The new school year started on January 2nd. 2018. We got some new deaf children.
With parents, children and staff members we organized a big cleaning up activity (shramadana) in the school premises. This is compulsory (Government) to eradicate the dengue mosquito.
On Jan. 8 sponsors from Netherlands (family van Tuijl) visited the school one full day and did activities/games with the deaf children. 5 years ago they did a lot of renovation work in the Deaf School.
At the end of the month the eldest pupils were climbing Adam’s Peak with two staff members.
On February 2nd we celebrated the 34th anniversary of the Deaf School with showing old films of the School, cutting the special made cake and eating ice cream. It was the last day of Mrs. Ine Lems, one of our long time sponsors who comes every year to give financial support.
We got an invitation for the annual musical show in the Lionel Wendt in Colombo. (12th February) The pupils enjoyed it very much and got a nice present when leaving.
The previous Chairman of the Dr. Reijntjes Foundation in the Netherlands, Mrs. Barbel Kattenbelt, passed away on February 19th.
The Agriculture Trainees went 5 days to the Estate for practices with the Instructor and 2 staff members at the end of February.
In March we celebrated the birthday of the Founder (Tineke de Silva).
We got the chance to sell our embroidery items, made by the deaf pupils, online now. www.daraz.lk (see under charities)
On March 25th we participated with 15 deaf pupils in a drawing contest. We got 7 prizes!
The last week of March was the Term Test for the April Reports.
On April 5th we had a very nice day with all the “New Year Games”, selecting the New Year Beauty Queen and the Prize Giving. The next day the holidays started. We had a Meeting with lunch for all the parents.
The School started on April 23rd again. The next day we made already the first nice lampions for the Vesak Festival.
In May we got visitors from Japan. Mrs. Yumiko was long ago a volunteer in our Deaf School. This time she organized a “Work Shop Knitting” for the eldest girls.
On June 7th we got an invitation to perform some dances with the deaf pupils in an Auditorium in Moratuwa. It was an event for handicapped people and everybody enjoyed it.
From June 25th till 28th the Agriculture Students went to the Estate for a Training Program.
After that we had a Meeting with the parents of the Agriculture Trainees about their future.
On July 5th we went with all the pupils and staff members to the Katunayake International Airport for a 3 hour excursion. We got a “VIP” treatment as the Manager in charge was known to us. The children saw planes coming and going. At the end everybody got a drink with short eats in the canteen of the Airport Staff. After lunch we visited the Thai Temple close by the Airport.
End of July Caroline and Tom visited us. We had a nice celebration with them as they expect their first baby. We also had a garden festival with bouncers, popcorn etc.
On August 3rd the holidays started, except for the trainees of Agriculture. They went one week later on August 10th home, after the parent’s meeting.
Staff of the NVQ Office visited on August 13 for an Inspection tour. We got the NVQ -3 status with the registration number.
In Beruwala a deaf past pupil (Renuka) passed away end of August. She was 45 years old.
On September 2nd the parents and children returned after the holidays to do the cleaning up of the garden, with the staff members.
On September 7th the Agriculture trainees went to an Agriculture Exhibition in Homagama.
On the 19th a Film Team from Roar Media came to film the activities in the School and took some interviews with deaf pupils and staff. www.roarmedia.com
On the 25th we got a nice group of visitors from DABAL, UK. This Organization is sponsoring Deaf & Blind Schools in Sri Lanka. The Patron, H.E.Lord Colin Low and Lady Low were the special guests among them. They were enthusiast to see the Deaf School and special the vegetable garden.
The International Day of the Deaf was celebrated on September 30th. The Theme this year was: “Sign Language is a Human Right!”
At the end of October the group of Agriculture Trainees was sitting for their Final Exam. All of them passed well! This is the first batch of deaf Agriculture Trainees who got their NVQ-3 Certificate in Sri Lanka!
Half of November a Film Team started with the shooting for the Documentary of the Dr. Reijntjes School for the Deaf. First all the activities in the School in Moratuwa and afterwards in the Estate in Mathugama.
The Wedding of teacher Manori with Lahiru was on November 23rd in Aluthgama. Some staff members went to this event, others went to the “Home Coming” later.
On Nov. 30th was the special Parent’s Day with the handing over ceremony of the Agriculture NVQ-3 Certificates to the trainees by our Chief Guest/Patron of the Deaf School, H.E. Mrs. Joanne Doornewaard, Ambassador of the Royal Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Other guests were Ven. Olande Ananda, School Trust Members and Mrs. Thamarika Harshani
Director of Social Services Dep. Western Province.
During the December Holidays the Members of the Siloam Center for the Blind came for the last time for the Evaluation of the Agriculture Project, as their sponsorship came to an end.
The new group of trainees came back on December 27th for their Agriculture Course.
We like to thank all the Donors and Well Wishers of the Dr. Reijntjes School for the Deaf for their Support during the year 2018.
Only because of their kindness we are able to run this Deaf School and can we give these deaf children a future!
Tineke de Silva -Nijkamp
Dr. Reijntjes School for the Deaf
14/2, Andiris de Silva Mawatha,
Rawatawatta, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka