St. Nicholas' Home, Penang

Our vision is of a nation that is free of barriers, where blind & visually impaired persons are not discriminated against; to have the same rights and responsibilities, share equal opportunities & the quality of life that is available to their sighted peers. Our mission is to provide education, training & employment opportunities in a caring environment, thus empowering blind & visually impaired persons to fully participate in society while helping to promote the prevention of blindness.
Sep 21, 2015

The world through Siti's eyes

Just as the alarm rings, I hear the same familiar sing song voice saying “Time to wake up!

The truth is, I have been lying awake for a short while now, listening to the patter of quiet steps moving around me. I know these footsteps well. They belong to the ‘house mother’. She is the one who takes care of the six of us who live and sleep in this room. Every day for the last 8 years I have heard them. These steps come towards me and a gentle, firm voice announces that it is morning and it’s time to get up. The steps then move away from me …. always with the same tempo and precision. I continue to listen because I know that within the next few minutes, I will hear Annie’s voice. And true enough, she calls out to me to say hello. She is always cheerful and I am the first person she greets every day. I miss her and the rest of my four room mates when their relatives take them home during holidays or for celebrations. I spend those times with my house mother and the staff at the Home.

I have a very acute sense of hearing. I recognise my room mates by the noises they make. For example, Teck Meng  is not a morning person and she tends to make a big fuss about getting up and going to the toilet!... It’s not that she does not wish to get up but she just has problems understanding why she is being carried out of bed. You see her limbs and her brain do not function as they should for a 7 year old. Then there is Kathy who is a jolly person. She screeches and laughs most times and she loves the water. I look forward to her cooing. It sounds like she’s wishing me a good morning.  Kathy tends to grab me and pull at my clothes often and that annoys me but I have learnt to smile it off. The bed to my right is occupied by Aminah. She has a low voice and makes distinct groans. I can tell she is a tall girl because her voice comes from above me.  Jane  sleeps to my left. She is always quiet. Since I am one of the older children, I lay quietly and wait my turn. I will get attended to soon enough.    

But…. Before I go on about my life, let me introduce myself to you. My name is Siti. I am the one who has the nice deep dimples when I smile… and I smile often.  I hear people saying that I look younger than my age. So here’s the thing. I look five but I am actually fourteen. How is that possible you ask? I assume it has to do with my growth hormone or something. I once heard a doctor utter a string of syndromes that he thought I have. My grandfather left me at this Home when he was not able to care for me anymore. I have not seen or heard from my mum in more than 10 years. Sadly, grandfather passed away three years ago. He used to visit me without fail. Every time he came to visit, I could tell that he was getting frailer by the day.  I miss him but I forget him too. So in some ways, my mind has made it easier for me to cope with memories of times gone by.

I do not know what people mean when they say, “see”. I can hear and I can feel but I cannot see. If the eyes are meant for seeing, then my eyes were made for the amazing pictures I conjure up in my mind. I do not know colours and I do not know what you mean when you say bright sunlight. I do know what it feels for the wind to blow through my hair when I sit on the swing and I enjoy the heat of the sun. I have my own ideas about the seeing world around me.

At the Home, I am kept busy. I am tasked with different things to do every day. I am taught to sing songs though my words don’t sounds the same as yours would. My house mother and care takers seem to understand me most times. I try and make an effort to get my message across though. All I know is that I have to be patient. I am not forgotten as there is always someone nearby attending to my needs. I really enjoy my sense of taste and I love my food. I get to eat simple and tasty food cooked with love at the Home. I am surrounded by love and care. I am happy.   

May 7, 2015

This is Raag

Raagavan
Raagavan

"We thank you so much for your contributions in helping these children live better lives. Because of your donations and help we are able to equip these children with a brighter future where they can be more independent and live a full life despite their disabilities. I want to introduce you to another child that your donations are helping.

Raag came to St. Nicholas Home in January of 2014. He came to us at the age of 6. Raag was born premature. When he first joined us he was very dependent on his family for help. The transition to St. Nicolas Home was difficult for him. Raag was born with Congenital Rubella Syndrome, which has greatly affected his life. This has caused him to be completely blind in one eye and have low vision in the other. Raag also uses hearing aids to help him with his sensorineural deafness (damage to the inner ear). Raag also has difficult sleeping. We are actively working with him on all these things to develop better life skills, sleeping patters and independence.

Since being in our care Raag has made progress. He can communicate much more with body gestures. He uses symbols to ask for what he needs. He can now have more solid foods but is still unable to feed himself. When he first came to us his mother was only feeding him milk. But he is getting more independent as time goes on. He has been able to find things on his own from memory and needs less and less assistance throughout the day. We are currently working on keeping him awake in the day so that at night he can sleep all the way through. We have high hopes and visions for Raag’s future, and with donations like yours this is all possible. We hope to continue working with communication, motor skills and sensory skills with him in the future.

Thank you for joining us in this work. We cannot do it without you. Please continue to support and help us change these children’s lives."

You can already do this by making a donation on the upcoming Bonus Day on Wednesday, May 13th. On that day GlobalGiving is matching every donation!

Links:

May 7, 2015

Rin's Story

Hello I
Hello I'm Narin

Let me introduce you to Rin. Rin came to St. Nicholas Home in 2011 at the age of 2. When she came to us we discovered that she had Low Vision with Bilateral Congenital Nystagmus (involuntary eye movement). Rin is apart of our Early Intervention Programme and thanks to donations like yours we have been able to help her succeed in her early childhood years.

 

Rin has done great in our programs and has succeeded notably since she first came to us. In 2011, Rin was very slow in tactual stimulation, was able to converse her needs but with a lack of understanding in English, and was able to move around with support. Rin was very dependent on her family and we hoped to help her gain independence and be able to do much more on her own in her years to come with us.

 

Since Rin has been with us we have been able to see a whole new girl. With our many programs to increase cognitive, language and social skills she has shown great improvement. Rin has been able to follow instructions given to her and ask questions to improve her knowledge. She has also shown great skill in interacting with others, becoming more independent in social situations and also basic life skills. She can now do much more without the assistance of her mother. She can also ride her bike around with minimum guidance from others.

 

This was all accomplished by your generous donations. Please help us to continue changing Rin’s life and assisting her to be an independent girl. We have many goals for her this year that include learning the Braille Alphabet and boosting her self-confidence. With your help this will be possible.

 

You can already do this by making a donation on the upcoming Bonus Day on Wednesday, May 13th. On that day GlobalGiving is matching every donation!

 

Thank you so much for supporting these children. You are helping us to change lives at an early age and prevent blindness! We appreciate you. 

Learning together with my family
Learning together with my family

Links:

 
   

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