, they cannot fully have access to good health because of the existing communication barrier between them and medical officials. Deaf people need therefore the services of Sign Language Interpreters in order to access medical services spread all over the country. As there are very few sign language interpreters, many deaf people find it difficult to consult doctors. There is therefore an urgent need to train more sign language interpreters who need to work either full time or part- time in health establishments. CDEO provides volunteer sign language interpreters to help deaf people whenever possible. With the assistance and collaboration of the Cameroon National AIDS Control Committee and the World Bank, the CDEO is currently carrying out a preventive sensitization campaign against the HIV/AIDS pandemic and other STDs in deaf schools in Cameroon. A more elaborate CDEO HIV/AIDS campaign programme for the deaf people nationwide has been prepared and sponsors are being sought both nationally and internationally.

CDEO Participating in an HIV/AIDS Campaign Seminar

CDEO Participating in an HIV/AIDS Campaign Seminar

Deaf School Partnerships

CDEO believes in school partnerships. Present partners include: CRESAS, in Garoua and CRES in Douala. CDEO in partnership with these schools organised HIV/AIDS Prevention Campaigns in CRES and CRESAS during the 2003 Youth Week celebrations. The campaign was also extended to ESEDA, another deaf school located in Yaounde. CDEO is seeking more partners at home and abroad.

CDEO HIV/AIDS Prevention Campaign in CRESAS Deaf School in Garoua, Northern Cameroon

The Development and Promotion of Cameroon Sign Language (CSL)

The CDEO seeks to collaborate with interested Sign Language Researchers in Cameroon and foreign universities to develop and promote the CSL. Presently, the deaf people have problems communicating with each other because of the existence of three Sign Languages : Cameroon Sign Language (CSL) by deaf people who have not been to any school , American Sign Language (ASL) in schools in the South West and North West Regions as well as in some schools in Douala, and finally French Sign Language (FSL) in other deaf schools in the country. We need sign language researchers to assist us with project.

Promotion of Deaf Art

An exhibition of the works of deaf artists was organised in the SIL Premises Yaounde with the assistance of Paul and Jo Murrel. Deaf artists need funds to acquire materials and also a sure market for their products.

A deaf teacher displays his work at the Deaf Art Show

A deaf teacher displays his work at the Deaf Art Show

Promotion of Deaf Sports

CDEO co-sponsored Football and Handball tournaments in Yaounde. However, the sports teams (male and female) lack adequate equipment and infrastructure.

A Few Members of EID's Soccer Team

A Few Members of EID's Soccer Team