Sneeha has begun nursing training, and we now have new teachers helping the local Tamil-speaking children to master Sinhala, the official national language.
Amudha is teaching from a new extension Star Action has built on her own home, whilst Rakshana teaches in Mankerny. This will mean that they can really benefit from the education offered in National Schools.
In 2014 we were able, thanks to the generosity of a STAR
ACTION supporter, to buy bicycles for Kowsika and Sneeha, to enable them to visit some of the more far-flung children whom they support. Liz, our supporter flew out to present the bikes in person and later said “What fun to go to the bicycle shop in Valechennai and buy bikes for the two lovely young teachers, Sneeha and Kowsika, and to see their happy faces”
OUR TWO STAR ACTION SCHOOL TEACHERS IN MANKERNY
Our two girls really are outstanding. On our visit in August 2012, we were delighted to hear how well the girls are doing. A small village community building has been cleaned up for the girls to use for the after school lessons. In Sri Lanka school begins at 7.00am and ends about 1.30pm (older children obviously can go on later than that). What our girls Sneeha and Kowsika are doing is after
school tuition for any children who want to come to catch up and do extra practice. This is very helpful for the less able children who are behind with their work. 40+ children attend regularly, covering a seven class age range. We were told that the government teachers are so thrilled with what the girls are doing and the help they are bringing to so many children, that they wish to meet us personally to thank us on our next visit.
Sneeha’s 16 year old brother is also enthused with the project and helps his sister when he is not busy with his own school lessons. We were very impressed with him.
Sneeha asked Star Action for more exercise books and pencils for the children to use and we were able to give her the money straight away. We were also delighted to present the girls with wrist watches as gifts from one of our dedicated Star Action supporters. The photo shows how thrilled Sneeha is with hers.
Star Action has now made the commitment to pay a regular monthly ‘salary’ for the girls. They both come from really poor families and this salary will mean that their parents continue to support them doing the work, rather than sending them into labouring or factory jobs. Thanks to generous help from Star Action supporters, we are able to make this commitment. We feel it really is making a difference in this very poor village, which like Kayankerny suffered the double blow of the tsunami and many, many years of civil war. This part of the East Coast was one of the last stand of the rebel forces, and we have seen many derelict buildings and indeed parts of the schools, too, which still bear the marks of gunshot and explosion.
MANKERNY SCHOOL PROJECTWe are continuing to focus our attention on the East Coast which has experienced the double blow of the full force of the tsunami wave, plus the recent resurgence of the civil war. We experienced this at first hand in our recent trip when we visited a number of villages north of Batticaloa, where we saw newly built post-tsunami homes, now empty and semi-destroyed by shells and gunfire. The village in this area which we have chosen to help particularly is Mankerny, near Valachennai. We have already given help to the school here. After our first visit, a specific gift enabled us to immediately give an exercise book and pencil to every one of the 870 pupils (of whom 375 were refugee children). Now, as a result of generous gifts, we have given 485 younger children a STAR ACTION school bag (see picture below). For older children we are giving a smart briefcase. Another specific gift has enabled us to add to our gifts a Roneo machine for copying school lessons, etc. The school has also asked for school shoes and socks for every child, which we are hoping to be able to give.