At the heart of FODAD is the belief that all children should benefit from an education. In Sri Lanka, if you don’t have a uniform or shoes you cannot go to school. So, we try and remove any of the obstacles that might prevent a child from attending by providing shoes and uniforms for everyone. On Friday we did just that, handing out uniforms and shoes to every pupil at the Village School and 25 pairs of shoes to the children at the the Village Nursery school. We also provided shoe vouchers for all the teachers, too.
|Della handing out shoes at the Village Nursery|
|Another one of the 25 pairs handed out at the Nursery School|
|Della and Don handing out uniforms|
In order to provide an incentive to actually attend, four years ago we also set up an annual prize for attendance and good behaviour in memory of the Sarath de Mel, who was Della and Don’s guide during their trip when the tsunami happened in December 2004. Sarath believed in the importance of a good education and so on Friday his widow and son joined us in handing out prizes to those who had excelled over the past 12 months.
|All the winners of the annual prize|
|One of the prize winners|
The day also marked an important day in the school calendar when the new prefects for the forthcoming year are chosen and the prefects’ blazers are handed over to them. Proud parents also attended and beamed with joy and pride as their sons and daughters donned their blazers.
|Prefects taking the oath|
It was a long day but one very worthwhile. We reflected later on how much has been done to build the strongest foundations for a child’s education. By removing the reasons for non attendance and providing incentives to actually go – a daily meal, annual prize, a good environment – we’re sure Sarath would approve.