Tineke de Silva -Nijkamp visited Sri Lanka for the first time in 1974 with her Sri Lankan born husband Susiri de Silva. At that time she was a teacher in a Deaf School in her home country the Netherlands.
She was shocked to see that most of the deaf children in the remote villages of Sri Lanka did not go to school.
The Dr.Reijntjes School for the Deaf in Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, started in 1984 with 8 deaf pupils under the care of Mrs. Tineke de Silva from the Netherlands. After 3 months there were 16 deaf children. The School was growing so fast that new buildings were constructed with the help of Dutch Organizations. All the deaf pupils also needed boarding facilities, as they live far away from Moratuwa. After 10 years the number of deaf children was growing to 100.
At our Deaf School the deaf pupils get a normal school programme like any other hearing child. Only the method of teaching is different. The extra lessons they get here are speech therapy, drama, dancing and expression & art classes. Through these lessons the deaf children learn to express themselves and get self confidence, to face the hearing society.
The Dr. Reijntjes School for the Deaf is depending on Donations to run this Deaf School. Most parents of the pupils are not educated and don’t see the importance of sending their deaf child to a deaf school. Therefore the Dr. Reijntjes Deaf School is free of charge and all the pupils get a free hearing aid of the School.
Mrs.Tineke de Silva-Nijkamp is the founder Principal.
There is a Principal, one Vice Principal, 3 senior teachers, 5 teachers, 2 assistant teachers, 2 matrons, a speech therapist, a computer instructor and an accountant.
For the extra classes we have part time teachers who come to the School.That is for dancing, hairstyling, sewing classes, computer and drama.
Most of the deaf pupils are brought when they are 6 years old and they stay in our Deaf School for their education till they are 18 years.
After that they can follow Vocational Training Classes and we help them to find a job. Most of our deaf pupils live a normal life in the Society after that. They marry; they get children and live a happy life like everybody else.
Sri Lanka is a beautiful tropical country. The people are friendly, hospital and live a peaceful simple life, special in the villages…