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About the Nuffield School

The Nuffield School for the Deaf and Blind  was established in Kaithady, Jaffna in 1943. It is run by a Board of Trustees appointed by the Anglican Church, and chaired by the Bishop of Colombo. The Nuffield School is the main source of specialist care and education for hearing and visually impaired children from a very large area in the north and east of Sri Lanka. The school buildings suffered untold damage during the civil war which lasted for over 25 years and ended in May 2009. Since the end of the war, the buildings were repaired and the school started to function again, thanks to the help from several charities in both Sri Lanka and other countries, including the Hearing Conservation Council UK.

At present, there are 134 hearing impaired children attending the school. About 60 of them are boarders, and the rest are day students. Many of the students have been fitted with hearing aids donated and fitted by the Oru Paanai Kaithady team. The rest have profound hearing loss which could not be improved by hearing aids, but they receive lessons in the use of sign language.

OP Kaithady

OP Kaithady was initiated by Dr. Ranjit Thambirajah, Dr. Deutram Thambapillai and Dr. Tony Sirimanne as an affiliated group within Oru Paanai in 2011. Their primary objective was to improve the facilities available in the school, as well as screen all the children and fit modern hearing aids to those who would benefit from them. Training of staff at the school in newer methods of teaching was also another aim of Oru Paanai Kaithady.

Amongst the activities undertaken by OP Kaithady were:

* conducting medical camps where both children and staff from the school were given a full medical examination, ENT and audiological assessments

* all the deaf children at the school and nearby areas were assessed to determine their audiological needs. 215 children were screened at the first camp conducted by OP Kaithady

* a teacher training programme was established, led by Anne East, a senior and experienced teacher of the Hearing Impaired, assisted by Liz Barton, both from the UK. They conducted workshops for the teachers at the school, who had not had any previous formal training. They also reorganised the school library and donated several books to the library

* With the help of 2 audiological scientists from the UK, three staff members were trained in audiometry and the fitting of digital hearing aids

* Funds were provided to establish an Ear Mould making laboratory at the school.This Laboratory has been running for several years now, resulting in significant cost benefit for the school

* Many items of equipment were donated to the school by OP Kaithady: audiometers, impedence meters, otoacoustic machines, ABR machine, hundreds of digital hearing aids and all electronic equipment needed for programming digital hearing aids

OP Kaithady has thus set up a model unit for the education of the deaf at Kaithady. It is hoped that the Nuffield School will become a centre of excellence for audiological assessment, as well as for training of teachers, in the entire region. In time, it is hoped that Kaithady will become one of the keystones in Sri Lanka’s National Plan for the Prevention of Hearing Impairment. Oru Paanai Kaithady is extremely proud to have been a forerunner in the effort to achieve this goal.

We would like to acknowledge the following for the help they have given to OP Kaithady in achieving their objectives: Mrs. Anne East, Ms Liz Barton, Dr. Elmo Thambapillai (Paediatrician), Dr. Dan Muthuveloe (GP), Mr.Vigneswaran (Senior Audiologist), Ms Ushaline Yoganathan (Audiologist ), Mrs. Shami Nishanth (Audiologist), and the Hearing Conservation Council UK.

Van for Kaithady

Kathaidy vanIn 2019, OP Kaithady launched a major fund raising initiative to raise funds to purchase and present to the Nuffield School, a van for the use of the school, as a tribute to the late Mr.Padman Ratnesar, a highly respected ENT surgeon, who had worked tirelessly to help those with hearing loss in several developing countries, including Sri Lanka. Donations were received from all over the world and the highlight of the fundraising was a lunch time dance / lunch held on 13th October 2019 at the VIP Lounge in Edgware. The van, which was a replacement for an ageing vehicle, will be used for transporting the children who need to be seen regularly in hospitals across the region.

The fund raising for the van was so successful that a surplus of £10,000 remained after the cost of the purchase had been met. This money is being used to set up a Trust Fund administered by the Anglican Church in Colombo, and the interest form the fixed deposit will be used by the Kaithady School for its audiology services.

The future

OP Kaithady has achieved much over the past decade in helping the Nuffield School, which was in dire need of help due to the collateral damage inflicted during the civil war. The culmination of OP Kaithady’s initiatives was the provision of a van for the school. There are currently no plans for any new initiatives. However, if any well wisher would like to donate money to the Nuffield School, please contact us - we would be happy to arrange for it be channelled to the Trust Fund mentioned above.

Oru Paanai - feeding the hungry in Sri Lanka
Charity no: 1136376

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