Monday, 26 October 2015

Investment in Education has opened doors.

St. Mary's school as an emergency shelter in December 2004
We first came across St. Mary's school in December 2004 when we were looking for Colin, the fisherman who prevented me from drowning in the Asian Tsunami.      The school  was used as emergency shelter for  the fishing village which had been destroyed. Over the railway tracks from the village, the school was in dilapidated state.  One big dreary room with a leaky roof.
St. Mary's school in March 2005.
 FODAD has been  helping the school since we first returned  to Sri Lanka in March 2005.  The support our family and friends have given has meant that the children get a nutritious meal every day and  new shoes  and uniforms each year. We have put in classroom dividers, there is a leak free roof, running water,  computers, musical instruments, prefects' jackets and many other small things which  make the children's' school somewhere to feel proud of.    We also give attendance and merit prizes.  In addition, we pay a monthly contribution towards light-bulbs, the electricity bill and toilet cleanser.    We have also paid 2 teachers for the past 6 years.  The base cost to us is about £9000 per year.
St.Mary's school, October 2015

We have had some real successes and for the first time in the school's history, 7 children have gone on to other schools to take 'A' levels. 2 boys have already passed them.  One  of these boys has done an air-conditioning course and is working  and another has joined the Police Force.

For 7 years we paid  for extra lessons for children after school especially in those subjects where there was no teacher e.g. English.     To remedy this problem, we opened a new school-room on the beach.  This became so popular that this year we added another classroom.

We now have 2 school-rooms on the beach and 5 different  teachers on different days of the week.  Each weekday afternoon  a  teacher comes to teach English grammar, Spoken English, Maths, Science or  History.  The children are so enthusiastic that they turn up early to make sure they have a place in the class-room.  We have noticed a real improvement in their English.  Yesterday, the English Master told us that he believes that at least 4 of them will pass their 'o' levels.  If they do, they will be the first children from the fishing village to do so!
Classroom on the beach  1 opened in 2014

Classroom on the beach  2 opened in 2015
Thank you so much for your support.  There truly is Shared Hope for a Better Future!

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