Equip deafblind children with skills for life!

by St. Nicholas' Home, Penang
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Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Equip deafblind children with skills for life!
Chee first ferry trip.
Chee first ferry trip.

“My biggest dream is to see my child become independent and able to take care of himself”. With these hopeful words, Chee’s father registered his son in the DBMH program in St. Nicholas’ Home.

If you think the name sounds familiar, you would not be wrong.

Back in 2014 little Chee already appeared on our Global Giving Page. Now he returns as a 14 year old teenager with his spirit undiminished.

Due to his premature birth, Chee, the eldest of twin brother, was diagnosed with Retina Pigmentosa leading to total blindness and a learning deficiency. Apart from that he was also diagnosed with hyperactivity (ADHD).

Arriving at St. Nicholas Home in 2009 Chee was only able to understand and follow simple instructions in mandarin or malay. Chee had difficulties with gross and fine motor skills, making it tough for him to climb staircase, identify objects, walking from the classroom to dormitory. With speech impediments, even calling out the names of his friends during group activities is a challenge for him. He required full assistance for daily living skills such as  feeding, drinking and dressing himself.

Now approximately 8 years later Chee has made tremendous improvements. He has developed a keen sense for orientation inside the home and can walk freely from one place to the other. His fine motor skills have also improved significantly through threading exercises. But most importantly Chee has become completely independent when it comes to self-management tasks such as eating, dressing and drinking. In retrospective, we can note that Chee learned a lot through our DBMH program.

On the other hand, his presence has enriched  all of us the teachers and the students alike. As a volunteer from Germany staying for 11 months at St. Nicholas’ Home, I personally appreciate Chee’s presence in particular.

His curiosity about the small things in life and his enthusiasm are so wonderful to behold. Especially in a time when most people are chasing after materialistic enjoyment, Chee’s joy about simple things such as the feel of water, the sound of music or just playing with rubber balls, has been a motivation and encouragement for all of us.

“Shared happiness is doubled happiness” this also goes for Chee, just by watching him laughing, brings happiness to everyone around him.

He is a hero and role model for all of us.

 

Chee is boiling an egg.
Chee is boiling an egg.
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Daniel happily clapping away while singing along.
Daniel happily clapping away while singing along.

“Being disabled should not mean being disqualified from having access to every aspect of life.”

Seeing the 14 year old Daniel dancing and smiling to our classic folk song, “Chan Mali Chan” this quote was the one most fitting to his person.

Daniel who is born with retinopathy of prematurity, learning difficulties and total blindness joined St. Nicholas’ Home’ Deaf Blind Multi Handicapped Programme in 2003 and since then we have witnessed his slow but steady growth and improvements. Our DBMH programme teachers are so proud of Daniel when they recount his progress over the years he is with us. Among the activities he is good at is typing the alphabets in Braille independently, spelling simple names and words. He is also able to identify his own birthday. The most important thing is that he is verbally expressive when he needs to go to the toilet. As Daniel is blessed with better hearings compared to some of his classmate, he could understand instructions and responds when he is called. He is also given the responsibilities to switch off the classroom’s lights and fans whenever they go for outdoor activities and he upholds his responsibilities well!

Step by step, we can see that Daniel is becoming more independent and creative, a child full of vitality and with so much hope for the future.

We would like to thank you who are reading this for your love and continuous support for children such as Daniel. Because of you, we are able to make their world better with each passing day. Please continue to support the work we do for these children by making donations. Stay tuned for our next update! Thank you!

P.S: Don’t forget to show us some love and like us on our Facebook page at St. Nicholas' Home, Penang! 

Cheerful Daniel also dances!
Cheerful Daniel also dances!
Daniel typing using the Perkins Brailler.
Daniel typing using the Perkins Brailler.
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Enn is happily listening to the music playing.
Enn is happily listening to the music playing.

Our precious, sweet Grace

We would like to introduce you to one of our sweet and precious students that you have been supporting, Enn. Just like her name, Enn which means grace in Mandarin, she has always been such a sweet gem with her own charm in the classroom. Enn who came to us four years ago when she was 11 years old, has seen tremendous improvements over the years since she joined our Deafblind Multi-disability programme.

Enn who is totally blind and diagnosed with learning disabilities with autistic features has been living with her caring grandmother and uncle after her mother unfortunately passed away when she was only 10 years old. Although she is much loved and cared for, her family knew that she needed to pick up  life skills to ensure that she would be able to care for herself in the future. Here in St. Nicholas’ Home, she is trained to perform basic daily tasks such as brushing her teeth, using the toilet, dressing herself and also basic counting, skills most of us took for granted. Due to her autism and learning disabilities, it is not surprising that she was heavily dependent on her family for her daily needs before she enrolled in this programme. With great patience and love, her teacher helped Enn understands how something works through repetitions. One of her teachers, spent a year teaching Enn to throw a ball without someone guiding her hands. 

Today, if you walk into the classroom and ask Enn to count from one to ten, or identify shapes and answer questions such as ‘What is your name?’ she is able to respond correctly. You would see this angel happily singing and spinning around when you put on some music. We believe that children with multiple disabilities like Enn deserve the best training we can offer, so we are grateful and touched that each of you are with us on this journey to give these children an opportunity to experience life to the fullest. As the saying goes, teach a man how to fish, and you will feed him for life. You who are reading this had made it possible for us to continue providing these services to children who we hope one day, would stand on their own two feet. Help us then, to teach them how to fish.

If you hope to see Enn and the other children in this programme achieve more, please continue supporting us through donation. They will thank you for years to come!  

PS: Do give us a thumbs up on our Facebook page at St. Nicholas' Home, Penang! 

 

"Children with autism are angels who lost their way to heaven and fell down to earth”

Enn is learning to recognise plants
Enn is learning to recognise plants
Engaging in outdoor activities!
Engaging in outdoor activities!
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Daniel enjoying the rush of warm seawater.
Daniel enjoying the rush of warm seawater.

DANIEL

If Daniel could express himself, this is what he would say,

“I was born blind. A lot of people have these really strange misconceptions about blindness. They think if you’re blind, life might as well be over. I try to tell people that I’m normal in every other way; the only difference is that you can see and I can’t, so I have to figure out other ways of doing things that you normally would use vision for.It is challenging being blind, but it is a lot less challenging than a lot of other things. It’s not only doable, it’s doable with happiness.”

Daniel, joined the St. Nicholas’ Home DBMH program in 2010 at the age of seven. He is the eldest child among 3 siblings. He was brought up by his grandparents who lived in Perak during his early childhood age. However, his grandmother pass away when he was six and his parents decided enroll Daniel in the Deaf blind Multi-handicapped programme at St. Nicholas Home. When he was first enrolled in this program, he was unable comprehend simple instructions nor communicate verbally. Daniel was also unable to walk or use the stairs unassisted. With deformed left hand, he had difficulty with his grasp and hand coordination. He was totally dependent for all his self-care needs. He hardly communicates and used to be quite aggressive and sometimes bites himself.

After 7 years of patient coaching and guidance, Daniel has improved tremendously in terms of communication skill, capable of understanding and responding to verbal instructions. Cognitively, he can follow his daily schedule, count up to 100 and use the brailler to braille A-J. He has also acquired the essential daily living skills such as self-feeding and caring for his personal hygiene. Daniel has improved so much in his social skill that he has been given the responsibility to deliver and collect laundry for all the kids. 

Daniel likes to play with his friends and he loves the swing. He wants to go as high as he can, laughing the entire time.

Though improved significantly in many areas, Daniel still finds it difficult to grasp and hold long thin objects like sticks due to his deformed fingers. We see potential in Daniel to improve further in basic arithmetic, verbal communication and in his social interactions. We hope that with proper guidance from his teachers and the support of well-wishers, Daniel will be able to achieve a greater level of independence in his daily living.

Counting pebbles enhance his tactile skills.
Counting pebbles enhance his tactile skills.
Use of white cane is essential for Daniel to move
Use of white cane is essential for Daniel to move
Another sensory experience for him to enjoy.
Another sensory experience for him to enjoy.
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Raag really likes the swing
Raag really likes the swing

Today we will revisit a child name Raag whom we wrote about 2 years ago. I am sure you still remember him. Just to refresh your memory, Raag was born with Congenital Rubella Syndrome, which caused him to be completely blind in one eye and low vision in the other. He also has congenital heart disease and is dependent on hearing aids to help him with his sensorineural deafness (damage to the inner ear) in both ears.

When you last saw him, he was working towards becoming a more independent child. He is now beginning to do more tasks on his own and is less dependent on his parents’ help.  In the past year, Raag has taken great steps to improve himself with the help of the teachers. In fact, he has been able to put on his own shoes, taking a shower and do other daily living tasks by himself with little supervision.  Raag is also able to feed himself using fork and spoon. Not so long ago, Raag still required one of the teachers or staffs to help him get dressed but now we can proudly say that Raag is managing all of that on his own. The improvements mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg! 

When you last saw him, he was working towards becoming a more independent child. He is now beginning to do more tasks on his own and is less dependent on his parents’ help.  In the past year, Raag has taken great steps to improve himself with the help of the teachers. In fact, he has been able to put on his own shoes, taking a shower and do other daily living tasks by himself with little supervision.  Raag is also able to feed himself using fork and spoon. Not so long ago, Raag still required one of the teachers or staffs to help him get dressed but now we can proudly say that Raag is managing all of that on his own. The improvements mentioned are just the tip of the iceberg! 

Through the hard work and dedication of the teachers here at St Nicholas’ Home Penang, Raag is on his way to becoming an independent individual. However, it is your contribution behind the scenes through Global Giving that allows our teachers to continue doing what they do best with and for these children.

 

Thank you!

Raag doing his fine motor and cognitive exercise.
Raag doing his fine motor and cognitive exercise.
Raag learning about shapes
Raag learning about shapes
Look! I'm in a purple silk balloon!
Look! I'm in a purple silk balloon!
Raag is enjoying the playground with his friends
Raag is enjoying the playground with his friends
Raag is loving it at the beach!
Raag is loving it at the beach!
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Organization Information

St. Nicholas' Home, Penang

Location: Georgetown, Penang - Malaysia
Website:
Project Leader:
Daniel Aik Bin Soon
Mr
Bagan Jermal, Penang Malaysia
$100,270 raised of $125,000 goal
 
1,275 donations
$24,730 to go
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