Transforming the Lives of Deaf Children: How my vacation touched my life

Last July I had a phenomenal summer adventure where I went on a tour with 10 other d/Deaf professionals in Sri Lanka. It was an intense, cultural experience that involved sight-seeing throughout the country, visiting temples, riding/petting elephants, eating Sri Lankan food (in the proper way-using right hand, which I failed at miserably), and learning Sri Lankan Sign Language (SLSL).

One of the highlights, besides walking up to the top of Sigiriya (Lion’s Rock in Sinhalese), was meeting Deaf Sri Lankan children at Rohana Special School, where we volunteered.   We did an ASL storytelling time and arts & crafts with them. The students were absolutely delightful, creative and very well-behaved. Before we worked with them on projects, we took a tour around the school, where they sleep, eat and learn.   As I’ve traveled to many different places, it was not a terrible sight to see. It was well kept and organized. They do have beds to sleep on. They have a place to eat. But, they do not have proper classroom facilities; this has hindered their learning process.

We as a team decided to take on a fundraising project to raise money to allow Rohana to build more classrooms for secondary level students, so teachers wouldn’t have to share a classroom at the same time. As we say, the gift of education is pretty powerful, and it goes the same at Rohana Special School (http://www.rohanaspecialschool.org/).

The Vestry of St. Stephen’s has agreed to let me use our website to ask for your help, and to forward as you see fit to your network. I am trying to raise $1000, as my share of the goal. Next week on the church website, there will be a link to give, if you’d like.

– Sarah Beauchamp

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