The Sri Sudarshi School for the Deaf and Blind in the hill country is located on the Bandarawela/Badulla road, four kilometers from Bandarawela and “just passing the famous Buddhist Temple at Dowa on the road from Bandarawela to Badula.”
Four of our children, born deaf at birth attend this school. Three are siblings who have a sponsor in Meg G. of Delaware, USA.
One young teenager Ishan, who is 16 was born profoundly deaf in both ears. When he was three, his parents took him to see doctors regarding his hearing problems. And that was the last time his hearing was professionally tested. This family is so poor that travel to big cities and purchases of hearing aids are just beyond their budget. Additionally, his father, Gunasena was stricken with a form of nervous disorder that hindered his work as a laborer. He showed me the little patches of coffee trees and fruit trees he grows around the house but I cannot believe it is enough to support the entire family. There may be enough coffee for their own supply. But this is Sri Lanka and most people prefer to drink tea! Mom Sornakanthi works at the local tea estate and makes about $40 a month.
In November 2012, Mother Foundation purchased 2 hearing aids for Ishan from D.S. Jayasinghe Audiologists in capital city Colombo. Mr. Nalaka confirmed he has bilateral profound hearing loss and needed to wear hearing aids in both ears.
At age 16, he heard for the first time the voices of his family: mother, father and sister … and their cat! It seems, at first, he had a difficult time deciphering all the different sounds but as the days and weeks went by, his parents reported he was getting used to these two new devices which have opened up a whole near world of sound for him.
There is no greater sound than a lush monsoon rain beating down on a roof and deluging the rich tropical fauna. On visiting, I often reflect on the poverty that exists side by side with such natural beauty!
Acquiring new confidence, Ishan recently participated in inter-school sports and won several medals and trophies. MF purchased for Ishan sports clothes for this event. Such a proud day for him and his family!
As of March 2014, Mr. Jeyaraj and Mr. Sajeewa are currently sponsoring Ishan. However, if you would like to help another child like Ishan, please contact us. Hearing aids and maintenance of them often cannot be afforded by families living in the hill country.