Ryan, a deaf-mute with an Intellectual Disability (ID), arrived at Virlanie Foundation, Inc. in July 2006; interacting with him can be difficult. Ryan is also a kind, committed, and responsible person, dedicated to each mission and willing to learn everything there is to know about everyday tasks. The House parents request a sign language teacher for them and him, to continue communicating together.
Communicating in sign language can be challenging at times, particularly for Ryan, who has never been to a formal sign language class. According to the Philippine government, as of March 2022, there are 54,533 deaf and visually impaired people with ID in the country. When Ryan arrived in Aime Home, we did not initially discover that he has a deaf-mute impairment. We took some time to comprehend what he had and what he needed.
Today, Ryan is fully integrated in Virlanie Foundation, Inc. He is especially responsible for day-to-day tasks. He looks forward to cleaning, washing laundry, and organizing clothes for himself and the other children at Aime Home every day. At his former Special Education School, he learnt to embroider by hand and continued doing it at home.
As his interest in sewing persists, he was enrolled in a sewing session through the Virlanie Livelihood Program, which he is being trained every Tuesday and Wednesday. “He’s very focused on it, he’s a quick learner, and he sews like a pro” says ate Del, a Virlanie Foundation, Inc. instructor. Ryan, on the other hand, enjoys cutting vegetables and fruits with precision and eating: “his favorite food is not only rice, but also chocolate, ice cream, and so on.” explains Papa Gerry.
Vision, smiling and touching him on the back, and rudimentary sign language are the most effective communication strategies with him. “Because of his condition, Ryan only knows basic sign language that he learned in school,” adds Papa Gerry.
To help Ryan continue to learn sign language to communicate and be trained to become independent and a productive member of society, support Virlanie’s Operation Kalinga.
In a 2018 study, PhilHealth estimates that one out of seven or around 5.1 million Filipino children are living with disabilities. Ryan is one of them. The Philippine Pediatric Society registry shows that there are 2,993 cases of unspecified cerebral palsy cases and yet there is little information on the prevalence of disabilities among Filipino children.
Virlanie’s Operation Kalinga (O.K.) Campaign aims to address the basic needs, health difficulties and other needs of Virlanie’s beneficiaries.
These children deserve access to basic health and nutrition, as well as psycho-social services. With your active participation and support, we can make it possible for them by providing:
1. Pre-emptive care – A healthy diet and environment
2. Health maintenance – Regular dental and medical check-up as well as psychological sessions for mental health
3. Emergency Medical Response – for urgent health concerns
The campaign extension will also give opportunities for sustainable philanthropic efforts that can sustain our programs and other wellness projects.