Newsletter April 2020
The whole month of April our Deaf School was closed because of the corona virus pandemic.
All the deaf students went home on March 13 and that moment we did not know for how long.
On March 20 suddenly a total lockdown for the whole country was announced by the Government.
At that moment still 2 staff members and 2 past pupils were here and they got stranded. After 10 days the parents got a police pass from their towns to pick them up.
Further 2 cooks (a couple) and a gardener were stranded here, but they were not in a hurry to go home.
Past pupil Rohana lives in our Deaf School from when he was 6 years old. He is now 35 years old. As he is an orphan he could not go anywhere after he finished his studies. He has a job in Ratmalana, has his own room in our school and he belongs now to the family of Tineke de Silva!
Because of the lockdown he also could not go for work.
The Singhalese and Tamil New Year was celebrated on April 13 with all the stranded people and family de Silva with all the special rituals. Fire crackers were not allowed this year!
April is the period of many fruits. In the school garden are 8 mango trees, star fruits, jack fruits, passion fruits and bananas. As there were no children, we shared the fruits with all the neighbors, who were very happy with the surprise!
The first weeks of the lockdown army lorries brought the essential goods to the people. This was later taken over by private businesses and bakeries. They come through the streets with their goods.
We have contact by telephone with the staff members and parents. The deaf children are in an isolation at home as almost nobody speaks their sign language.
Two mothers, both with 3 small children, complained that they did not have money to buy food, as their husbands are day laborers and can’t go for work now. The Government gives essential food parcels to poor families and they also receive Rs 5000/= per month in this lockdown period. We found out that these families recently moved several times to other small villages without informing the authorities, so their names were not on the list. But happily we could help them.
At the end of April in Sri Lanka were 649 cases of Corona infections and 7 deaths.
Still the country was in a lockdown at the end of this month.
Mudithe brings fruits to the neighbors
Lorry with food items
Fruits we brought to the neighbors
Star fruit tree
Jack fruit tree