As I near the end of my placement, I reflect that it will take time to fully digest all that I have learned from the staff, students, families and community that I have been fortunate to come to know through volunteering with the Organization for Rehabilitation of the Handicapped (ORHAN) via comdu.it. These are my musings while I am still in Vavuniya.
ORHAN is an amazing organization that has been supporting individuals with disabilities since 1999. This organization was formed due to a need for services for the number of persons with disabilities, which proportionately increased due to the war in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, a large number of internally displaced individuals moved to Vavuniya. Programs that are currently offered include vocational training programs, a school for children with intellectual and physical disabilities, a livelihood program which provides agriculture support, fisheries support,small business support, and a rights-to-information series of workshops. The centre also provides counselling and speech and language therapy services. These programs are made possible through donations from the local and international community.
"As a teenage Tamil boy who witnessed many atrocities firsthand in Northern Sri Lanka, I know this well—' nobody survives a war whole.’ Like some Eelam Tamils, I was one of the lucky ones. Those of us who witnessed the era of Sri Lankan brutality and war, which left many Tamils to be displaced and stateless, must always remember this."