Sanchita Wickremasooriya, in Sunday Times, 30 April 2023, where the title is “The Seeing Hands, The Listening Eyes! An account of The School for the Deaf and Blind, Ratmalana”... with highlighting being the imposition by The Editor, Thuppahi
Have you ever taken the time to think of how dependent you are on sensory information? You don’t need to look too far. Think of the time you woke up in the middle of the night and thumped your foot against the bedroom table as you tried to make your way to the washroom. Or that time you played ‘pin the tail on the elephant’ or ‘Kana Mutti’ during Avurudhu. Or that time you couldn’t taste your lunch during -bad flu season. Or even that time your ears got blocked because you drove too deep too fast after swimming practice!
The ability to see the changing colours of a traffic light, to enjoy your favourite music, and to admire the beauty of the universe is something we have become accustomed to since the day we first opened our eyes. But the thing is, some of us just don’t. We don’t open our eyes. We don’t ever hear the words ‘I love you.’ We don’t get to see the sun rise or set. We don’t get to hear the number 1 hit of the season.
But this is not a story about the helpless and deprived. Not at all. This is an account of a great institution, one that took up the challenge to make bricks when there was absolutely no straw to be found!
The School for the Deaf and Blind in Ratmalana was inaugurated in 1912 by Miss Mary F. Chapman of the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society (C.E.Z.M.S.) to address the needs of a neglected and marginalised population consisting of both hearing and sight impaired children. The school, that began in a rented house down Station Road in Dehiwala with just 1 day scholar and 2 boarders (who arrived on the 6th of November) and 4 members of staff (Miss M. Chapman — Foundress, Miss Lilian Menage — trained nurse who acted as House Mother, Miss K. Mase — Trained teacher of the Deaf, and Miss E. G. Bausor — trained teacher of the Blind), has grown to house over 225 students, 80% of whom are full-term boarders, and consists of an academic, administrative and support staff of over 100.
The school shifted quite a bit during its initial years. From its original location in Dehiwala in 1912, the school moved to what was supposed to be it’s permanent premises — a gifted plot of land by Mr. A.J.R. de Soysa (6 acres) at Kandawala, Ratmalana in July, 1914. However, due to adverse conditions, the school was once again transferred temporarily to a house in Colpetty known as ‘Icicle Hall’ (later known as Sri Kotha located next to ‘Rheinland’ house owned by the celebrated sportsman Mr. E.L.F. de Soysa) for 9 months until the Ratmalana land was made suitable for living-in — a venture achieved only in October, 1915. By the generosity extended from the Beven Family of Veyangoda, a beautiful Chapel — The Chapel of the Holy Child, was erected at the school on the 18th of June, 1922.
Another wonderful gift of land, this time by Mr. N.D.H. Abdul Caffoor, was given in 1926 when he donated the adjoining property of 4 acres to the Ratmalana school. Just as the school was settling in, the outbreak of World War II, specifically the bombing of Pearl Harbour, forced another move. Due to the schools close proximity to the Ratmalana Airport and Railway compounds, the school was given less than 24 hours to vacate the premises (on 22/02/1942) and, as a result, on the 23rd of February, 1942, the abandoned railway stations at Yatiyantota, Karawanella and Dehiowita were occupied by the school.
The years during World War II were quite difficult, yet provided the students with a once in a lifetime experience that was exhilarating to say the least. Miss M.O.M. Carter, the last European Principal of The School for the Deaf and Blind 1937-1949, has recorded the following during her time in Yatiyantota:
“The children bathed in the river nearby, much to their joy. It had to be watched carefully and rather anxiously during the monsoons. Two or three times the railway ground was flooded, but the water never actually came into any building. It was remarkable to see how quickly the blind learned to find their way about a much more difficult compound than at Ratmalana. Often, they would lead me back safely if I was caught without a torch at one of the bungalows.”
Mr. Kingsley C. Dassanaike, the first Ceylonese Principal of The School for the Blind 1946-1963 and architect of the modern Sinhala Braille System, records his time at Yatiyantota as follows:
“Yatiyantota was full of incidents and hardships, but everyone got down to a grand life of the country side and no doubt all of us benefitted by the country air and country fare. The hardships and difficulties were many and varied. What with food shortage, petrol rationing, rice control, scarcity of drugs, and inadequate housing; who could forget the digging and clearing that had to be done — the fetching of water up the hills — the falling on the stones, the several little accidents, the showers innumerable that made us wet through and through, the daily diet of wheat and baking of the roti on the woodshed where Mrs. de Silva held domain: then were there not the joys too? The daily bath in the river, the fowls, the goats and the rabbits which gave so much happiness, the manioc and the plantains which we grew and enjoyed, the cinema house, the thrills of the threatening floods, the happiness the occasional visitor brought, and the joy of our worship in our beautiful cadjan Chapel. The kindness of friends around was a great comfort. Our little Colony became important in the place, and we had blessings in abundance.”
The Ratmalana buildings were returned to the School in June, 1946 by the Royal Air Force and the schools were separated both physically (beginning in 1949 and completed in 1951) and in its day-to-day administration, a decision taken in 1945 with the blessings of the Education Department.
The Nuffield School for the Deaf and Blind, an offspring of the efforts of the Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind, was established in Kaithady in the Jaffna District in 1956 to serve the children of the North. The school began with just 18 differently abled students and 04 members of staff. Today, the school caters to 130 students with a staff of 57. This move also created the opportunity to transfer all Tamil students at the Ratmalana school to Kaithady in 1956 as the Government made compulsory the use of the mother tongue as the medium of instruction the following year.
The three Schools are presently governed by the Diocese of Colombo and managed by a Board of Trustees of the Ceylon Schools for the Deaf and the Blind, of which the Bishop of Colombo is the Chairperson. The school, that was run independently from 1912, was taken over from the local committee of the ZENANA Mission in 1914, and then by the Diocese of Colombo on 1st January, 1933. As the pioneering institution in the country for Blind and Deaf Education, the School and Board work towards transforming the lives of the visually and hearing impaired children, from being dependent individuals to responsible citizens.
The aim has always been to ensure that both the blind and deaf, who pass through these institutions, become independent in their work and life, instead of becoming burdens to both themselves and others. Thus, the activities of the schools, both academic and extra/co-curricular, are aimed at producing such characters.
The school has always tried to provide a more customised and accommodative version of the same curriculum followed in traditional schools. Curriculum was adjusted and sometimes tailor-made for the students. For instance, in 1937, Miss Buckell, a trained teacher, introduced a subject known as ‘Rhythmics’ for deaf students, teaching them to follow music by feeling the vibration of a piano. Similar subjects introduced later on were Lip-reading, Short-Hand and Typing (1951), Telephone Operating (1954), Dancing (1954), and Printing (1962). Facilities, such as a new science laboratory (1974), were opened, helping to eliminate the popular notion that blind children could not learn traditional subjects. In certain subjects such as Mathematics and History, appeals were made to the Government for the creation of special papers for the students due to difficulties faced in answering certain segments such as Geometry and Map Marking. The result was a special Mathematics paper being introduced for the GCE O/L’s exam in 1980.
Students with sight and hearing impediments are given a better education at The School for the Deaf and Blind in comparison to regular institutions. The schools have always been ahead of the Government Schemes. The introduction of Sinhalese as a subject occurred in 1923 at The School for the Deaf. Thereafter, in 1943, both schools introduced the mother tongue as the medium of instruction, before the Government recommendation in 1945, and compulsion in 1957. As most students were from poverty-stricken homes, where English was unused and thus became a barrier rather than a connector, the introduction of the mother tongue as the medium of instruction helped many of them effectively communicate with their parents/guardians for the first time upon their arrival during the holiday season.
Academically, students are taught the National Curriculum up to the G.C.E. Ordinary Level. Up until 1965, The School for the Blind provided classes only up to the 8th grade. Students, thereafter, had to continue their education elsewhere. Seeing the negative response from traditional schools towards the admission of blind and deaf students, Mr. C.H. Gunawardena, Principal of The School for the Blind 1964-1983, decided to extend classes to Grade 9 in 1966 and then to Grade 11 in 1967, allowing all students to sit for the O/L Examination from their home away from home. His efforts bore great fruit, as the first batch of O/L students obtained wonderful results and some of them continued onward to University.
The School for the Deaf continuously prepared students for both the Grade 5 Scholarship and O/L exam since 1997. To date, many students successfully pass the O/L exam and continue their A/L education at a variety of schools around the island. Miss L.M.V.K. Yakandawala (fondly known as Miss Violet) and Mr. R.M.H.P. Gunaratne are recorded as the first blind students to obtain B.A. Degrees from a Sri Lankan University, whilst Mr. A.J. Bernard preceded them in reading for a Degree at the University of London. The first blind lawyer, Mr. Wimal Wickramasinghe was also a product of The School for the Blind, Ratmalana. 2021 set another record in the life of the school when Brian Kingston, a student of the school, received 9A’s at the 2020 O/L exam and won 2 million rupees by participating in the popular knowledge quiz — Sirasa Lakshapathi, before moving on to Ananda College to continue his studies. Many of our academically driven students have and continue to join the staff at the school, including Miss Violet who taught History and Civics. It was in 1933 that the school employed a blind teacher for the very first time — Mr. D.V. Wimalasena. Today, The School for the Blind employs five blind staff members, all past pupils of the school, including Vice-Principal — Mrs. Monica Peiris.
Furthermore, the school aims at providing post Ordinary Level Exam students with the necessary support in finding admission to the schools of their choice, and provide those institutions with the necessary services such as the translation of braille papers, provision of braille technology for our students, etc. 2002 marked the first time students from The School for the Blind, Ratmalana used the Braille Writers to answer their O/L exam papers. Many students passed with flying colours, a feat that helped secure support for a large donation of 100 Braille Writers (the biggest donation of writers from a single donor) in 2007 thanks to the generosity of the Chairman of Gateway Terminal Pvt. Ltd. Thanks to his support, every student from Grade 6 upwards was given a Braille Writer for their classwork. Many of our students, who move on to traditional schools geared towards students with ordinary levels of visual and auditory response, require additional assistance especially in regards to note taking, and the gift of a Braille Writer is something that can aid these students in continuing their academic journeys unhindered.
The School for the Blind is also a pioneer in promoting inclusive education. The school initially focused its efforts on changing public attitude towards the deaf and the blind. Students, once considered to be helpless and in constant need of assistance, were now transformed into independent and ambitious individuals able to contribute towards the success of society. Success was achieved in this realm thanks to the efforts of a forward-thinking team of teachers and administrators, but the work of integrating these high achievers was another matter entirely. One incident in particular gave confidence to the possibility. In the 1940’s, Master Wimalaratne, a pupil from our school, became the first blind boy to pass an outside exam thanks to the coaching of Mr. Tissera, a staff member of the school. The boy moved to Ananda College as a boarder and successfully continued his studies.
Thereafter, in 1951, the school attempted to experiment once again, this time by sending a blind student — Beaula Arulpragasam to Chundikuli Girls’ College – Jaffna, where she successfully passed her S.S.C. Exam. These events promoted the placement of students in other traditional educational settings, and the process was supported by schools like Trinity College, S. Thomas’ College – Mount Lavinia, Prince of Wales College – Moratuwa and Arethusa College. Today, students from The School for the Blind, Ratmalana are members of various school communities including Ladies’ College, Sujatha Vidyalaya, Princess of Wales College, St. Peters’ College, Ibbagamuwa Central College, D.S. Senanayake College, Mahanama College, Holy Family Convent – Dehiwala, Holy Cross College – Kalutara, Sri Sumangala College – Panadura, Newstead College and Ananda College in addition to those previously mentioned. The Government eventually began education for the blind through the Integrated Education System in around 1968-69.
The School for the Blind is currently in the process of tailor making a student exchange programme to continue its efforts in raising awareness, whilst also providing our students as well as those from the partner schools with the experiences necessary to successfully live within a socially integrated and inclusive environment.
Students are also provided with vocational training to help secure employment when the time arrives to leave the shelter of the School. The need for vocational training was felt as early as 1916, when Miss Gladys Bergg, Principal of the Ratmalana schools from 1915-1923, introduced weaving for the boys and needlework for the girls. Later on, instruction in a multitude of courses were offered including rattaning, basket making, massage therapy, carpentry, gardening, pottery, telephone operating, Vesak lantern production, and cane work at The School for the Blind, and cooking, tailoring, dress making, hairdressing, I.T. skills, graphic designing, printing, book binding, coconut shell spoon making, poultry keeping, and gem cutting at The School for the Deaf. Thanks to these efforts, government institutions, mercantile firms and leading Anglican Colleges have admitted students of the Deaf and Blind into suitable courses since the 1930’s. The following are just a few examples:
- Colombo Apothecaries Ltd. in printing
- The Government Technical College in Art
- Trinity College in Lac Work
The programmes were so successful that, in 1925, older girls were admitted into the weaving course (a course reserved for older boys from 1916-1924) and an industrial needlework class was started in 1926. By 1930 there were so many students qualified in a specific area of work that an ‘After Care Committee’ had to be appointed by the Board of Trustees to help secure employment for these adult students. A similar project titled the ‘School Leavers Programme’ was conducted by SHIA — a Swedish organisation that has been assisting the school since 1985, helping secure jobs for many blind students between 1995-2000. The growing popularity resulted in an issue of inadequate space at the school as it had reached the very maximum it could accommodate.
In 1936, the school had on roll 376 deaf and blind persons, of whom 103 were over the age of 17, and should have been either in vocational training centres or in employment. It was around this time that Lord Nuffield visited Sri Lanka and graciously donated towards the workings of the school, allowing the Board to lease out two spaces for 5 years for the continuation of the vocational programs and solve the issue of space. The adult girls were moved to the Girls Industrial Department at a spacious two-storeyed house on Flower Road known as ‘Broomhill’ on the 22nd of July, 1936, and the adult boys to the Mens Industrial Department at a land close to the C.M.S. Kotte School in Kahatagahawatta on the 10th of October, 1937. The move proved to be an exceptional one and, soon, the industrial departments were supplying all the clothes necessary for both the deaf and blind students, and were also knitting stockings for the police force in Ceylon!
Permanent settlements were later established through the kind offices of many generous individuals. A needlework and knitting centre at Flower Road in 1932, The Industrial Centre for men displaced from Kotte during WWII at a rented 6 acre plot of land called ‘White Plains’ at Liyanagemulla near Seeduwa in 1943, ‘Archary Home’ — a house originally known as ‘Shantigiri’ in Nagoda, Kandana, for the women who were displaced from ‘Broomhill’ due to WWII gifted by Mr. Suppiah Pattakanu Archary in 1943 to which extra land was donated by Mr. F.J.M. de Mel, Mr. H.J. Peiris, and Mr. J.L.D. Peiris (sold in the 1960’s to raise funds for new buildings at the Ratmalana schools), a forty five acre (43 acres and 28.75 perches according to the original deed) block of land known as ‘Mukalangamuwa Farm’ donated by Francis Benjamin & Rajanekniya Hiyasit (formerly Reginald Henry) de Mel (heirs of Sir Henry Lawson de Mel) on 1st October, 1943 where a permanent building was erected by Gate Mudaliyar Samarakoon in 1948 for the use of the school (to which the adult men at Seeduwa were supposed to move to as their permanent home but the idea was abandoned after the Government take-over of the adult work), Housing Estates (some of which by Mrs. G.A. Lasbrey in 1955) for married and single blind men and women in Katubedda, Katunayake, Gongitota and Kaithady (now under the Dept. of National Housing), and a School Shop at Flower Road in 1949 are some of these compounds. The Government, through the Ministry of Social Services, assumed full and direct authority for the adult deaf and blind vocational work on October 1st, 1957. At the time, this step was the logical conclusion as it had covered all expenses for the running of the sections since 1953-54.
Many stand as proud results of these vocational programmes. One such individual is Mr. Michael Silva, who, in 1955, was sent to England to the Royal Normal College for the Blind, Shrewsbury to participate in a piano-tuning course, one that he passed with flying colours whilst also bagging two of the most prestigious awards at the College. Upon his return to Sri Lanka, he was employed a Messrs. Harmonics and Ltd. Priyantha Gamage, an alumnus of The School for the Deaf, made his mark as an internationally acclaimed Magician, winning awards such as ‘Magician of the Year’ at just 17 years old. He also won many international awards, and performed in many countries, including USA, Canada, Taiwan and Germany. These hardworking individuals courageously made progress, paving the way for other blind and deaf men and women to enter the professional workspace with far less presumptions of their so called ‘incapabilities.’
Avenues for self-expression are also made available to our students. The sport of Blind Cricket was first introduced to the school in 1951 by K. Simons, a past pupil who had moved on to S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia for his higher studies. The first exhibition match was played at S. Thomas’ Preparatory School, Kollupitiya, at which Prime Minister D.S. Senanayake made the first delivery. As the pioneers in the game of Cricket among blind students in Sri Lanka, cricketers from The School for the Blind have continued to excel in both the local and international field. In 1982, an Australian visually handicapped cricket team toured the island and The School for the Blind, Ratmalana was the only one to beat them, although the Aussies were victorious in the other games they played in the island. A similar scenario took place in 1995 during yet another Australian team tour. Two years later, in 1984, a team of blind cricketers made their first international appearance in India. It should be noted that the entire team consisted of past pupils from The School for the Blind, Ratmalana. Their success brought in funding that helped lay a cricket pitch in 1997, a project coordinated by the Past Pupils’ Association of the School for the Blind (the PPA was established in 1957). 1997 also marked the schools first ‘Big Match’ played against the Blind School in Tangalle. In 1998, members of the school team were selected into the national team that participated in the first ever ‘Blind Cricket World Cup’ against Pakistan, England, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and India. Since then, students from the school have continuously participated in the ‘World Cup Cricket Tournament for the Blind’ and the ‘T20 Blind Cricket World Cup.’ Cricket is not only made available to our visually impaired members, but also to the students from The School for the Deaf. Mr. S. Vivekanandan, a past pupil reached great heights in the field, becoming the Vice Chairman of the Asian Deaf Cricket Federation and the President of the Sri Lanka Deaf Cricket Association. Other popular sports at The School for the Deaf include Netball, Volleyball and Basketball.
Competitions in athletics and many other areas were made possible when the school introduced the House System in 1951, an initiative that breathed new life into the school. A first attempt for a House System was made by Mr. P. Parsons, Principal of The School for the Deaf and Blind (Aug 1936 – Oct 1937), to bring order and discipline into the school. However, this did not last for long. Currently, the Houses at The School for the Blind are: Chapman, De Soysa and Bausor and the Houses at The School for the Deaf are: Chapman, Miskin, Gibbon and Carter, of which the latter 3 are now in use. An annual Sports Meet, competed between the Houses, was inaugurated in 1951.
In 1976, a small swimming pool was constructed by Apex Colombo, renovated once again by Janashakthi in the early 2000’s, allowing for students to acquire another important survival skill. A special 12 session swimming programme, conducted by CandleAid, further advanced the students skills and helped build their confidence in the realm of swimming. Today, over 50 swimmers from both schools at Ratmalana participate weekly in a ‘Learn to Swim’ Programme, whilst an additional 22 have been selected for competition level training as they have displayed exceptional interest and capability.
Music was and is a very important avenue in which the blind make great progress. During the war days, music was a tool that provided the students and adults with a sense of normalcy, and many well-wishers assisted in this regard. Mr. A.B. Kulasekara and Mrs. R.A. Spencer-Sheppard are recorded to have founded a first-rate choir with the adult blind men at the Kotte Industrial Home. The first batch of Mr. Kulasekara’s singers toured Jaffna in 1943 on the invitation of Sevak S. Selvaratnam of the Christa Seva Ashram, Maruthunamadam where they entertained a large gathering, moving the Jaffna Public to later contribute generously towards the building of the Nuffield School for the Deaf and Blind. Another individual who also assisted our blind men was none other than Mr. Bertie Samarakoon, brother of Ananda Samarakoon — composer of the National Anthem, by training them in Oriental Music. Miss Ellen Jordan, a past pupil of the school obtained the ATCL Teachers’ Diploma in Piano and the ATCL Performers’ Diploma in Singing; and was sent by the school to the Perkins School for the Blind in Massachusettes, USA in 1957, where she secured the Certificate of the Training Department before coming back to join the staff as a Music Teacher at The School for the Blind, Ratmalana. The gift of a hall and stage in 1952 by Mr. J.L.D. Peiris helped further enhance the performing arts-music (orchestra, band and choir), dance (eastern and western), and drama. Many blind students are quite gifted in the field of music and tend to focus a lot of their free time engaging in such activities.
The school also has a long history in regards to Scouting and Guiding. The School for the Deaf and Blind Guide Troop, inaugurated in 1924, was the first extension troop of the Girl Guides Association, Sri Lanka. The activities of the troop have continued to date, and our girls from both schools have been included in all activities organised by the association. According to Mr. Ratnayake, a past pupil and past Scout Master at The School for the Blind, Scouting had been introduced to both schools during the very early years, while they were still being administered as one unit. The troop was the first of its kind, made available for students with disabilities in Sri Lanka. Messrs. Brooke Elliot, Vernon Grenier and F.H. de Saram, Asst. Commissioner of Scouts were recorded as the first trainers of the school. The Deaf School Troop provided Sir Hugh Clifford (Governor of Ceylon) with a Guard of Honour when he visited the school. Mr. Kingsley C. Dassanaike, the first Ceylonese Principal of The School for the Blind, served as the Chairman of the Extension Scout Committee for Handicapped Scouts of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement as well as National Headquarters Commissioner, District Commissioner for Colombo of the Sri Lanka Scout Association from 1958 to 1963 and acting District Commissioner of Moratuwa–Piliyandala in the 1960s. In 1972, he was awarded the 76th Bronze Wolf, the only distinction of the World Organisation of the Scout Movement, awarded at the 24th World Scout Conference in Nairobi, Kenya by the World Scout Committee for exceptional services to world Scouting, the only Sri Lankan thus awarded to date.
Other activities such as debating are still being continued whilst new activities such as martial arts are being added-on. A very active Leo Club has also been in operation since the 1980’s and was named the ‘Most Outstanding School Leo Club in A1’ at the 12th Annual District Conference.
All of these academic and extra/co-curricular activities are fully taken advantage of by the student body which, for the most part, consists of boarders. The provision of boarding facilities for our students who come from various backgrounds not only helps ease their families financial burdens, but also ensures that they are kept healthy, safe, and immersed in the life of the school. The challenges they face within the security of the school better prepares them for life outside, as an environment for exploration, play and curiosity is maintained, allowing the child to have access to the freedoms enjoyed by other children living or born in to different circumstances. The busy schedule ensures that the students daily routines are well balanced, so as to help them move away from the security of the darkness and thrust forward towards the light.
All of this has always been provided free of charge! And, we wouldn’t have been able to do it without you!
The concept of Free Education existed in the school since its inception in 1912, far before the Government Scheme came into play in 1945. Thus, the school always operated and sustained itself through voluntary contributions. However, entering the Government Scheme was advantageous for the school in that it ensured the undertaking of the burden of salaries for approved teachers.
Everything the school has done was made possible by the kindness extended by our long list of donors. Many have come forward to add new facilities (Multi-tone rooms, Audiology Centres, Weaving Rooms, etc.), renovate and maintain current infrastructure, donate meals, donate equipment, and even to volunteer their time and effort for the children. The first ‘Flag Day’ was organised in 1921 by Mrs. A.J.R. de Soysa to swell up the building fund of the school to help accommodate the increasing applicants. The Toc H (Talbot House Club) assisted in the training of the children in a variety of activities — Vaulting, Indian Club Swinging, Boxing, Soccer, Band, and Guiding. In 1927, a Chevrolet Van, the school’s first motorised vehicle was donated by Mr. Herbert Bois.
The Government too played its part, and support was extended to the school in many instances. In 1913, Ceylon Railways provided our staff with free passes, and half rates for all Deaf and Blind students and their escorts on all Ceylonese Railway Lines. Again, in 1915, a provision was made for the transport of fruits, vegetables, clothing, etc. and other gifts for the school free of charge. Sir. Cyril de Soysa, Director of the South Western Bus Company provided the necessary busses free of charge for the transport of children to and from the school to visit the Kaldemulla Buddhist Temple on Sundays for their religious instruction (the service was ceased in 1959 when Public Transport Services were nationalised). The school has had its fair share of high profile visitors including foreign dignitaries such as Prince Mikasa (1956) and Prince Edward and Lady Sophie — the Earl and Countess of Wessex (2018). The list goes on and on, and subsequent governments, both local and foreign, contributed towards the school when the need arose.
Visually and auditory impaired students belong to a most disadvantaged group, facing many barriers which influence their whole process of decision making as to whether to participate in society or not. The Ceylon School for the Deaf and Blind aims at changing public attitude towards our gifted students, thereby promoting an inclusive space filled with love and support for all.
It is clear that the success of our programme depends on the continuous support extended by the entire community. Their development lies in the hands of the society that they are about to enter and enrich. We cannot, and do not intend to do this alone. We need your support. We need your love. We need you!