Smorgasbord Children’s Reading Room Special – How books can make a difference – Cameroon School for the Deaf – Supported by Dawn Doig

The majority of children in the parts of the world we live in learn to read at school, have access to books, are read bedtime stories and feel safe from danger. Unfortunately there are still countries where this is a luxury, as this particular fundraising page illustrates.

Dawn Doig lives in the Cameroon and supports a number of initiatives including this school for deaf children, that is badly in need of help to not just teach the students but keep them safe.

CAESEDA Centre d’Acceuil et d’Education Specialisee des Enfants Deficients Auditifs Nkolmebanga, Cameroon introduced by Dawn Doig

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The deaf children who currently live and go to school at CAESEDA Centre d’Acceuil et d’Education Specialisee des Enfants Deficients Auditifs Nkolmebanga, approximately 80 km outside Yaoundé, Cameroon are in need of a new school and living quarters (orphanage).

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The facility is currently housed in the deteriorating buildings of an old poultry factory. It is heartbreaking to see these children living and going to school in such unpleasant conditions. The roofs leak and there are no adequate bathrooms. The bedroom windows had to be boarded up because a man tried to abduct some of the children while they were sleeping. These children need a safe, secure, and comfortable place to live and go to school.

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Sister Simone, a Catholic nun who currently runs the the school for the deaf/orphanage, has been given land by the Cameroonian government to build a new facility, but she does not have the necessary funds to break ground. Sister Simone also has a well designed project already prepared which clearly outlines five distinct modules. These modules include dormitories and classrooms, dining area, medical clinic, and training center. The entire project will cost almost 2 million US dollars to complete. For now, it would be wonderful to at least complete Module 1 so the children have decent living quarters and decent classrooms. The funding requested here is for Module 1.

Here is the link to the Go Get Funding Page for more photographs:New School and Orphanage for Cameroon Deaf Children

Dawn Doig donates the funds from the sale of her 15 hardback and paperback children’s books to this very worthy cause.

Not everyone is in the position to necessarily donate to this or any other charity funding project, but it does illustrate how we as authors can look at our books in a different way.

We write to be read, and yes, any income is always gratefully received, but another way to support is to donate books to schools and libraries in countries that are desperate to provide them to both children and adults to read.

I have just bought these books for my younger nieces and nephews and I hope that this will help in some way to reaching the goal of building this much needed orphanage.

Dawn sent me this photo yesterday which is now on screensaver and nothing pleases me more to know that a child thousands of miles away might read Tales from the Irish Garden and wonder about a world so different from their own. Or enjoy the antics of a shaggy dog.

About Dawn Doig

I am Canadian. Born in Victoria, B.C., Canada, I spent most of my childhood on Vancouver Island. I graduated from high school in Abbotsford, B.C., Canada in 1983 and went on to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in Linguistics from the University of Victoria in 1988. In 1990, I completed a Master of Science degree in Human Communication Disorders majoring in audiology which led to a very rewarding career that spanned 23 years. During that time, I had the privilege to work with patients in different parts of Canada, Kuwait, England, and Saudi Arabia. While in Kuwait, I wrote my first children’s picture book And So, Ahmed Hears which was inspired by all of the hearing-impaired and deaf children I have had the immense pleasure to work with over the years. My last eight years as an audiologist were spent in Saudi Arabia where, in my role as head of the audiology unit, I was instrumental in helping to set up the communications department at a large rehabilitation hospital. This was and still is one of the highlights of my career in audiology.

​In 2015, I completed a Master of Education degree in Teaching English as a Second Language through The College of New Jersey. My husband, who is a teacher, had followed me around the globe for 23 years and now I follow him. My first teaching post was as an English as an Additional Language (EAL) teacher at the International School of Ulaanbaatar (ISU) in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. While in Mongolia, I wrote E El Gi Piddr which was inspired by the diverse population of students who were learning English as their second, third, fourth , or even fifth language. This past August, my husband and I relocated to Yaounde, Cameroon, where I am currently the English Language Learner (ELL) coordinator at the American School of Yaounde (ASOY). I have been blessed with yet another rewarding career. Instead of helping children to hear now, I am helping them to speak, read, and write another language. Communication in any form is such an important part of being human.

​I have been married for 33 years to my wonderful husband, Bruce. We have two grown children, a son Colin and daughter Marisa who both reside in Vancouver, Canada. We have opened our hearts and our homes to many furry friends over the years and currently share our home with Kydee and Patches, two female kitties we adopted in Mongolia. I love to bake to relieve stress and get immense pleasure out of sharing my baking with others. While living in Saudi Arabia, I self-published a baking book entitled Just Frickin’ Bake It. It is available for purchase on Magcloud. Over 1400 copies of the cookbook were left in Saudi Arabia and any sales are to be donated to the Terry Fox Foundation for cancer research.

​Bruce and I love to travel and recent escapades have included hiking the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu, riding mountain bikes down Death Road in Bolivia, zip-lining through the rainforest in Thailand, whitewater rafting in Uganda, and trekking with chimpanzees in Uganda. In December 2018, I had a 40-year dream come true when we spent two hours with the mountain gorillas in Uganda. Seeing my books in the hands of children around the world is the next big dream I hope to see come true 🙂

A selection of other books by Dawn Doig which are available in several languages.

Read the reviews and Buy Amazon US – And: Amazon UK – Follow Dawn: Goodreads – Website: Dawn Doig – Twitter: @Shoebears

Dawn donates the sales of the books to the orphanage.


Thank you for dropping in today and I hope that this might have given you some ideas of how you could make a difference to a child’s life somewhere in the world where books and the gift of reading is not as taken for granted as much as we do where we live.. Thanks Sally.

41 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Children’s Reading Room Special – How books can make a difference – Cameroon School for the Deaf – Supported by Dawn Doig

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – Weekly Round Up – 8th – 14th August – Minnie Riperton, The Green Kitchen, Stories, Reviews, Kidney Health and Humour | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  2. HI Sally, this is sad to read. We have this same thing in South Africa and 50 rural schools were burned and looted during the recent looting and destruction spree that happened in Kwa Zulu Natal. Terence and I support a school for autistic children and a creche here in SA and we also give donations of books every month. I admire Dawn and although I can’t donate money as we give a lot of donations locally, I have purchased two of her books to read and review to help spread the word.

    Liked by 3 people

    • What wonderful things you are doing, Roberta. Someone once asked me about the books I’ve published and why I started writing books. I told her that I didn’t start publishing books to become a millionaire, but to share my stories, many of which have been inspired by children I have worked with as an audiologist and educator. She responded, “But imagine what you could do if you had a million dollars.” That is so true. We would have been breaking ground on the new school yesterday if that was the case. Thank you for purchasing two of my books to help with the cause. It means a lot. I am hoping to one day post pictures of the smiles on the faces of these children and Sister Simone, knowing that they will have a new home and school. Hugs to you and your partner and bless you for all that you do.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for sharing the information, Sally! So sad to read, and look at the classroom. This is the so called “normality” in most under developed countries of the world. Our children are most of the time angry, when they cant use the smartphone during schooltimes. Thank you to Dawn, for her wonderful gift to them. xx Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Michael and Sally – You are right about the ‘huge divide’. People don’t always understand the reality of a situation, though, until they see it for themselves. I had the opportunity to visit the school for the deaf and took most of the pictures I have shared. It was absolutely heartwrenching to see the living conditions and to hear from Sister Simone that the windows to the bedrooms had to be boarded up because a man was trying to abduct some of the children in the night. These children can not hear and only speak with their hands so how easy to whisk one away. And so I share Sister Simone’s dream to see them in a comfortable, safe, and secure “home” where they can live and learn. The Module I am trying to help with is only one of five well-designed sections of a much larger project. I am actively trying to raise the funds. Sadly, in our digital world, most books purchased are ebooks and those literally bring in pennies for hundreds purchased. It will definitely take a global community to help.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Here are the top hearing aid manufacturers in the world..perhaps an email to their vp of marketing…

        Phonak, Swiss hearing aid brand owned by Sonova
        Unitron, Canadian hearing aid brand also owned by Sonova
        Starkey, US hearing aid brand
        GN ReSound, Danish hearing aid brand now famous for Made For iPhone hearing aids
        Signia (formerly Siemens) which is owned by Sivantos (part of the new WS Audiology)
        Widex, another Danish hearing aid manufacturer, famous for high quality sound (part of the new WS Audiology)
        Oticon, Danish again, owned by William Demant Holding (who also own Bernafon and Sonic)
        Philips, not a name I thought I would see again in hearing aids, but their brand power is enough to bring them instantly to the major brands


      • Widex Canada published my book ‘And So, Ahmed Hears’ as a humanitarian project in 2008. I wrote it while working with a Canadian healthcare team in Kuwait and it was published to help increase public awareness about childhood hearing loss. The book was free to families of hearing-impaired children and I shared copies with hearing clinics, schools, etc. It was graciously republished by Pen It! Publications after people kept asking me where they could buy a copy. I have reached out to several international organizations including the Starkey Foundation and Hear the World, along with many others, about this project in Cameroon. They either do not respond or are not able to help because if other projects they are currently involved in. As I said before, there is so much need and these kiddos are just one of many.

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s challenging enough living in Cameroon. Imagine having to live with deafness on top of it. The sad reality is that not one of the children at the school for the deaf has ever had a hearing assessment. I am apparently the only audiologist in the country and I am not working as one. The ENT doctors, bless them, have to do the work of both professions and often with very old, antiquated, or malfunctioning equipment. I have also been trying to find angels to establish scholarships to send Cameroonians abroad to complete a Masters or Clinical Doctorate in Audiology. I believe the sustainability of a program comes from within the country. Cameroon needs an infant hearing screening program so that children are not ‘diagnosed’ as deaf at three years of age or older simply because they are not speaking. This is 2021 and it’s sad that children with hearing loss are still being overlooked. These children could have very bright futures if the necessary assessments and interventions were in place. Sister Simone dreams to have a training facility as part of the new school for the deaf/orphanage so that these children can develop skills that will help them lead relatively independent lives. Thank you to all who have opened their hearts to the deaf children of Cameroon.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so sad, and as Robbie says, it is not unusual in some parts of the world. Thanks to Dawn for helping and for bringing this to our attention. One can’t help but wonder, on seeing these things, if a lot of money being spent around the world couldn’t be put to better use, but… Thanks, Sally.

    Liked by 1 person

      • It’s interesting you say this, Sally, as I said exactly the same thing. I know people have the right to choose how they spend their money but millions or billions for 10 minutes on ‘the edge of space’ when there is so much need in our world? I don’t get it. I think of all the good I could do and those I could help if I had a million dollars. I certainly wouldn’t be on Instagram, Facebook, Clubhouse, Linkedin, Twitter, Tik Tok, etc. appealing for help. I am just one and sadly don’t have the means to do it alone. I appreciate the support received so far and appreciate everyone who shares this cause with others. I posted recently on Linkedin that if libraries and teachers around the globe purchased just one paperback or hardcover copy of one of my books, we could soon be breaking ground. It’s a win win situation really. Someone gets a book and eventually these children get a new home and school.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: August Book Reviews: Part 2 | Myths of the Mirror

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