Vision & Mission
Our VISION is that all hearing impaired people, by being able to hear and speak, have the opportunity to attain an equal place in society and are accepted as creative contributors to the development of a prosperous, peaceful and just nation.
Our MISSION is to influence our nation’s Education, Health and Social Services and our political, economic, cultural and religious systems, in such a way so that essential infrastructures are created to enable hearing impaired children and their families, specially poor families, to participate fully with loud and positive voices as equal, respected partners in building a just national and world community.
The poor and hearing impairment
The poor in Sri Lanka are confined to a state of poverty due to a complex web of economic, social, political and cultural reasons much like in any other so-called ‘third world’ country. Having a member of the family with a disability like hearing impairment is an added burden on the poor. In the recent past in Sri Lanka, the tradition of educating the hearing impaired with SIGN LANGUAGE ONLY in large and mixed institutional settings tended to form ghettos of deaf people confined to these specialized institutions throughout their adult lives. This mainly affected the poor who were already disadvantaged.
Our Foundress and Directress Sr. Greta Nalawatta was the first to break this tradition in the early 1980’s. When she began her work, she had to go out on foot from house to house looking for deaf children in the villages and hamlets. They were not being sent to school, kept hidden at home and considered as bringing shame and burden on the families. Access to local, village level preventive health care, early assessment of deafness and pre-school intervention for the deaf child were virtually non-existent in Sri Lanka at that time and even today. The State health, education and social services have small relief programmes in place but these are widely considered to be limited and inadequate.
One of the driving motivations behind Sr. Greta’s mission has been and is to provide the very best education possible to a high professional standard FREE OF CHARGE for hearing impaired children, especially the poor children, and to empower them by training them to hear and speak, and educate them in the mainstream curriculum so that they can take their place as equals in Sri Lankan society.