Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in TRIP Canada Program.


Changing Jaynatha’s Karma

Posted in TRIP Canada Program on August 16, 2019

Jaynatha 2018 with disabled son Adeesha at family home.

Jaynatha 2019 welcoming volunteers to her new home.

For the first 28 years of her life Jaynatha believed that the many challenges she had to face were “karma” resulting from misdeeds in a past life. Then in just one year her karma changed. Here is her story.

Jaynatha’s mother deserted she and her sister when she was 4 leaving them with a father poorly equipped to care for two very young girls. They lived with an aunt and even though Jaynatha did well in school she had to give it up as a teenager to support her father and younger sister. Although she had only known the small rural community where she grew up, Jaynatha was forced to move to Colombo to work in a factory.

At her work she met and fell in love with Lalith and though her dream was for a nice life and home it wasn’t to be as they both earned very little. They worked very hard, sent money to their families back home and most days could afford only one or two meals. It was very stressful both physically and mentally.

When she became pregnant with her first child, Jayantha decided to return home as she wanted some relief from the stressful life in Colombo but it made no difference. They were given a little mud house with a tin roof which was the best they could get from one of her relatives and Lalith had to return to Colombo for work leaving Jayantha at home alone.  When Adeesha was born he was diagnosed with infantile hemiplegia, a disease causing paralysis of one side of the body. They made many attempts to treat the child by going for traditional healing and many other interventions which they could barely afford forcing them into a much harder situation. Life was extremely challenging and with Lalith committed to work in Colombo to support the family, Jaynatha spent much of her time alone with Adeesha.

He was growing slowly but they were not able to afford any meaningful therapeutic or educational support for him. School didn’t work as the teacher did not know how to deal with Adeesha and they could not pay for transportation. Over time Jaynatha was unable to carry him around.

In her own words Jaynatha shared, “I was fed up of everything and often thought why the life is treating us so badly. I consoled and justified myself thinking that it is a result of karma that I have done in my past life.”

Then in March 2018 the family came to the attention of Navajeevena. Navajeevana is a health centre and pre-school for children with special needs and has provided therapeutic services in the Tangalle area for more than 25 years. After several meetings with the field worker in March 2018, Jaynatha’s karma changed. Adeesha (now 12 years old) was approved for support including therapy, accessibility, education and a monthly stipend. However, Jayantha was about leave the village and go to live with her father since their mud house was about to collapse.

For the first 28 years of her life Jaynatha believed that the many challenges she had to face were “karma” resulting from misdeeds in a past life. Then in just one year her karma changed. Here is her story.

Jaynatha’s mother deserted she and her sister when she was 4 leaving them with a father poorly equipped to care for two very young girls. They lived with an aunt and even though Jaynatha did well in school she had to give it up as a teenager to support her father and younger sister. Although she had only known the small rural community where she grew up, Jaynatha was forced to move to Colombo to work in a factory.

At her work she met and fell in love with Lalith and though her dream was for a nice life and home it wasn’t to be as they both earned very little. They worked very hard, sent money to their families back home and most days could afford only one or two meals. It was very stressful both physically and mentally.

When she became pregnant with her first child, Jayantha decided to return home as she wanted some relief from the stressful life in Colombo but it made no difference. They were given a little mud house with a tin roof which was the best they could get from one of her relatives and Lalith had to return to Colombo for work leaving Jayantha at home alone.  When Adeesha was born he was diagnosed with infantile hemiplegia, a disease causing paralysis of one side of the body. They made many attempts to treat the child by going for traditional healing and many other interventions which they could barely afford forcing them into a much harder situation. Life was extremely challenging and with Lalith committed to work in Colombo to support the family, Jaynatha spent much of her time alone with Adeesha.

He was growing slowly but they were not able to afford any meaningful therapeutic or educational support for him. School didn’t work as the teacher did not know how to deal with Adeesha and they could not pay for transportation. Over time Jaynatha was unable to carry him around.

In her own words Jaynatha shared, “I was fed up of everything and often thought why the life is treating us so badly. I consoled and justified myself thinking that it is a result of karma that I have done in my past life.”

Then in March 2018 the family came to the attention of Navajeevena. Navajeevana is a health centre and pre-school for children with special needs and has provided therapeutic services in the Tangalle area for more than 25 years. After several meetings with the field worker in March 2018, Jaynatha’s karma changed. Adeesha (now 12 years old) was approved for support including therapy, accessibility, education and a monthly stipend. However, Jayantha was about leave the village and go to live with her father since their mud house was about to collapse.

Adeesha is a bright, happy, engaging boy.

Developing World Connections and TRIP Canada partnered with Navajeevena three years ago to identify families with the greatest need for a new home. When Jaynatha’s family came to our attention we immediately agreed to build them a home and gave it a top priority.

Building started in January 2019 and in April a team of eager volunteers arrived to complete the home for the family.

Jaynatha working with a coconut shell to scoop dirt.

Lalith (right) and his Dad hard at work.

This amazing family worked beside us every day contributing to their new home. We found Jaynatha to be a lovely, gracious woman who taught us a lot of new construction methods including scooping dirt with coconut shells. Dad, Lalith, is usually far away in Colombo where he drives a tuk-tuk to support his family but he sacrificed two weeks of wages to be part of the building team. He and his father laboured non-stop often sharing tips and shy, grateful smiles.

Adeesha is bright, engaging, loves music and always ready to smile. One of our volunteers committed to supporting Adeesha’s education and he is now going to school.

The family at new house blessing ceremony.

Adeesha welcoming all the volunteers.

Jaynatha’s karma has changed with a new home for her family and a full program for Adeesha that includes proper orthotics to prevent deformities, a custom wheelchair, transportation to school, a volunteer to assist him and an accessible classroom.

Adeesha happily at school with volunteer and other children.

Our heartfelt thanks to the donors, volunteers and Navajeevena staff for giving this family a new chance in life.

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