As reported earlier, the main path leading to the project village was gradually widened and concreted. Furthermore this road was extended over the three streams making it motorable. Since August 2015 there is a bus now that runs four times a day from our project village Miyagala to Monaragala, the district capital. This is a big service especially for the elderly and the school children who would otherwise have to walk or cycle the first seven km. to school, to the doctor’s, to the hospital or to the market to sell their produce.
The bus is parked overnight in the ethic school premises and the first trip begins at 7:45 am to Monaragala (photo). Although a heavy vehicle such as a bus is difficult to drive on the narrow and winding road, both the driver and the conductor who are employed by the Sri Lanka Transport Board, appear to be enthusiastic and aware of their responsibility.
Two lady sponsors from Germany and a sponsor from Wales joined me on my last visit to the project village in September 2015. They spent two days accompanying me on my rounds and meetings to get an impression of the developments that have taken place. They experienced the individual family meetings in Kukulanmulla, a settlement where the first series of meetings took place. Two other meetings were held in different settlements. After each meeting the two lady sponsors taught the children to make wristbands with coloured rubber rings that they had taken with them from Germany. They also participated in the assembly for all our children and their parents. During this meeting, the other sponsor helped the children to locate the country of residence of their respective sponsors on a world map.
1. Schooling Projekt
A total of 63 children (34 girls and 29 boys ) as well as two mentally and physically handicapped youth from 12 settlements around Miyagala were sponsored (see photo).
There were several enquiries through our new website (www.sahana-germany.org) for sponsoring school children. A Yoga Group from Potsdam volunteered to sponsor three children. A boy of 11 years of age, after requesting his parents as his Christmas present, the fee for sponsoring a school child, made enquiries whether he too would be entitled to do so. Isn’t that heart-warming?
2. Ethic School
Squirrels have built a nest between the roofing laths over the library and as a result, dirt is falling onto the reading table. The installation of a ceiling that was planned, could not be carried out due to various other priorities. Also the construction of a porch over the main entrance had to be postponed till 2016.
As the teachers work on an honorary basis, a “Thank You“ present was given to all the teachers on New Year’s day as an appreciation.
3. Cultivation of Spices
Several cinnamon seedlings that were planted in Nov. 2014 have died, reportedly due to fungal infestation. They will be replaced with new plants.This project which is planned as “help for self-help” will provide an additional income opportunity for the community members, whilst preventing migration into bigger towns seeking greener pastures.
The planned visit to a pepper plantation could not be carried out
Due to the extremely short visit this time, a visit to Kosgoda could not be fitted onto the schedule. However, the telephone conversation with the local coordinator confirmed that there wasn’t anything irregular and that everything seems to be in order.
6. Outlook 2016/2017
1. Continuation of the Cultivation of Spices Project
2. A visit to a Pepper Plantation and Processing Factory
3. Planting two acres of Pepper
4. Construction of a building for processing of spices by the end of 2017
5. Developing the Cultivation and Processing of Spices as “Help for self-help”
6. Purchasing more books for the community library
We whole-heartedly thank all our sponsors and well-wishers for their help.
Hessen, Feb. 2016, Rajah Wirasekara