Namibia does not have an early intervention system for children with hearing loss. The parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing children struggle to get information and guidance, an early diagnosis, access to early education and technical support, e.g. appropriate hearing aids.
CLaSH, The Association for Children with Language, Speech and Hearing Impairments of Namibia (www.clash-namibia.org) has been working for the past 30 years to improve the situation for hearing impaired children and their families.
In 1994, CLaSH opened Nambia's first Pre-school and Day-Care Unit for children who are deaf. In 2019, CLaSH succeeded in building two classrooms of Namibia's first ever Early Intervention Centre for Children with Hearing Loss, situated right next to the Government School for the Hearing Impaired in Namibia's capital city Windhoek.
The CLaSH Early Intervention Centre is Namibia's first specialised ECD (early childhood development) facility. Its educational approach is a well-proven combination of Montessori principles and early Deaf Education. At the same time CLaSH runs a parents' empowerment programme, including home visits, parents meetings and sign language classes.
CLaSH needs support to
- adequately equip the new classrooms (e.g. with carpets, shelves, pinboards)
- assist parents with a contribution to the taxi money to enable them to attend the weekly sign classes
- maintain a good selection of toys, books and educational materials
- ultimately add a second block of 2 classrooms to the Early Intervention Centre