These three siblings were born deaf – Lakmini (17), Thakshila (15) and Thushari (12). The youngest son of three years was the only child born without this handicap. They live in a small village Ballekatua/Ella in the Badulla District of the central Hill Country. They attend the Sri Sudarshi School for the Deaf and Blind located 90 minutes away taking two public buses each way.
Sponsor Meg G. of Delaware pays their monthly bus fares as well as their bus fares to weekly computer classes. Their father Gunapala owns a small kadi (sundry shop) and in addition a home-based carpentry business started with sponsorship money from a sponsor in California.
The sponsor also purchased a Singer sewing machine for their mother Indra Malini who now is able to sew and embroider pillow cases, make quilts, baby clothes and other Singer sewing craft to sell. She will soon establish herself as the village seamstress.
Thakshila, the gifted artist in the family hopes one day to be able to sell her paintings. Both sponsors have sent money for the purchase of art materials as paints and art paper are not affordable by the family.
Two years ago, Nilushi W. of Toronto and Pat & Rod T. of Delaware purchased three hearing aids for these children to replace the single broken hearing aid that the three children had been sharing.
In September 2012 when I visited the family, our Projects Manager Moorthy had just collected the three hearing aids from Jayasinghe Audiologists in Colombo where he had dropped them off for cleaning and maintenance.
Because of many helping hands, this family has been empowered to make a living for themselves, and their children happily attend school which only three years ago had seemed an impossibility to continue to do so.
Sometimes it does not take a village but simply a bunch of good hearted people to change an entire family’s life around.