Pwani Secondary/Vocational School for the Deaf


In the 1980s, newly-ordained Fr Joe Kengah (whose brother and sister are deaf).raised money to found Kibarani Primary School for the Deaf, near Kilifi.

To celebrate his Silver Jubilee in 2007, Joe decided to raise money (and awareness) to build a Secondary school for the deaf, which would be only the 4th such establishment in Kenya.

The walk was undertaken in 2 parts - from the Tanzanian border to Mombasa (May 2007), and from Mombasa to Malindi (October 2007). At Kilifi (where the primary school is, and where the new school was to be built) Joe and his fellow walkers were joined by children from Kibarani Primary School.


Joe not only raised money directly, but he chivvied potential donors and applied to other sources of funding. A site, outside Kilifi and close to the Primary School, was purchased, and in February 2008 the first blocks were donated.

A ground-breakding ceremony was held in December 2008.

With a grant of 2 million Kenya shillings from the Constituency Development Fund (a Kenya Government scheme that supports local projects) the first two classrooms were under construction in February 2009...

...and finished by July 2009.

But classrooms alone are not enough - a boarding school needs accommodation, toilets, kitchens and more. Fr Joe (right) meets with the Headmaster of the Primary School (centre) and the Headmistress of the Secondary School (left) in October 2009, when a single Secondary school class is operating within the Primary School.

Whilst in UK in summer 2009, Joe had visited the Commonwealth Society for the Deaf who provided further generous funding for the project, and by November 2009 the Headmistress was able to inspect more building work.

January 2010 brought a site visit to inspect progress - of which there was lots!

2 further classrooms built alongside the original two. Note the women carrying water for construction.

The interior is getting there.

The dormitory is well under way too.

And the all-important toilets.

The Students

So much for the buildings, essential as they are, but a school is nothing without its people - staff and students. As noted above, in 2009 a single class was lodging at Kibarani Primary School.

They're all keen to learn...

The primary headteacher, Coralis (Mary Knoll), Secondary headteacher, and Fr Joe.

Fr Joe with the students.

A more natural view as we say farewell.

Location of Schools


"Pwani" is the Swahili name for the Coast province, and the Pwani School serves the whole of this province.