2018 has been a great year for us so far, with plenty of progress and good memories to add to the books. So after having celebrated our 6th anniversary we decided to make this year even more special by giving someone else a chance at moving forward towards a better future.
Our initial plans for conducting a CSR project were put into action when we visited the Bulathsinhala Pradeshiya Sabha, with the hopes of identifying a school in the area that we could help develop. The officer who was assigned to help us there, was extremely supportive and helped us find not one but three rural schools nearby, each in need of precious materials and resources that would give their students a better learning experience.
Although our initial focus was on helping one school, we couldn’t bear to leave out any one of them. So we proceeded to visit all three schools where we met each of the Principals and made lists of the resources they were in need of. We spent the next few weeks making arrangements, getting together all that was required until we were finally ready to make our last visit to the schools on the 23rd of October.
Our first stop was at the Welgama Kanishta Vidyalaya, where we were welcomed by an eager group of students and teachers, their wide, happy smiles instantly infectious and heart-warming. We began with a ceremonious opening of the school’s new computer lab, for which we had donated 8 new computers.
We also gifted the school with 10 whiteboards to be put up in classrooms. After this we all gathered together at the school’s concert hall, where two members of our team took the stage to engage with the students, explaining to them the various educational fields and opportunities that lay ahead after their years of school. Of course we couldn’t pass up the chance to also share some inspiring stories of success in our country, which we hoped would serve to encourage the young students to actively pursue their dreams. As our stay at the school came to end we handed over our final parting gift – a pack of essential stationery items for every student – taking the time to deliver them individually to each student.
Next, we made our way over to the Gallappahala Primary School, in it’s small and rural setting, where we were once again warmly welcomed by students and teachers alike.We first attended to the setting up of a new photocopy machine for the school. Afterwards we were taken to the concert hall, where they had put up their new stage curtain which we had helped them obtain in the preceding weeks.
While there, the Principal of the school, delivered a rather moving speech, letting us in on the limited conditions under which the school operates. This made us all the more impressed with the achievement of one student who, as we had learned from our initial visit, had successfully passed her 5th Grade Scholarship exam. The little girl was even confident enough to entertain us with a solo performance on stage, after which we presented her with a monetary donation, as planned previously, with the hopes of giving her a chance at moving forward.
Our final visit was to the Mahagama Kanishta Vidyalaya. On our first time coming here we had learned that this school had been dealing with a rather grave issue than the others – a complete lack of access to clean drinking water for its students and teachers. We had immediately decided to arrange for a spring well to be built in the school premises that would solve this problem.This time we were once again welcomed by the Principal of the school who was delighted to show us the fully constructed spring well, which had been completed just a few weeks prior.
We were more than happy to hear that the system was working well so that the students and teachers were no longer faced with a shortage of water. In addition to the spring well, we had also arranged for a new photocopy machine to be installed in the school’s main office.
Since it was well after school hours, we spent some time observing the premises while in conversation with the Principal who was more than happy to tell us more about the school and its activities.
Overall this was definitely an eye-opening experience for all of us.It was inspiring to know that even with the relatively limited facilities available to them, the students and teachers of these schools always find ways of making the best use of what they have to achieve success.
Seeing the expressions of pure joy and renewed hope on the faces of these children at the sight of their new equipment and resources, reminded us that there is no greater deed than lending a helping hand to someone else. The students of these schools are an eager, intelligent bunch and we have no doubt that, with the help of their teachers, they will be making the best use of their new gifts. We remain extremely grateful for being given the chance to help out and we wish them nothing but best in the years to come!