In 2002, Mary Murika was born prematurely in a hospital in Mannar, Sri Lanka and her country was in the middle of a devastating civil war. Her mother was in constant fear due to the bombing, shelling and gun shots. Around the same time the Tamil Tigers were facing defeat against government forces in 2009, Murika was starting school. She couldn’t keep up with the other children and she was admitted into MARDAP’s school for differently abled children, where she received speech therapy, yoga and other activities to help her grow. In the beginning she was reluctant to interact with the other children and they were scared to go near her.
But that gradually began to improve through a donkey assisted therapy project run with help from our partners Donkey Sanctuary India. The project brings together children at MARDAP’s school with donkeys helped by Bridging Lanka, a charity which works with the large feral donkey population in Sri Lanka.