Annual Report 2019 Dr. Reijntjes School for the Deaf, Sri Lanka.
The new school year started on January 1st with 51 deaf pupils (boys 26 and girls 25).
The number of staff members was 19. The Founder/Principal, a new Director, 4 senior teachers, 3 teachers, 1 speech therapist, 1 accountant, 1 computer instructor, 2 matrons, 2 staff members kitchen, 1 dance teacher, 1 instructor agriculture and 1 gardener.
Mudithe de Silva, the son of the Founder/Principal, took over the task of his mother. Tineke de Silva will continue, doing her work in school the coming years, as long as she is healthy.
The parents brought their children back to school and also cleaned the school garden.
We got a sad message that one of our pupils, Vihanga, a girl of 12 years, was involved in a road accident. Her grandmother died and her father was 4 months in the Intensive Care. He is handicapped for life.
Half of January Mrs. Ine Lems visited the school again. She is sponsoring the school for the last 32 years. She stayed 3 weeks in our school’s guest house and helped wherever she could. She donated new curtains and bed spreads for the boys hostel and 2 sewing machines.
End of January was the annual climbing of Adam’s Peak with the eldest students.
The celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the Dr. Reijntjes School for the Deaf was on February 16. There was a “Dana” (lunch) for 20 monks, where the parents, deaf students, the School Trust Members, the Dutch Ambassador as the Patron of the School and other invitees were present. Ven. Olande Ananda, a monk from the Netherlands who is already 40 years in Sri Lanka, was also present.
There was a total of 170 people for the special lunch on this day.
This month was the farewell of our Korean volunteer, Minuri.
The grandson of Dr. Reijntjes, Job and his family visited our deaf School this month.
The annual Musical Show in the Lionel Wendt Theater was on February 25.
Rashmi, our new dance teacher, started already teaching new dances to the children for the big celebration of the 35th Anniversary of the school, planned for July 27th.
End February the agriculture students participated in a work shop for mushroom cultivation. They brought bags with hay and soon after that we got a lot mushrooms.
On March 5 was the birthday celebration of Mrs. Tineke de Silva, the Founder/Principal. As a big surprise ( for the 35th-anniversary of the school) the staff members had invited 50 past deaf pupils of the school. It was a special day full of joy, the school garden was changed into a fairytale park and there was laughter everywhere! All stayed for lunch and some of the guests stayed over for one night.
On March 20 a “sexual education work shop” was organized under guidance of a group of young professionals: doctors and psychologists, for our eldest students. Later in the year we had a follow-up.
End of March we had the school test week for the reports. Also 13 pupils participated in a drawing contest. In the cookery class special delicatessens were made for the Singhalese New Year’s celebration in the school. We did the special games and at the end was the selecting of the Beauty Queen!
On Easter Sunday several staff members came back to school to arrange everything as the school started again the next day. Suddenly we got a message that there was a bomb blast in a church in Colombo. We were running to the television to see what was going on. After that the next bombings were announced in 3 churches and 3 hotels and we saw the terrible pictures. We could not believe that it happened only 17 km from our school!
At 3 p.m. a curfew started and an announcement came that all the school should start only one week later. 100 Muslims were soon arrested. They had contacts with ISIS, the group who took the responsibility for the attacks. Only on May 21 the schools in Sri Lanka started again.
These attacks had a big after effect on Sri Lanka. All the tourists in the Island went back as soon as possible, as Hotels were attacked and they did not feel safe. The whole tourist industry collapsed.
We had planned to have the big celebration of the 35th anniversary of the School on July 27th for the local and foreign guests. But unfortunately all the guests (also the Board Members of the Dr. Reijntjes Stichting in the Netherlands) cancelled their trip.
Pathum, our computer instructor, got married with Christina (past pupil) on May 23.
The play ground by the school got the last new item (big climbing rack) so that it was completed. It became a very nice relaxation place for all the children, big and small.
On June 12 Mr. Kanagaraja from Pettah, the owner of an Indian Restaurant, brought an excellent Indian lunch for our pupils from his Restaurant. He made it an annual event and our children enjoy it so much!
The Poson Buddhist Festival was celebrated more enthusiast this year after the bombings, as the curfews were over. The temples were decorated colorful and everywhere you could see locations with free food for the sightseeing people.
In our vegetable garden we got a lot of vegetables to use for our own consumption during this period.
The Dutch Ambassador, H.E. Joanne Doornewaard, visited our Deaf School on July 3 to say farewell, as she was leaving to Korea for her next post. We prepared a nice program with dances and speeches and handed over a present to her. She donated a printer to our school.
This month 3 students from England, grandchildren of one of our Trust Members, came to give a baking course to our eldest pupils. They brought all the ingredients. It was big fun and all were enjoying the chocolate cake!
On the first of August we planned a parent’s day with a nice program for the parents. That day the children went home for a one month holiday.
On September 5 teacher Manori, who got married one year ago, got a baby girl.
Chathu, our assistant teacher, brought a visit to our school with her new married husband.
End September was a very nice program organized for the handing over of the prizes for the drawing contest. Thirteen of our pupils got a prize and a nice present.
On October first was the celebration of the International Children’s Day. We organized games in school, cake and snacks at tea time and for all a present.
Teacher’s day was a few days later and all the pupils made a nice card for their own class teacher.
We also had a “big girl”. This time it was Oshini (13 years old).
Marion Winter from Germany comes every year to bring hearing aids for our children. This year she donated very good power full ones. The deaf pupils were very happy, as they felt the difference!
The students of agriculture went to the estate for a 3 day work shop with their instructor.
On November 28th was the last school day of this year. All the parents were invited for a nice program with dances, speeches and the handing over of the NVQ-3 Certificates to the 3 Agriculture Students (Kaveesha, Ashan and Ishan) who had done their exam excellent!
In December 5 of our deaf students were sitting for the GCE-O-Level Exam.
This school year was very special, as the new Director Mudithe de Silva, took the initiative to bring several new teaching methods in the school. New soft wares for the computer lessons, a complete new Lab for the Science Class and a lot of teaching programs with the beamer in the class rooms.
The teachers got new instructions and we follow the system of “smart classrooms” now.
Mudithe de Silva also made several contacts with people of the Education Department. He was invited to sit in one of their work groups.
We like to thank all the donors and well wishers, who were supporting the work we do for our deaf students in the Dr. Reijntjes School for the Deaf in Sri Lanka, in 2019.
Because of your help we can continue this beautiful Project for the deaf children of poor families in Sri Lanka. With your help we can give these deaf children a future!
A lot of thanks on behalf of the Members of the Trust, the Members of the Stichting, the Director, deaf pupils, the Staff Members and Tineke de Silva.
Tineke de Silva-Nijkamp
Founder/Principal Dr. Reijntjes School for the Deaf,
14/2, Andiris de Silva Mawatha,
Rawathawatta, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka,
Tel: +94-11-2655786 / +94-11-710 250 350
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