Annual Report 2023.
The new school year started on January 3, 2023. The school consisted of 40 deaf students: 21 boys and 19 girls. Furthermore, 10 staff members, an accountant and a gardener.
The “Smart Board” served well in all school subjects, general knowledge and especially in speech therapy lessons.
In January, Marion and Thomas Winter from Germany came again to donate and fit new hearing aids for our deaf students. A few former students and the deaf mother of one of the students also received a new hearing aid.
The annual climb of Adams Piek also took place with the oldest students. That is a success every year.
This year, donors from the school visited the school again for the first time, after an absence of 3 years due to the corona pandemic. Ine Lems also visited us again. She was treating the deaf children to a school trip to the Aviation Museum in Ratmalana. It was a beautiful happy day.
March marked the 80th birthday of the founder of Dr. Reijntjes Deaf School, Tineke de Silva-Nijkamp. The staff and students had organized a festive programme. Many former students of the Deaf School had also remembered her birthday and came by with presents. Among them was Nirmal, who brought a beautiful blue elephant. Two weeks later he unfortunately died in a train accident. That was a terrible experience for his family (deaf parents and deaf brother). There was also a lot of sadness in our Deaf School.
During the April holidays, the solar panels were placed on the school roof. This way the high costs for electricity could be reduced to zero!
The O/Level (MAVO) exams were over at the beginning of June and our candidates then said goodbye. The parents came with a lunch for everyone and we organized a nice farewell. These students then started a vocational training program in cakes and pastry. They may possibly after graduating, get a job in one of the Pizza Huts in Sri Lanka.
In October, a large group of deaf adults from the Netherlands visited our school. They were accompanied by 2 interpreters. They were particularly interested and also made contact with the deaf students.
Since September, the children have had dance lessons several afternoons a week due to the dance performance, which was scheduled for December 1. Disabled children from other Institutes in Moratuwa also participated in this concert. Rashmi, the dance teacher, had prepared 3 new dances and she also designed the costumes. Television people and famous singers came to school for filming, because this program would be broadcast on all television channels on December 3, the Day of the Disabled.
On December 1, the dance performance was in a new Auditorium in Ratmalana. Many prominent people were invited. It became a great success.
During the Parent’s Day, on the last school day of 2023, the video with dances from this concert was shown to the parents. Most were very moved when they saw their child dancing.
The situation in Sri Lanka became more stable towards the end of the year. Everything was for sale again, but at very high prices. Many young, well-educated people left Sri Lanka this year to work abroad. Among them were as many as 700 doctors. This was clearly noticeable in many state hospitals, on which most people depend (they are free). Because the medicines became terribly expensive, people had to buy the medicines themselves when they were admitted. This is unprecedented for Sri Lanka.
We were able to keep our Deaf School running thanks to the donations from many sponsors in the Netherlands.
At the end of November, we started with the renovation of the school kitchen, the Solar lights in the school garden and new gutters for all the buildings. There was a delay to start with these projects because of the bad weather, what Sri Lanka experienced for several months. At the beginning of 2024 we hope to finish these projects.
We would like to thank everyone very much for their financial support and interest in our deaf children.
Kind regards, also on behalf of the deaf students and staff members,
Tineke De Silva-Nijkamp Mudithe de Silva
(Founder / Principal) (Director)