Ruwan and Priyadarshani live in Katana with their three sons. They also support Ruwan’s elderly mother. Being the sole breadwinner of the family, Ruwan works hard as a manual boiler operator at a reputed hotel in the tourist hub of Negombo. However, all his efforts earn him a monthly income of only LKR 24,000, which is hardly sufficient to cover the expenses of his family. His wife Priyadarshani, is unable to work as she is the primary caregiver for their son Sithum (17) who suffers from Cerebral Palsy. Having being born with congenital brain defects has left Sithum dependent on the support of his family all his life. Despite being constantly uneasy and aggressive due to his special needs, Sithum is calmest when he is surrounded by his siblings, as he is often seen smiling and laughing with them.
Ruwan and Priyadarshani have undergone many hardships in their married life of nearly 20 years, not having a place to call their own. Priyadarshani and Ruwan had started their life dreaming of one day building a home of their own, for their little family. Unfortunately, this dream was never realized due to Sithum’s medical expenses, and the numerous other expenses, which need to be managed entirely with Ruwan’s meagre salary. They currently live with Ruwan’s mother, as they do not have the financial strength to build a house of their own. This house has also been legally gifted by his mother to Ruwan’s younger sibling, therefore living here is only a temporary arrangement for Ruwan’s family.
Tharusha (13), their second son, is a diligent student, who is creative and recently built a float all by himself to be donated to the local village Perahera. Ruwan spoke proudly of how Tharusha has managed to hone his talent for art and creativity over the years, even with extremely limited resources. Simith (7), who is the youngest of the boys, is a curious and spirited young boy who loves attending school. Even though Ruwan and Priyadarshani have not been able to provide much for the boys, they are proud of how the boys continue to show a keen interest in their studies and extra-curricular activities.
Priyadarshani dreams of owning a home of their own someday. A home of their own would mean an elevated life for each member of their family, but especially for Sithum, whose special needs require a more spacious environment. Surroundings play a significant role in the development of children with special needs, like Sithum. Priyadarshani spends most of her time with him throughout the day and does everything within her capacity to keep him calm and comfortable. His condition has stopped him from building a life for himself; and as a mother Priyadarshani’s only wish is to provide her son a comfortable environment in which he can live out the rest of his life safe from any harm and keeping his anxiety at bay.
Donate to support Sithum and his family build a safe place to call home with Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka, support the BRICK BY BRICK PROJECT.
“A new home would mean stability for our boys. It would mean that even though we may not always have enough to eat, we will always have a roof over our heads. My boys will finally have a safe place to call home. Most importantly, it would mean that my wife and I can rest easy knowing that Sithum will always have a place to live in for the rest of his days.”Ruwan Dhanushka