Navodaya Special Children’s Foundation
Our humble journey began in year 2006 in a small abandoned garage, with just one child. The garage was the only available class room, with no equipments, tools or teaching aids but Lakshmi Karunajeewa, the lady with a dream to make a difference and the determination to succeed, was not going to give up. She used her little daughter’s toys, rags, cups, coconut shells, any usable item she could find from her home and surrounding, to teach this child and later to the 15 children who soon grew in numbers, when the word spread in no time about a school and a teacher who was providing exceptional services free of charge to children with special needs. The little class room was no longer enough, space was inadequate and the school had to be moved, but where to? When there was no source of income, no funds to move to another property , they were left stranded with no place to go. Lakshmi had no choice but to move the school to her rented house which was also with just one room where everyone had to share. The search for a new place did not stop, and Lakshmi went from house to house, from one place to another, looking for a place with the hope that there will be a kind donor or someone would come forward to help, but to her disappointment, no one came to help even if there was space, due to the stigma associated with children who are physically and mentally challenged. But Lakshmi never gave up, and she wanted to show the world the abilities of these children, so that society will give them a fair chance in life, and so she had the first school concert in a small church. Sadly, there were only a few spectators who came to witness the amazing performances of these children but within that crowd there was a kind heart who saw the incredible abilities of these children with special needs, and offered to lend a helping hand to move the school to another premises and with that the school officially moved to Mount Lavinia. Since then the school has grown, going from strength to strength and here we are today…..serving 48 students, with 10 teachers, providing free breakfast and lunch, with speech, physical and occupational therapy and with a great success story of Tharuka Thakshila a student with development delays who enrolled into our School at age 8, now functioning as an assistant teacher, making an impact to other students and her friends at the school, inspiring and being a role model to them.
“In helping others, we shall help ourselves, for whatever good we give out completes the circle and comes back to us – Flora Edwards”