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Kumba is a city located in southwestern part, English-speaking zone of the Republic of Cameroon. It played a role of the center of the promotion of the education for the deaf in Cameroon.


Local sign for "Kumba"

sign for Kumba


In 1977, Andrew Foster set up the Ephphatha Institute for the Deaf (EID) in Kumba. It was the second school for the deaf in Cameroon. While the first school in Yaoundé founded by a French doctor adopted the oral method, EID adopted the total communication method including sign language. Some graduates of EID went to study abroad, mainly in Ibadan, Nigeria.

As ASL (American Sign Language) was taught in EID, Kumba is also the origin of the diffusion of ASL that widely spread in Cameroon. Though Kumba is a city in English-speaking zone, ASL diffused also among the Deaf community in French-speaking zone. ASL was modified among the Deaf in the French-speaking contexts and became the most popular sign language in urban Deaf communities including Yanoudé and Douala (LSAF).

Schools and institutions

Ephphatha Institute for the Deaf (EID)


Andrew J. Foster: Deaf American (m). Founder of the Ephphatha Institute for the Deaf (EID)

Innocent Djonthé: Deaf Cameroonian (m). Director of the Ephphatha Institute for the Deaf (EID), President of Cameroon National Association of the Deaf


Christian Mission for the Deaf

Cameroon Deaf Empowerment Organisation (CDEO)

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