GlobalGiving is currently our most valuable partner. Donor contributions facilitated through GlobalGiving keeps E.A.S.E. Foundation thriving during these dark days. In addition to the many difficulties experienced by many countries we here in Sri Lanka are suffering the consequences of alleged gross mismanagement by the government. Since our conditions are well known globally I will not belabor the point. I am happy that GlobalGiving fundraising has enabled us to continue our services to the people we serve - , children with disabilities and their families. Our families who experience economic difficulties during the best of times are especially hard hit these days.
From April on country wide economic distress meant schools were often closed. Travel to school for staff and students became extremely difficult due to shortage of petrol and diesel. All schools were closed. So we went back to online classes, staff meetings via zoom and talking to parents by phone.
On a positive note when the schools were open however briefly we were able to enroll a few new students. As people get to know about our positive approach to disability and our successful teaching methods they bring their children to us.
17 year old Deep, a non-speaking teen with autism, came to us with a reputation for aggressive and non-compliant behaviors as well as an apparent total inability to learn. We have only had two sessions with him where he settled in happily to a exciting slightly challenging academic program with a teacher trained to turn him away from his former aggresive behaviors gently. The family is amazed and we are happy at how easily he settled in.
Little Nalika is a cheerful addition to our student body. She loves music loves to dance, We are working on her reading skills and feel her interest in books will help her learn quickly.
Many thanks to GlobalGiving for its fundraising efforts Because of generous donors like you who contribute through GlobalGiving we have been able to nurture our students and help their families survive.
GlobalGiving has been a valuable partner for many years. We especially appreciate that during the numbingly hard days of the pandemic E.A.S.E. Foundation was able to survive thanks to your sustained support.
Last December we gave bags filled with essential goods to our 24 families. In addition to Rice, Dhal and curry spices we made sure to include drawing books and crayons as well as sweet treats for the kids. My mom and I made cupcakes that were much appreciated.
This year 2022 so far has been excellent for E.A.S.E. Foundation. Island wide schools remain open so we are open too. We are so glad that at last we have a house big enough to accommodate most of our needs. My cousin lent us his house while he lives abroad for a few years. Our student’s mothers can make themselves a cup of tea, sit down at a table and enjoy a quiet moment or a chat with other mothers. All our mothers are so appreciative of this break from their busy days. Especially these days when the situation in the country is so difficult with shortages of essentials and power cuts.
For two years we had no celebrations. Joy is such a vital part of the human experience, sadly scarce in the lives of people with disabilities. At E.A.S.E. we try to ensure that our students and their families have a chance to have fun. So on April 2, World Autism Day we had a small party. A fancy dress competition, games, music, dancing and a table full of good party food ensured a fun morning. Both kids and parents enjoyed the events planned for them Being a family friendly organization we also gave bags of essential goods. Fact is Sri Lanka is going through economically hard times. We do what we can to help – we wish we could do more.
Many thanks to GlobalGiving for its fundraising efforts on our behalf. Your efforts help us reach out to the most marginalized vulnerable people in society.
After a lengthy lockdown our school reopened when the government allowed schools to open on the 1st of Nov. 2021. We follow the government’s covid guidelines to the letter. All of the parents who accompany our students and many of the children are vaccinated. The few who are not are still too young for the vaccine. Kudos to the government for arranging various accommodations needed to get our disabled population vaccinated easily.
Parents, teachers and most importantly the students were glad to be back in school. The teachers were happy to meet all their students and not just the ones who had smartphones and glad they could actually do classes the old fashioned way with the student in the classroom. They could get a better understanding of the student’s progress and needs. The parents were relieved that their children had an activity that they loved. Everyone agreed they were sick of being at home without structure and routine in addition to all the other stresses that accompany a world in the grip of a pandemic.
Since according to government guidelines students are not allowed to come to school if anyone in their household shows cold symptoms we still have online classes too.
“Cham” lives too far away to come to class so we offered him online classes. We are so glad that he is doing well in these classes. He does take a short walk now and then as he used to when he was in class but the teacher is able to redirect him to come back to the work table. Dec.6 no electricity to the center so teacher Renuka does an online class using her own phone
“Denuwan” is a very keen student interested in History, Geography, Buddhism and English language. His favorite subject is history and least favorite is Maths though he is Competent in that too
Our heartfelt gratitude to GlobalGiving and the donors who make it possible for E.A.S.E. to thrive even in these difficult times. We are glad to be numbered among the innumerable causes worthy of being supported by all of you. Children with disabilities and their families that we serve are the most marginalized and vulnerable people in Sri Lanka. Thank you for bringing relief and joy to them.
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.
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.
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