Introduction / History Among the poorest of the poor in Mozambique, the Mozambican Deaf typically are unemployed or under-employed. This forces them to remain with their (hearing) family to have regular income, moving to a city to try to find employment or joining a local Deaf gang.
Local churches have tried to reach out to meet the needs of the Deaf , but the need is quite large. Most Deaf live for "today." Many fall into sexual immorality as well as drugs, alcohol, gangs, and stealing to survive.
As a Deaf population within a hearing one, the Mozambican Deaf struggle from the same things that most Deaf globally do:
* Most are born to hearing parents, but do not usually learn language or values from them. They often lack anything more than basic communication skills with family members.
* Their difficulty is not the inability to hear, but the great barrier to communicating with the surrounding dominant culture, especially acquiring information.
* In Mozambique, many hearing families still consider the birth of a Deaf child to be a curse for some previous sin or wrong.
Mozambique formally recognized Mozambican Sign Language as an indigenous language in 2005. But it has only three schools for the deaf , with limited use of Mozambican Sign Language (oral methods are employed: to read lips, speak and read Portuguese). Thus, many of the Deaf in Mozambique lack formal education, especially beyond Grade 6. This creates a substantial literacy issue among the Deaf. There is also a substantial lack of qualified sign language interpreters in the country.
While a majority of the Mozambique population is considered Christian (56.1%) according to a 2007 census, the number of true Disciples is estimated to be quite low. With little understanding of resources in the official written language, Portuguese, and almost no resources in Mozambican Sign Language, the Deaf are cut off from understanding God's Word.