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Fundraiser Update–And It’s All Good News!

6 Feb

Last fall and winter 2011, nearly 100 people from all across the United States and overseas donated a total of $6,620 to support building new classrooms and help complete a national sign language dictionary and grammar DVD project. Here’s an update on what’s happened so far with your generous support of Rohana Special School and Ruhunu Sumaga Circle of the Deaf.

Rohana Special School

The bulk of the donations went to Rohana Special School to build new classrooms in their older second-story building. They had a month-long holiday in December and used all that free time to turn a large hall into individual classrooms with bright windows and beautiful wooden partitions. See the before/after photos below:



There are more photos of the new classrooms in the Flickr slideshow below:

Ruhunu Sumaga Circle of the Deaf

RSCD, the deaf association that represents hundreds of deaf and hard of hearing in the Matara district in southern Sri Lanka, has been hard at work developing their sign language dictionary and grammar DVD project. This DVD is aimed at teachers of deaf children working in more than a dozen deaf/special schools nationwide. They (and I) believe that one of the most effective ways to improve deaf education is to have teachers who not only are well-trained, but who can sign well.

Thanks to your support, they received a much-needed cash infusion of more than $1,000 to keep this project going. Here is a thank you letter from RSCD. These money will go to purchase audiovisual and IT equipment including video/graphic cards, a HDMI video capture card, an external HD, as well as paying daily expenses (travel and meals) for the members of the sign language research group. When the footage and editing are complete, RSCD will print 3,000 DVDs and distribute them free of charge to schools and teachers nationwide.

Below are some photos of them hard at work at RSCD’s headquarters located about a mile from Rohana Special School. The research group includes a team of Sri Lankan students who are being trained in sign linguistics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Center for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies.

How about that? Remember, YOU made all of this happen! I’m deeply grateful for all of your support for these two organizations. If you have any questions or comments, please post them below or contact me directly. Thank you!

Fundraising 2011: Give the Gift of Education

6 Oct

This successful fundraiser has concluded! Go here for updates on how your generous support and donations were put to good use to improve the education of deaf and hard of hearing children in Matara, Sri Lanka.


This fall, give the gift of education to Deaf children and adults in Sri Lanka!

Last July, I joined 10 other deaf people on a tour of Sri Lanka. Among verdant jungles, ancient temples, and more elephants than you could shake a bamboo stick at, we visited a deaf school: Rohana Special School, and we visited a deaf association: Ruhunu Sumaga Circle of the Deaf. We spent two days working with both organizations–for example, we facilitated arts and sign language workshops for the children and learned about where and how deaf adults find employment.

I am sharing this information with you because they need your help.

I have made a personal goal of raising $1,000 dollars to support one initiative from each organization:

  • Eight (8) New Classrooms: At Rohana Special School, the secondary level students and teachers work and learn in cramped environments. They have a few secondary classrooms, each approximately 10×10 feet, but they have to put two classes in each room. That means two teachers teaching separate classes in the same room! (see photo) The school currently has a large hall that they want to divide into eight classrooms. But they lack the funds to build the dividing walls, windows, and doors.
  • Sri Lankan Sign Language Tutorial DVD: Ruhunu Sumaga Circle of the Deaf is working on Sri Lanka’s first sign language tutorial DVD. This project is targeted towards improving the sign language skills of teachers of deaf children. 3,000 copies will be printed in its initial run. While they have begun the project, they lack the funds to edit the video footage and print the DVDs.

Will you help me in reaching my personal goal of raising $1,000? My 10 fellow travelers are each raising $1,000, too, for a total of $11,000, which will be enough to fulfill both initiatives.

A donation, small or large, will go a long way. Remember, children need space to learn, and deaf children who use sign language deserve to have teachers who are also fluent in sign language. Your support will help make both goals possible!

Please remember that donations made to this cause are not tax-deductible as we are not a 501(c)3 organization, but you will receive a donation acknowledgement letter and updates on how your donation money was used by both organizations.

Fundraising Thermometer


Thank you for your donation—your support will brighten the future of deaf education in Sri Lanka!

Information about Sri Lanka-based organizations and Adam Stone:

  • Rohana Special School, a school for children who are deaf, blind, or have learning challenges. Out of about 130 students age 5 to 20, approximately 80 are deaf or hard-of-hearing.
  • Ruhunu Sumaga Circle of the Deaf, an association of deaf adults serving the greater Matara area in the south of Sri Lanka. It has nearly 400 members and provides extensive services such as job placements, after-school tutoring for deaf children, and advocating for civil rights.
  • Adam Stone volunteered at Rohana Special School in 2006-2008 and organized last July’s tour of Sri Lanka; he has very close ties with both Rohana Special School and Ruhunu Sumaga Circle of the Deaf. He is also the administrator of this website; please contact him if you have any questions or want to check on the status of your donation.

Logos of Rohana Special School and Ruhunu Sumaga Circle of the Deaf