Sep 4, 2020

Educating Children with disabilities during covid

2020 has been a difficult year world wide.   While Sri Lanka did relatively well with the virus this was because we went into a very strict lockdown.  All schools were closed from early March.  Following governemnt guidelines we opened only on the 10th of August.  The country is still functioning on a very careful level.  Since many of our parents are day workers or in such vulnerable employment they were in difficult times.  We were glad that with special permission etc.so our students parents could come to the center we helped many families with a small allowance.  When they came to collect their allowance they were also given work/activity sheets developed by the staff sso they could keep their children occupied maningfully during the lockdown days.  The staff also kept in touch with the parents via phone calls.  Now that schools have reopened we are back to work - our children are showing the results of months of inactivity but are all so very glad to come back to school.

23 year old Harin came to us about six years ago. At the time he was a socially withdrawn, mostly silent child who had to be virtually  dragged into the school by his parents.  He settled down very well we joke that he could run for a seat in the parliament since he has befriended his entire neighbourhood back home.  No one can go past his house without a chat with him.  We are glad to say that the family has followed our suggestion  and opened a little neighbourhood shop for him. The shop carries school supplies, groceries, cold drinks etc.  With cheerful, friendly, chatty Harin there I am sure it will prosper.  He is determined to continue his classes with us too leaving the shop in the care of his mom.  

I am attaching a short video of an interview I did because it gives a nice profile of our program. I hope that is ok.

 

https://we.tl/t-NfnqKiXQN8

May 11, 2020

May 2020 Report

Our students painting
Our students painting

At E.A.S.E. Foundation our students have a dynamic educational program. We also show society that we can be meaningful participants of mainstream activities and not just bystanders,

Early this year we decided to join the countrywide trend of painting murals in public places. For practical reasons, we chose a wall at our center that bordered the street. Our very talented artist-teacher Nehari drew the beautiful picture and students and staff joined in painting. Imagine our joy when our camera captured a magpie visiting it even before it was completed.

Our school was closed since Sri Lanka went into a very strict lockdown in March.  Distance teaching is not possible since most of our families do not have the necessary devices, however, staff keep in touch with their students and families suggesting activities and problem-solving.  Predictably this lockdown is especially hard on our students and families who are in dire need of the support we give them. 

Everyone's a critic
Everyone's a critic
Jan 15, 2020

Annual Fun Day

At E.A.S.E. Foundation we take pride in educating the whole child and also including the family. Strong family bonds are essential for everyone but vital for children and adults with disabilities. We, therefore, include the entire family in our special events. Our recent beach trip is an example of this.

Fun is an important part of the human experience which is often left out of the lives of disabled children whose lives are often filled with challenges, therapies and life skills. Our beach trip addresses this too.

Nice weather finally arrived enabling us to go to the beach.  We left early in the morning since we knew the rain would arrive by 2.30 in the afternoon. Blue skies and sunshine helped lift our mood that had been somber for so many months since the terror attacks.  Within the bus, our staff, parents and some of our students sang.

 A wide sweep of golden sand fronted a turquoise sea.  A dome of blue sky nudged the sea at the horizon.   After devouring the great snacks, we had brought, we all streamed down to the beach. The parents and their kids frolicked in the water.

First steps 

Little Shanu, who has rigid limbs managed to stand supported on either side by her parents.  As the frilled waves lapped at her feet she giggled and actually took a couple of steps.  Her mother said, “If only her grandmother and aunt were here to see this their hearts would have burst with joy.”  Willing to say that was the most joyous result of our trip.  

Unique experiences

Twenty-nine-year-old Oshi was lucky we managed to get his wheelchair right down to the edge of the water.  We then had him sit in the midst of the gently lapping waves.  Occasionally a bigger bolder wave would wash over him delighting him into loud laughter.  That was the first experience for him. 

Our staff persuaded a few students and their parents to actually lie down on the sand and let the waves wash over their entire body.  This being the Indian Ocean, seven degrees above the equator, the water temperature was perfect.

Once the sun came up high around noon the sea got a little rough.  Time to leave the sea said the adults, predictably no one wanted to.  But we did finally get everyone out of the sea and into the outdoor showers.  This was a fun experience too for our students.  After changing into dry clothes everyone trooped into the dining room. 

As a bountiful buffet was spread on several tables we were spoiled for choice.  Most of us appreciated the variety of desserts available.   Then it was back on the bus to get back home. 

Since we bring the siblings of our students with us, we had a lively group.  It is a chance for the entire family to leave their daily cares behind and frolic in the sun. Busy lives leave little room for such freedom.  I hope the memory of this day will warm our hearts until the next trip.


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