Jann Weeratunga was born in London in 1963. She has lived and worked in London, UK: Sri Lanka: UAE and Bahrain. Currently, she lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
She was a Primary School Teacher and a Scout/Cub Leader, as well as an NPO in Sri Lanka following the Tsunami in 2005. She had been residing in the country prior to this and on the 23rd December 2005 had been staying in Yala National Park. She waved to friends as they entered and she left, and that was the last time she saw them, as the wave took their lives. Determined to help she then spent the next 2 years in Aragum Bay helping villagers where she could. Sewing machine and material to set up small cottage industries. Helping to rebuild a Montessori on higher ground – a place of safety where the children will always run to should another Tsunami ever hit. Providing hundreds of books to set up a new library at the school, and helping to rebuild a small B&B. She chose ‘her family’ as they were a mixed marriage (Singhalese and Tamil.) that no-one else wanted to help.
Polly’s Piralympics was inspired by the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Paralympic Games. In his closing speech, Sir Phillip Craven told of how a young boy was reading with his mother. In the book, he saw a man with an eye patch, a hook for a hand, a parrot on his shoulder and a wooden leg. When asked who it was, he said: “Well he has only one leg, so he must be an Olympian.” Such was the strength of the London 2012 Paralympics that it changed peoples’ perceptions of disability forever. The speech made her both laugh and cry and gave her the inspiration for this series of books which are both unique in concept as well as content.