|Project status||On Hold|
|Total number of students sponsored||14|
|Sponsorship per student||LKR 30,000 per year|
St Joseph’s School for the Hearing Impaired (SJS) is run by a group of dedicated Catholic nuns. They welcome and nurture hearing impaired children from all ethnic and religious backgrounds. In some cases, the students who attend SJS live at the school campus. They come from low-income families, and for many of them, SJS provides an otherwise non-existent opportunity to learn how to manage their lives as hearing-impaired individuals in a hearing society.
The curriculum at SJS includes language (speech), mathematics, computer skills, art & craft, music, dance and vocational skills (sewing, carpentry, cooking, etc). The students are grouped based on their level of speech proficiency.
CandleAid Lanka commenced working with SJS in 2005 when it opened a library at the school. CandleAid has been working with SJS since. CandleAid has:
- Opened a library at the school
- Sponsored the board and lodging costs of the students boarded at the school
- Paid for a computer teacher to instruct the students in computer studies twice weekly and maintain the computers in good working order
- Furnished the library at the school
- Sponsored the transport costs of 6 of the boarders who also attend regular schools in fairly distant villages
- Facilitated teaching and community development work experience for foreign students at SJS
All the students at SJS come from an underprivileged background and SJS offers them an amazing opportunity to learn, build confidence, and integrate into society.
St Joseph’s School today
SJS currently has 15 day scholars and 14 hostellers who live throughout the academic year at the school. Of the 14 boarders, 4 are girls and 10 are boys. The majority of students are Buddhists. Though there is a fee that the scholars are required to pay, most of them are unable to pay this regularly as they also come from very low income families. SJS provides 3 full meals to the hostellers.
SJS’ staff comprises of 2 Nuns (voluntary), 4 full-time teachers, 1 part-time computer teacher, 1 cook and 1 helper. The students whilst learning to communicate, also learn other art and craft. SJS endeavours to sell such items at nominal prices to support and encourage the students. They are also taught cultural dancing and other forms of entertainment.
Income and Donations
The Catholic Church pays the school LKR 15,000 every other month but this payment is not very consistent. The Church also provides milk powder for the boarders from time to time. SJS receives LKR 20,000 from a British donor every month and approximately LKR 5,000 from personal donations.
Initially CandleAid funded the salary paid to the Computer Teacher (LKR 12,000) as well as the boarding fees of the 14 hostellers (LKR 35,000 per month), however later we funded only the boarding fees of the 14 hostellers, which was put on hold since February 2016. CandleAid will endeavour to continue this project on a funds available basis.
Sponsorship of students
CandleAid is in need of funds to continue helping the students at SJS.
A lifetime of silence is challenging enough but when coupled with abject poverty, the chances of leading a reasonable life become rather uncertain. This is why parents send their hearing and speech impaired children to SJS hoping against hope that the School could offer their children some form of education that will help them to embrace their silent future with some amount of confidence and dignity. Your commitment to help by donating Rs. 2,500 per month to enable such a child gives him/her the opportunity to reach this humble potential.
1. LKR 30,000 per annum per student for hostel fees (Rs. 2,500 x 12) – there are 14 slots
2. LKR 144,000 per annum to fund the computer teacher’s salary @ Rs. 12,000 per month