The Prithipura Infants Home in Hendala exists to provide care for children and young adults with severe mental and physical disabilities, usually caused by Cerebral Palsy.
This Home also represents a refuge for those children whose level of disability is not so acute but who have been abandoned by their parents.
In Sri Lanka, especially in rural areas, disability is often stigmatized and support for less able children is very limited if non existent at all.
his was the first centre of the Prithipura Communities, started in 1963.
At its inception, there were only three huts with cemented floors, wooden walls and cadjan roofs.
Today Prithipura Infants Home at its Hendala complex houses around 85 residents in five main buildings or 'Homes'.
The children and young adults are roughly grouped according to their ages, skills and levels of interaction.
Basic care, therapy and rehabilitation are provided to these children by the care assistants and the volunteers.
Additionally, assistance in the form of physiotherapy workshops and occupational therapy supplements meeting the basic needs of the children.
Equipment received through donations and bought locally from local manufacturers, is available to help with the residents various needs.
There is a swimming pool, which is used on hot days for therapeutic and recreational use.
Volunteers arrive on a regular basis and help with some of the more specialized tasks as well as with the daily care aspects of running the home.
Residential accommodation is available for them but some volunteers prefer to live in rented accommodation outside the home.
Several forms of therapy are provided to all children and young adults with high complex needs.
Amongst those: Physiotherapy, Hydrotherapy, Diversional Therapy, Occupational Theraphy, Speech Therapy and Interactive Therapy.
The use of these therapies has demonstrated very positive results such as: improved mobility, improved speech, increased awareness, better and improved social skills, increased well being.
Arts & Craft Store
At the Prithipura Infants Home, the community also has a small Arts & Craft store that is open to both the public and visitors to the Infants Home.
The shop serves several purposes:
It provides a work-place for some of the more able bodied of the home's residents where they can interact with a greater diversity of people than would otherwise be the case;
It also provides an outlet where some of the carfts produced at Cotagala and Anandapura can be sold to the general public;
It works as a vital interaction between Prithipura and the local community as the shop stocks some items which are of use to the local villagers.