Bangladesh – supporting Shakeenah

Shakeenah is our hardworking, hardstudying MBBS trainee doctor from Sri Lanka.  She is beginning her fourth year at Chittagong University in Bangladesh, where she has ambitious plans to specialise in Gynaecology.

Shakeenah is the middle child of three in a poor family in Sri Lanka.  She has excelled at school and passed into Chittagong Medical College, Bangladesh to study for MBBS.

The Sri Lankan Government pays her tuition fees and her Father has managed to find $130 (£100) per month to pay for her accommodation, food, and living expenses for the last two years. 

Mother has bad arthritis and the family are struggling to find this essential money to keep her at the College for another (minimum) two years.

Star Action is keen to pursue this support, not only for the prospect of another much-needed doctor to practise in the Sri 

Lankan Muslim Community, but also because the College is close to the massive recent influx of Rohingya refugees (mainly Muslim) driven out of Myanmar.  Shakeenah and the other training doctors are likely to play a valuable part in treating these homeless refugees in the next months.

Sri Lanka – New Veterinary Student

Zahra Astriani is 18 yrs old and has long desired to become a vet and pursue her love of animals.  Star Action is conscious that animals are not always treated well in the Developing World and an addition to the limited supply of veterinary practicioners will be a valuable asset to Indonesia.
 
Zahra is from a poor family, who would not be able to pay the University Fees to enable her to follow up her excellent school exam results.  So, aware that many of our supporters are keen to underwrite Further Education overseas, Star Action is sponsoring Zahra to attend Aceh University. (You may remember Aceh , the town that was completely flattened in the 2004 Tsunami with extensive loss of life.)

September 2018 – Ghana update

With much capable help from our Star Action stalwarts, Hamida and Frederick Bote-Kwame, Star Action has decided to lease the Youth Training Building on the outskirts of Asiakwa to a school of 90 pupils.

The accompanying land will be used as playground and sports field.

The owner and Headteacher, Samuel Asamoah is also Pastor of a local Christian Church in the town.  He runs the school on a ‘shoestring’ and his ambitions for the children are similar to ours at our children’s homes and schools.  He already numbers amongst his pupils many who can only afford to pay half fees, and he has agreed to include more from poor families on free scholarships.  This will be helped by Star Action charging a rental of 1 Ghana Cedi per annum (about 17 pence Sterling).

Hyper-efficient Hamida is finalising the legalities as I write, and these will include representation on the School’s Board of Management by herself and another good friend of Star Action, a retired International Architect who is a respected Elder of Asiakwa and who will safeguard our interests and closely monitor the quality of the children’s education.

 

September 2018 – Nepal update

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, we have been able to send help to the  earthquake-damaged Panchakoshi School in Pokhara.  See our Nepal page for more details.

Update September 2018 – Sinhala Teaching

SINHALA TEACHING PROJECT UPDATE

The amazing good news is that we now have 150+ children benefiting from our growing Sinhala Teaching Project. From a small beginning—just one lady, Amudha in Lal’s village of Kayankerny teaching a few children in her home (she now has an extension which was crowded with over 40 children on our recent visit)—we have 6 more teachers in other villages, the latest being Mala in Kudamumakal, who teaches in the Nursery School (earlier request for playground equipment.) We found that she is fluent in Sinhala and very willing to have the extra job of after school Sinhala classes and a class of older children.

The Buddhist school at Mylankarachai we visited last February with Richard and Sasees is going from strength to strength, with 60 children attending. They are divided into two groups with the younger ones with two teachers, Kanthilatha and Sulakshmi, and the older children with formidable Sisili Perera—a very well organised older lady who was outspoken in her requests for books, pens and other teaching material! All our teachers are paid 5,000 rupees a month (£25) and are happy that their salaries are secure (quite unlike government paid teachers in this area who find that often their salaries remain unpaid for many months). We particularly love this   Buddhist school which is right next to the Buddhist Temple and there is a most beautiful aura of peace and healing pervading this whole village.

Nirojini (see photo on page 1) has a new group along the coast in Ooriankadu and Rokshana is now using her own home to teach after school Sinhala in Mankerni.  Rokshana also has two assistants, who help the 42 children of varied ages with problem homework from school.

It is so good to realise that all these children —and many more to come—will benefit from the opportunity to learn the main      language of their country, not just Tamil, which is spoken only in the North and Eastern Provinces and severely limits future job      opportunities.

 

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