Aug 13, 2021

Educating Children with disabilities during covid

Life is hard for our tribe (disabled people) everywhere since the virus came. After 6 months of being closed our school reopened on the 23rd of March only to close again on the 14th of May 2021 as the government decreed. Since in April we had the usual April holiday to celebrate the traditional Sri Lankan New Year our students have been without school for most of this year too.

Intending to prevent our students dulling their brains if they do not exercise them regularly our teachers create lessons and worksheets for the students who have smart phones.  Since most of our students have movement differences physical exercise is an important part of our school curriculum.  Our teachers give instructions on that too to the parents. When school was open parents learned how to work with their children by observing the teachers, and by discussions with my mom, Anoja and me during our brain storming sessions.  We always tried our best to have informed parents.  However, busy parents find it hard to teach their children especially if they have siblings who also need help with their school work.  Sadly, not every family has a smart phone. Still, we keep in touch through phone calls with the parents.  Those who have access to smart phones have WhatsAp chats with us too.

We are glad with the donations from GlobalGiving and others we have continued to give financial aid to the neediest families.  We give a small monthly grant as well as help with medical emergencies. Today we paid for a pair of much needed custom-made ankle foot orthotic shoes for one of our students.  Little A has outgrown his previous pair and is too tall to be carried by his mother.  The doctor tells us that these shoes will help him improve his walking skills.

The funds we get through GlobalGiving helps us continue to support our families in multiple ways.  Heartfelt thanks to all the donors who make our work possible.  Please know that your donations help the most vulnerable and marginalized people.

Apr 20, 2021

Educating Children with disabilities during covid

Class during covid Masks or social distancing
Class during covid Masks or social distancing

GlobalGiving Report April 17, 2021

After almost six months of schools being closed, we opened on the 30th of March 2021

During the time we were closed we did manage to offer some financial aid to the neediest families thanks to GlobalGiving and other generous donors.

We opened after cleaning the school building following covid guidelines. The children and parents do hand washing and temperature checks before entering premises.  For the children who find it impossible to wear masks due to their challenges we practice social distancing. 

Our co-president problem solving with mom and sister of a student.

During the time our center was closed we sent work to the students who had android phones. A few of them actually did the work. Many of the parents commented that the kids don’t work with them the way they work with the teachers.  We have always taught parents strategies to help their kids do work with them even simple tasks – clearly, we have to redouble our efforts on this.  We are already planning on getting the child to work with his/her parent for a few minutes while in school. 

There are still restrictions on school trips and other such fun activities out in the community. Our 2019 trip to the beach is a distant dream now. We are trying to find some fun activity to do out of school.  We have all been cooped up in our homes far too long.

discussing student progress or issues with family
discussing student progress or issues with family
Dec 29, 2020

A success story realizing one student's dream

Happy Harin shop pwner
Happy Harin shop pwner

Our proudest moment in 2020 was driving down to the grand opening of Student Harin’s shop.   He had come to E.A.S.E. as an extremely reluctant student.  According to his mother he was an isolated withdrawn figure at home with hardly a word to anyone.  Within a very short time with us he became an extrovert.  Coming to our classes was the highlight of his life.  He made friends in his neighbourhood and helped his mom with cooking. He occasionally visited an aunt who ran a small shop and began to help her too.  We began advising the family to establish a shop for him in their neighbourhood.  It took almost two years for this dream to be realized.  Hoping to help him become a shop keeper we added relevant skills to his school program.  We practiced conversations he might have with his customers.  We practiced “shopping” with the help of the other students and staff as customers. We concentrated on math skills too. Then on the 4th of September of 2020 the staff and I went to the grand opening of Harin’s shop.

Happy shop owner Harin

 

We were honored to be the first customers.

When schools reopen in the country Harin hopes to come back to his once-a-week class to hone his skills, although he is reluctant to leave his shop in an assistant’s hands.

Whenever we were allowed to reopen school, we did so following all guidelines to maintain a safe environment.  The students and staff came back to work joyfully. Although many of the students had regressed a little, we were able to catch up quickly. 

Chandima Rajapatirana

Co-Founder/co-president

E.A.S.E. Foundation

Dec 28th 2020

we were the first customers
we were the first customers
 
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