Bandarawela – Sri Lanka
Founded in 1997, the Hope Center in Bandarawela is a home for mentally and physically disabled children. In Sri Lanka, the disabled have few possibilities to receive qualified care or become trained according to their abilities. This reality coupled by the destitution of the parents who live in absolute poverty, moved Reverend Maitipe to start a home.
In many developing and emerging countries, people with disabilities are ostracised because they are different.
In the home, there are up to 22 children, ages 6 to 16, that are looked after by three trained teaching staff and two assistants. The children are not only cared for and supported medically and psychologically, but they also learn many skills that can help them in their everyday lives and allow them to be as independent as possible. In the process, topics such as hygiene play a role as well as educational and creative skills. Over the course of a few years, through long-term, round-the-clock care, the Hope Center has had several success stories – several young adults even have careers of their own and have secured a decent life for themselves.