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Closed Opening Doors for Children with Disabilities

Galle, Sri Lanka

Closed Opening Doors for Children with Disabilities

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We find isolated disabled children and work with them and their families to develop their social and educational skills. They then join local classes and then local schools so they can mix with their peers for the first time in their lives.

C. Liyanage from Equality-based Community Support And TrainingWrite a message

This project has been running since 2006 when we realised how many disabled children in the villages we worked in were not even getting out of their homes. Due to parents' difficulties and fears many children had no contact with anyone outside of their family and were spending their childhoods behind locked doors.

The project now has four staff members who work to support 93 children in the Galle area. Our support consists of finding children in their communities and then providing them with training in sensory life skills and social skills alongside educational activities. At the same time we work to ensure that the parents understand the activities an the potential of their children so that they can help them when our staff are not there and that they can start to have hopes and dreams for their children.

Once the children get to a good level in their learning at home we work with them and their parents on the transition to learning alongside other children in our Kids Club in Galle. For many children this is the first time they have mixed with their peers and is a dramatic change for them opening their lives up to new learning and new enjoyment.

The biggest problem we have with this project is that we need more staff and resources to be able to expand to the large numbers of children who are waiting for support. We currently have 93 children needing services but we can only see some of them once every two weeks because of a lack of staff. Each families journey is different but in many cases it can take years to bring children from total isolation to studying alongside their peers in local schools. We must ensure that there are staff available to run through this process with every family.

Your donations will ensure that we can employ skilled community workers who can find these isolated children and help them begin on their path to a more fulfilled life. The ultimate aim is to bring these children to a level that they can go to school alongside their non-disabled peers - and with your help we can achieve this.

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