Vaneja was born so tiny at birth, that today even at age 19, she looks like she is only ten. Born with a congenital disorder, she cannot walk, and was mostly carried as a child. She is also somewhat mentally challenged. Women who work on the tea estates do not receive pre or post natal care, and without sufficient nutrition, many children are born with congenital disorders.
Our Vaneja, although an adult now, has the mental awareness of a six year old, the innocence of a child, and an endearing personality which can work against her as she has no fear of strangers. Vaneja’s mother works all day at the adjoining tea estate and Vaneja’s father is a day laborer who goes daily to town in search of work. With two of her brothers at school, she is mostly at home, alone.
The tea estate provided the family with “housing” … a very small dwelling with no kitchen or bathroom facilities or even running water. Tea estate employees are left to devise for themselves even the very basics for survival. The photos show the original kitchen, a shack built outside the house which floods during heavy rains; bathroom was a pail outside the house, with water supplied by a rubber hose hooked up to a water tank that gets filled up monthly by a visiting water truck.
With donations from several individuals, Mother Foundation was able to purchase the adjoining row house to enlarge Vaneja’s current home. A new bathroom was constructed [see fotos] and the purchased house which came with an indoor kitchen was in much better condition, and this other house also had a front door! A building contractor was hired to combine both the adjoining dwelling places to make it into one larger housing space for the five family members.
Additionally, a smaller and better-fitted wheelchair was obtained from another family whose child, Parameswary, had passed, and who wanted to donate their daughter’s wheelchair to another handicapped individual.
Many months were spent last year on this project, and during all that time, one man in particular, Mr. Moorthy of Pandiruppu played a major part to make all of the above happen. Mr. Moorthy must travel all day on his motorbike from the eastern sea coast to the hill country in south central Sri Lanka, to oversee hill country projects. This project would not have been possible without his supervision.
If you feel you can help, even if you feel you can commit to this child, please contact us. Even one time donations can help a lot.