The Good Samaritan School for the Deaf (GSSD) was established by Mrs. Scovia Nsamba and Mr. Edward Nsamba in 1996. Scovia’s interest in Deaf education began with her late Deaf granddaughter, Madrine whom she had been taking care of after the death of her mother. In Scovia’s determination to give Madrine as much of a normal life as possible, she discovered a Deaf school in Kampala since there were no available resources for the deaf in the area.
She began making the five hour journey with her granddaughter to attend school every Wednesday, while Scovia took adult sign language classes. After five years of making this difficult commute, Scovia found a sponsor for Madrine to attend a Deaf boarding school called St. Marks’s Bwanda Deaf Unit. As for her personal learning, Scovia proceeded to the Uganda National Association for the Deaf (UNAD) to take advanced Uganda Sign Language courses and in turn received formal certification.
With her husband’s support, Scovia established GSSD in 1996, out of her own house after the death of Madrine. She began with two students from the neighborhood, whom she took in without any monetary compensation from their families. When she saw how well she was able to educate them, she expanded her student base and searched in more remote villages for other deaf children to assist. It was often difficult for her to find deaf children. They were viewed with such disgrace that some parents would hide them from the community’s view and pretended they did not exist. The neighbours who knew about them would inform her of their presence, especially if they were concerned about the children’s living conditions. Scovia would tactfully approach the families and convince them to allow their children to stay with her.
In the nine years Scovia ran the school, the number of students she had grew to 38. They would study in the living room during the day and replace the benches with mats to sleep on for the night.
In 2005, William Oberle from the W.O. Foundation funded the building of a block of classrooms nearby. The school also gradually built a dormitory to improve the living conditions of the Deaf students. More students poured in as parents saw how well their Deaf children could learn. However most of the present students cannot afford to pay the modest school fees, but were accepted nonetheless.