A message from our Founder

As our name suggests, Navajeevana (“new life”) is going through a revival.

Team Navajeevana has traversed a long journey of over twenty-five years and it is our continuous thirst for staying abreast with the times that makes us an icon in disability inclusive development and community-based rehabilitation.

We draw inspiration from the Greek mythological bird phoenix, which regenerates itself in cycles and thereby lives longer and becomes wiser with old knowledge.

Similarly, at Navajeevana, we come together as a team to take insight from self-evaluation and regenerate ourselves and function stronger as an organization.

This has also been a time of positive reinforcement as we use our past learning and long term practice knowledge to embark on a new strategic direction.

Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) is still at the heart of our strategic drive, and yet we have made a positive shift in our delivery of CBR.

The Navajeevana CBR team received their training and mentoring on CBR as early as 1996 from a renowned pioneer in CBR – Dr. Padmini Mendis. And hence it is not a surprise that the Navajeevana CBR team has gained recognition as expert resource providers in the sectors of CBR, a resource center for rehabilitation through therapy, assistive devices and aids and inclusive primary education.

In fact Navajeevana Rehabilitation is a one stop shop for rehabilitation of persons with disabilities.We continue to sow the seeds of knowledge through extensive training programs from grassroots to government provincial departments because we are firm believers that knowledge leads to confidence and better service delivery.

Knowledge is our wealth at Navajeevana – we share generously to make a positive impact on the lives of persons with disabilities.

We will continue to roll out the path of disability inclusive development and CBR in line with the larger government development framework and plans. Navajeevana does not stand alone in facilitating a better quality of life for persons with disability.

We complement and collaborate with government and mainstream development and rehabilitation organizations and multiply the positive impact of our work.

We remember with gratitude the contribution of Mr. S.M.K.B. Nandaratne our former Programme Director. Navajeevana now has a new torch bearer 4 for the team, Chintha Janaki Munasinghe, who comes to us with a diverse range of experience in community development, mental health rehabilitation, grassroots led initiatives and research skills specially related to impact and small enterprise development to name but a few.Team Navajeevana will continue to grow under her leadership and skilled mentoring as we carry on our pledge to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities.

I acknowledge the immensurable contribution extended to us by our members and their families, our dedicated team, and the Board of Directors for being actively engaged in seeing us through another challenging year.

The continued strength and encouragement from our long supportive donors, CBM, USAID, Embassy of Japan, Liliane Fonds, Friends of Navajeevana, Unesco Club Kettwig, Ev. Kirchengemeinde, Marianne Foundation, Brighter Life Foundation, Hope for Children, and the Provincial, Regional and National government of Sri Lanka together with our individual well wishers and the community has been beyond expectations. THANK YOU.

To USAID we owe our humble gratitude for building new hopes and granting exciting opportunities through the project “Strengthening of Persons with Disabilities in Southern and Eastern Provinces in Sri Lanka”.

We appreciate their confidence in us to share our 27 years of learning with the three partners of the Eastern Province, Ladder of Hope (LOH), DEAFLINK and LEADS, to reach out with effective rehabilitation services to persons with disabilities towards an inclusive society.

Kumarini C. Wickramasuriya Founder/Chairperson

 

This is extracted from our 2013 Annual Report. Download the Annual Report here.

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Our new website

We’re pleased to have launched our new website, which is packed full of information about Navajeevana. Why not take a look around? You can read all about our services, our history, our beautiful centre in Tangalle, or find out how to donate.

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Books for disabled children

On the 30th January 2014 a book launch took place at The Winchester, Kingsbury Hotel in Colombo, Sri Lanka. This event was held to celebrate and showcase three children’s books that were written for the pre-school age group. Each of the three books were about disability, with each book telling the story of a child’s disability with the clear message that being different doesn’t matter.

Two of the books The Lost Pot of Curd and The Flowered Umbrella were originally written by Hilda Amaraweera in 1997 to coincide with Navajeevana’s tenth anniversary celebrations. They were printed in black and white, with no illustrations and were distributed to local schools and libraries free of charge. However it was decided as part of Navajeevana’s twenty fifth anniversary celebrations to commission a third book to be written and along with the other two books would be printed in colour with illustrations.

The third book My Heart Sings was written and illustrated by the internationally acclaimed Sri Lankan children’s author Sybil Wettasingheree. She was also asked to illustrate the other two books meaning that all three books could be shown together at the book launch. The books were printed and translated into Sinhalese, English and Tamil with the translations being completed by Vijita Fernando.

 

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Navajeevana celebrates World Children’s Day

Universal Children’s Day celebrated by children in Tangalla, Hambantota District, was a great success! This day was planned by children, for children from all walks of life. This event will remain in the memory of the general public and children who took part, for many months, and many years. Children at Navajeevana

The day started at 8.00am with a parade in which schools from the area, school for the deaf and blind, orphaned and tsunami affected children, children in probation and child care and over 100 from Navajeevana’s schools for special children participated in a very impressive display of inclusion and focus on Child Rights for the first time.

The parade started from the town center with children carrying 2 Banners, demonstrating Child Rights at the head of the parade. The Police Department guided the parade through the busy main road; Hambantota-Matara until it entered the Navajeevan premises. All the children of the participating schools showed their talent in music and dance taking every one by surprise. The onlookers and people who were passing by stood by the way-side, took photographs, and encouraged the children by clapping, waving hands etc. It was great fun, as well as a solace to watch children performing brilliantly with pride and courage. Many children carried posters on Child Rights designed and painted by themselves. This may have created at least some degree of awareness among the adults whose consciousness and sensitivity matters a lot in protecting child rights. All banners, posters, placards carried by the children in the parade were displayed in the Navajeevana grounds to be observed by the guests.

The colorful parade was welcomed at the entrance of Navajeevana by children of the Organizing Committee. Children, specially the younger ones were tired at the end of the parade and thanks to the Police Department they were treated to refreshments of their choice.

 

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It all began under a mango tree…

In 1987 Kumarini Wickramasuriya founded a health centre and pre-school for disabled children with special needs. The pre-school met for the first time under a mango tree just a few kilometres north of Tangalla. From these humble beginnings Navajeevana has grown over 25 years to be the primary organisation working with people with disabilities in the Hambantota district of southern Sri Lanka

Kumarini’s vision to see the inclusion of people with disabilities in their local communities remains at the heart of our approach. Through a network of volunteers and highly trained staff we work in the community, supporting people with disabilities and working alongside them to help them achieve independence. We back this up with our first-rate therapy services at our centre in Tangalla and high-quality special education.​

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