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.
Mar 10, 2016

Meet Ravin!

Ravin learning about shapes.
Ravin learning about shapes.

Meet Ravin*! He is currently 9 years old and has been at St. Nicholas’ Home for 2 years. He is diagnosed with congenital Rubella Syndrome, which has caused extremely low vision, sensorineural deafness, and hyperactive behavior. He arrived here when he was 7 years old and two short years later he has had many accomplishments and growth. Ravin lives at St. Nicholas’ Home and travels home to stay with his parents during school holidays. While at St. Nicholas Home, Ravin works on gaining cognitive and motor skills, learning daily living activities, and increasing his communication skills.

 

When Ravin came to St. Nicholas’ Home, he struggled to express himself and he was completely dependent on his caregivers. Ravin now is gaining independence through learning how to communicate via gestures, signs, and objects. This has helped him to gain confidence in navigating his surroundings and completing daily living tasks. He is no longer diaper dependent and has learned to eat with limited supervision.

 

Our goal is to help all students in the Deaf Blind Multi Handicapped Program to gain independence and learn skills that will help them grow toward this goal. Ravin has had significant progress toward gaining more independence and learning living skills. Ravin is now walking on his own, navigating his dormitory on his own, feeding himself and communicating with his caregivers at St. Nicholas’ Home.

 

Ravin and many other children need your help! St. Nicholas’ Home is helping children like Ravin grow and learn. If you would like to help Ravin and the other children at St. Nicholas’ Home please consider financially supporting our Deaf Blind and Multi Handicapped Program.

 

*Not his real name

Sep 21, 2015

Amin

"St. Nicholas Home has many different stories, cases and trainees at different walks in life. As an organization we are really trying to work towards early intervention so people in Malaysia can be more open and have more knowledge on how to prevent blindness. With early prevention we can teach families how to better care for their children with visual impairment. We look forward to partnering with more families and helping them care for their kids.

 

Amin is one of the kids that lives at home with his family that we have found through Early Intervention. He is apart of our home visits. Every two weeks we go and spend some time with him and his family. We were able to come in contact with him at two years of age. Amin is completely blind, but he is good health with no other medical problems. Although he is very supported by his family, our team helps him to be more independent and makes a way for him to grow and learn normally.

 

Our plan is to encourage and push him towards more independence and learning more about daily life activities. We are very impressed by the way that his family push him forward and we believe with more training from us that his family will be able to really push him to be an independent thriving young man. These are the cases that we are so happy about. The ones that have stories of families taking part in the work we are doing and allowing our expertise to help them succeed with their children. Thank you for helping our programs so we can continue to focus on Early Intervention. Having others believe in and financially support us helps us to continue our programs. Thank you and please continue to support us."

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.   

 
   

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