We hope you’ve had a great Christmas and are feeling inspired about the year ahead! Here at Friends of Navajeevana we’ve been inspired by two big things this year: the huge journey that people with disabilities in Sri Lanka have taken to allow them to participate equally in society; and the massive support that you’ve given to help make that possible. So put down those chocolates, turn off the TV and enjoy this quick digest of our 2013 highlights…
We supported the Hakmana school for a second year
For the last two years, we have supported Navajeevana to run the Hakmana School for disabled children. This fantastic resource gives 23 children with special needs access to high quality education in their community. In 2013 our grant (£2,070) provided training for teachers and parents as well as basic learning equipment. We also were able to support the salaries of two teachers.
We helped develop the skills of Navajeevana’s expert staff
In February we supported Navajeevana’s lead prosthetist, Mr Prasanga, to fly to Hyderabad, India, to attend the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics Congress. Our £900 grant gave Mr. Prasanga the opportunity to network with fellow professionals and learn about new technologies. This has helped him introduce new approaches and improve services for people with disabilities in Sri Lanka.
We helped disabled children achieve sporting success
In April we were very pleased to support the participation of a team of 25 children from Navajeevana’s special schools in the National Sports Meet for Children with Special Needs. Our grant of £350 paid for Navajeevana to train the children for the event and transport them the 250 miles from Tangalla to Vavuniya for the occasion.
The children gained hugely from the experience – growing in confidence, and winning 43 medals, their best ever sports achievement. Next step, the Paralympics?
We funded a project to improve play facilities and help the environment
Sri Lanka does not yet have a well developed recycling culture and as a result, the beautiful countryside is often littered with plastic bottles and other rubbish.
Volunteers from seven countries helped disabled children at Navajeevana special schools build a playhouse using 3,500 waste bottles filled with sand. Our grant of £350 funded this innovative project which gave a new place for the children to play and improved their environmental awareness.
…and in 2014 we’re going to be supporting families affected by cerebral palsy
The vast majority of disabled children helped by Navajeevana have cerebral palsy. The high prevalence of this condition in Sri Lanka is not fully understood, but is likely to be caused by under or over-age pregnancies.
In partnership with Navajeevana and CBM, Friends of Navajeevana have just granted £1,950 to a project aimed at supporting and training the parents of children with cerebral palsy, and providing the children with state of the art supportive seating. The project will run through 2014 so look out for our updates!
What’s your New Year’s Resolution?
Why not make it your New Year’s Resolution to continue supporting Navajaveevana through a monthly donation?
Happy New Year and best wishes for 2014!
Leonora, Olof, Hilary, Hugh, Jonathan and Sabrina
The Friends of Navajeevana Trustees