Three books will be published in all three languages – Sinhala, Tamil and English, and are brought to life by the world-renown illustrations of Mrs. Wettasinghe. The book launch held on the 30th of January, 2014 at The Kingsbury, was with the aim to raise awareness and obtain sponsorship for the placement of these books in libraries throughout the country.
Founder and Chairperson of Navajeevana, Mrs. Kumarini Wickramasuriya said, “We work tirelessly towards the absolute inclusion of people with disabilities in to our society. Our organization currently runs programmes for rehabilitation, special education, economic independence and awareness, but the most significant part of our goal is to create a community that will accept them wholeheartedly and treat them as equals with the ability and desire to contribute to society. We believe that children are vital to achieving this goal because they are open-minded and more accepting of differences. Children with special needs must be given a chance in life and we need the children of our country to look upon their counterparts as just as able and deserving as they are. To this end, these stories have been written with differently-able heroes and targeted at a pre-school and primary level audience.”
The books, “The Flowered Umbrella” and “The Lost Pot of Curd” written by Hilda Amaraweera and “My heart Sings” by Kala Keerthi Sybil Wettasinghe, are intended to be placed in school libraries, children’s wards, church and temple libraries, medical and dental clinics, and in the homes of well-meaning citizens. Mrs. Wettasinghe, whose celebrated drawings brings to life the characters in all three books, said of her involvement in this venture, “I am delighted to be able to contribute to this worthy cause. Childhood is such a precious and innocent part of your life; it is easy to forget that it is not so easy for some. I am confident that these books will create awareness while bringing joy and hope to everyone who reads them.”
Navajeevana is a non-governmental organization, founded in 1987 and based in the Hambantota district, which operates in partnership with CBM – Germany and USAID in the South and East of Sri Lanka. This community–based rehabilitation organization is committed to improving the quality of life of persons with special needs and focusing on building awareness on the Rights of Persons with special needs amongst policy makers and relevant authorities. Navajeevana facilitates dialogue and interaction between these key stakeholders and persons with special needs. The strong partnership with the Government makes it sustainable in the future.
The institutional arm of the organization includes paramedical services including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and counseling, and the manufacture and provision of prosthetics, orthotics, supportive seating and wheelchairs. The required training is provided to empower those with special needs to support in social inclusion. Additionally, it includes an audiological unit which supports the great need in the South. The organization also runs four schools for children with special needsinTangalla, Walasgala, Colombageara and Angunukolapelessa.