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Japan to support school building for children with disabilities

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The Government of Japan will provide $ 88,890 (approx. Rs. 15 million) for ‘The Project for Building for Children with Disabilities at Al Arsath School in Ampara District’ through its Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP). The grant contract was signed on 4 September at the Ambassador’s Residence in Colombo, between Japan Ambassador Akira Sugiyama and Organization for Habitation and Resources Development (OHRD) Chairman A.K.M. Shihabdeen.

This project aims to improve studying environment of 60 students with disabilities learning at Al-Arsath School in Sammanthurai DS Division. The special education unit at the school is the biggest unit in the area and students from neighbouring divisions are also learning. 

However, the building and facilities they use are very old as well as not particularly designed for disabled children, which are making their studying environment difficult. Through this project, a new building for the special education unit with three classrooms, a bathroom, and furniture will be provided. This will not only improve the studying environment of the 60 students but also enable more students to study at the school in the future.

Commenting on the provision of this grant, Shihabdeen stated: “OHRD is overjoyed in associating with the Embassy of Japan in participating in this project which is a long felt need for the Al-Arsath School, Sammanthurai. The facilities available at present in the school are not sufficient to meet the demands of the disabled children and this assistance is of immense importance in order to strengthen the education system for the children with various disabilities. Over 60 children with different special needs will benefit from the school building and its facilities.  

“In addition to these children, children with special needs in the neighbouring areas will also get an opportunity to access better educational facilities. The present students are diagnosed with Down syndrome, Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation, Deaf and children with physical and intellectual disabilities are also included in this special needs unit.  

“We hope to venture into more projects relating to the well-being of children with disabilities with other foreign missions and aid agencies. I would also like to express my gratitude to the Council Members of Sammanthurai Pradeshiya Sabha for their personal involvement and dedication for this project.”

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