The ability for differently abled individuals to lead normal lives was almost unheard of a few decades ago in many parts of the world. This had more to do with a lack of vision and foresight amongst policy makers who saw them as a social burden rather than as an opportunity to develop a better welfare policy aimed at uplifting and enabling the differently abled. This led to individuals with disabilities often becoming marginalised and their prospects for employment were non-existent.
In a bid to counter this discrimination, the MJF Charitable Foundation has implemented wide-ranging programmes to provide better care for these individuals as well as assist them to become productive citizens. The Foundation initially began providing assistance to the Ratmalana School for the Hearing & Visual Impaired, on the outskirts of Colombo and then, moved on to sponsoring similar schools in more remote areas where funding is scarce.
The work carried out by the MJF Charitable Foundation, in relation to empowering the differently-abled, include mentoring the Subhagya Vidyalaya – the School for the Hearing and Visual Impaired in Monaragala, located in one of the least developed areas in the country. Decades of poverty and lack of infra-structure development has only exacerbated the plight of differently abled individuals who have been marginalised due to a lack of programmes in the District to address their special needs.
With support from the Foundation, the Subhagya Vidyalaya is now able to provide educational and vocational training for differently abled youth in the Monaragala District.
The MJF Saddhasarana Home for the Elders at Pitipana is an initiative aimed at supporting senior citizens and provides residential facilities to 17 inmates The home now functions as an independent body that manages all operational expenses through the income it generates.