This year only Aimee and Kaleigh were able to visit Sri Lanka. This limited the type of work that could be carried due to only having 2 weeks to carry out as much work as possible. No building works or larger projects could be carried out due to the small timescale. However, we are extremely happy with the amount we achieved in that time.
Every year we try to focus our projects on education and welfare. Every year one of our biggest projects is school shoes. Some parents send their children to specific schools just in the hope that we support that school again and provide school shoes. We have worked closely with the main Footwear Supplier ‘DSI’. DSI have shops in most towns but we go to and buy directly from the factory as we get a 16% discount and a further 5% discount for paying cash.
JD Wetherspoons donated 1,000 packs of coloured pencils which we distributed at each school.
- School packs for all grade one students – includes new school shoes, new tailored uniform, school bag, water bottle, lunch box, coloured clay, pencil case, notebook, pencil, pen, eraser, sharpener.
- 10 new teachers chairs so they didn’t have to use the childrens.
- We were invited to the New Years Celebrations at the school. New Years was 13-14th April this year but many schools were celebrating on 6th before the children broke up for holidays. The school brought this event forward so that we could attend on 2nd. This was a big celebration that involved many fun games for the children. I’m not sure how many would pass health and safety in the U.K. but some of the games were lime and spoon race (the child holds the spoon in their mouth and runs), smashing a clay pot hanging on string whilst blindfolded and turned in circles many times (Aimee almost took out a bunch of kids when she attempted this), first pair of children to feed their partner a whole tub of crème fresh whilst blindfolded, dancing with balloon between own face and partners face, to name just a few.
- We were presented with a beautiful plaque from the school.
- St Helens R.C. Junior School donated various musical instruments from school as well as buying numerous recorders as many of the schools had requested. Cavan Sullivan also bought a number of recorders so we were able to give Horigampita a good range for their music lessons.
Mahamaya Balika Vidyalaya
- Provided the 70 students of grade 1 and 2 with new school shoes.
- Provided 24 students of the volleyball teams with new ‘deck shoes’ (trainers to us).
- 44 of the students (Sameena’s class) attended our childrens party – see ‘Childrens Party’.
- Provided approx 25 recorders to music class.
- In previous years we have helped this school by having a small playground built and an English Activity Classroom built.
- This year we gave recorders donated by Cavan Sullivan and St Helens R.C. Junior School. The school put on a last minute performance on for us
- The school asked for some arts and crafts for the children. We did look but could only find a limited amount for this so bought what we could.
- We provided the grade 1 and 2 children with new school shoes.
- The school has also asked for bars to be put on the windows as their English Activity Room was vandalised during the last school break. Bars are on the rest of the school building. We are currently looking into getting this work completed.
Foundation of Goodness
The Foundation of Goodness are the organisation we went through originally in 2005 to have a home built for the Louvnaris Family who lost their home in the Tsunami. They have quite a lot of funding from across the world including major companies such as TESCOs. Their website is http://www.unconditionalcompassion.org/indexc.php
39 of the grade 1 students of Lahiru Preschool attended our childrens party – see ‘Childrens Party’. These are the youngest children at the party all in uniform
We held a party for 100 children. We decided to hold this in the ‘Blue Fox’ as we have done for last few years. This is a better venue for the party as bigger enclosed grounds with lots of room for the children to run around and play.
We always arrange for transport for the children both to and from the party. We hire a big bus which picks up the Lahiru Preschool children at the Foundation Of Goodness and the Mahamaya Balika Vidyalaya children at the bus station. We also hire 3-4 tuk tuks to pick up the Udumulla Village children from the village and drop them home as they live further inland where there aren’t roads.
Every child was given a new backpack with the following inside: waterbottle, notebook, pencilcase, pack of coloured pencils, eraser, pencil, sharpener and a hankerchief.
All children were given various paper masks to break the ice along with some paper and coloured pencils on each table to draw (they always decide to draw us for some reason). Scattered around the tables were plastic animal masks, funny glasses, bubble makers, etc.
All children had a lovely big buffet meal and they could eat as much as they liked. The best part though I think was the unlimited ice-cream.
After the meal footballs, cricket bats, yoyos, skipping ropes, etc were distributed for all children to play.
Our friend and tuk tuk driver Nimal told us afterwards that his daughters 2 friends who we also invited to the party ‘couldn’t believe how much fun they had and had never experienced anything like it’.
We have carried out work and supported this orphanage for a number of years now.
The orphanage is run by a lovely lady called Krisantha and there are now only 15 boys in the orphanage as 2 have now reached 18 years of age so they have to leave.
This year we bought for all boys a polo shirt and shorts. We had to guess on a few sizes and got it wrong but Krisantha is going to exchange those few for different sizes. Most fitted and they put the clothes straight on….I would say it’s probably the smartest I’ve ever seen them!!!
The clothes drying racks were also falling apart and many held together by string so we purchased 4 new bigger wooden ones. We are in the process of ordering another 11 so that each boy has their own.
We purchased 10 mosquito nets (tall size for bunk beds) to cover all bunk beds as the existing ones had many holes that had been sewn or tied up and were not sufficient. Krisantha had these made locally for us and they actually cost less than in the shops (even though they were twice as long to cover the bunk beds). She was ever so excited when we called in the one day and she had started putting the nets up….there were green, blue and pink ones and she kept the colours to one per room….she’s going to put signs up above the rooms now for ‘Green Room’, ‘Blue Room’ and ‘pink Room’……never seen anyone so excited about mosquito nets!!!!!!
We also purchased 20 new bedsheets and pillowcases as previously each bed only had one so the bedsheets had to be washed, dried and back on the beds the same day.
Kaleigh managed to raise aprox £200 through her work and her mum’s gym ‘Hydrofitness Ladies Gym, Barry’ and this was spent directly on: new sandals and backpacks containing……Also the remaining money enabled her to buy a skateboard, boxing punch bag and cricket bat and balls.
Jac Thomas (the son of Kaleighs friend) who is aged just 8 donated 2 bags full of his toys. We decided to distribute these to the orphanage…..well to see how happy and excited these children were to have toys to play with was remarkable. What a fantastic thing for a 8 year old boy to do.
There are 13 homes in the Udumulla Village and this is the village we had a mains water supply put in along with running water into all the homes in 2010.
We visited the village every few days as we usually do on each trip. Each time we are warmly welcomed. A feast was prepared for us by the people of the village.
16 of the village children attended our childrens party – see ‘Childrens Party’. Each of the village children had a new pair of school shoes, as we do every year.
Kaleigh’s neice and nephew Jess (aged 3) and Josh (aged 5) put together a tin box of toys and crafts for a child in Sri Lanka. We chose Hashini and Dilshan to receive these.
Every year we take out 10 of the village children for a meal in a local restaurant. We’ve had a few venues we have used over the years but they enjoy ‘Buddes’ most as its on the beach so they get to play in the sand.
Since our first visit in 2006 the occupants of the home we had built were Mr & Mrs Lounaris (Grandmother and Grandfather) and Sameena (Grandaughter). This year saw a new arrival to the family home, Madushika who is Sameenas cousin.
Sameena is sponsored by the Sullivan family. We treated her and friend Lakmini to a day out shopping in Galle. Nazia Sethi sponsors Lakmini, her brother and sister so gave us money for Lakmini to pick new clothes for them all. Picking clothes they wanted themselves with no worry of cost was something I’m pretty sure they’d never experienced before. We ended the day with a trip to Pizza Hut, which Lakmini took what food was left in a takeaway box for her family.
We provided 20kg white rice and 20kg brown rice, dhal, curry powder, pepper, turmeric powder, chilli powder, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, washing powder and a few other essentials.
Sameena ( and now also her cousin) were sleeping on an old mattress we purchased 9 years ago and a piece of cardboard so we purchased a very nice wooden double bed and comfy mattress along with 4 of the best pillows, bedsheets, pillowcases, towels, glasses, etc. I have no doubt the 1st night they slept in there was the best nights sleep they had ever had!!!!
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