The population of Sri Lanka is still recovering from the devastating tsunami that happened in 2004 and the years of conflict it endured. Even now, people continue to be injured or killed by landmines that scatter the country.

The impact of these disasters is that many people have lost limbs or have reduced mobility. As many as 1 in 10 people in northern Sri Lanka are thought to be disabled.

Mobility

Motivation has been working in Sri Lanka since 1997, and have helped over 24,000 people so far.

Recent projects include setting up rehabilitation services. For example, in 2015 we helped to establish a professional prosthetic and orthotic rehabilitation centre. A key part of this was to develop physiotherapy services for people who are preparing to be fitted with a new prosthetic limb.

Education

Motivation works to promote greater inclusion in schools, providing training for parents and local communities. Breaking down stigma and discrimination towards disability ensures disabled children and their families can be accepted and valued.

We also helped to establish two specialist schools in Northern Sri Lanka, where over dozens of disabled pupils are receiving education for the first time.

Independence

Our ongoing projects help disabled people regain their confidence, mobility and independence through peer training - an essential course for new wheelchair users led by experienced wheelchair users. Training like this makes the world of difference to people like Kanagasundram.

Kanagasundram was working on his farm when he fell from a tree. He was left paralysed.

Like most of the people in his village, he had always relied on physical labour to earn an income. When he wasn't farming, he was travelling to the local market by bus so he could sell his produce.

He knew that his injury would have a devastating impact on his ability to provide for his family, so he began to feel depressed and hopeless about the future.

But before long, Kanagasundram received his Motivation wheelchair and attended Motivation peer training.

The course was led by wheelchair users who understood his experience and supported him while he came to terms with his disability. They were able to give him mobility skills training so he felt more confidence and in control of his chair. They taught him how to look after his health so he could prevent dangerous pressure sores and bladder infections. They also shared valuable information about disability rights, giving him the knowledge he needs to defend himself against stigma and discrimination.

Confidence and mobility restored, Kanagasundram has started growing vegetables as well as farming; he is determined to produce crops for his family so he can provide for them once more.

Support Motivation

If you would like to contribute towards Motivation's vital work in Sri Lanka and throughout the developing world, please donate today. Your gift will make all the difference to people like Kanagasundram.

Our work in Sri Lanka is supported by the British Asian Trust.

Photos © Matt Grayson