Today we visited Father Mahendra. For those of you who don't know, he was the Parish Priest to our villagers at the time of the Tsunami. He is still much loved by everyone here. He is now in Kandela where we have been supporting his street children project for the past year.
He is the most incredible man and has had wonderful success with the children. Whilst their cheeky, smiling faces are recognisable they are completely different children to those we first met. They are supplied with a really nutritious meal every day by the fund and they are clearly more healthy. We were told that they did not really know how to sit and eat as they had furtively found food wherever they could. The all sat and ate together. We saw their exercise books and they proudly showed us their paintings. This all with one dedicated teacher whom we supplement with $30 a month.
He has had so much success that 15 of his original group have now been accepted at the government school and he has also been able to get 8 of the children in to a technical school.
Not only that, with the money we give him, he also helps support 20 children whose parents are too poor to keep them at school and we are apparently also supporting a teacher for 50 incredibly poor children in rural Sri Lanka. He said it was a bit like loaves and fishes and that we are now 3 charities in one!