524 rural children received essential school supplies with beaming smiles
It was a week of excitement as students from Seenigama and its surrounding
regions waited anxiously in their respective school halls and community centres
to receive their essential school supply packages for the year 2008, which were
so generously donated by various donors all over the world. Some arrived with
their parents within walking distance whilst others travelled as far as 180km, a
journey which gave them an opportunity to travel by train for the first time and
be mesmerized by the coastal view surrounding the village of Seenigama.
This annual event organized by the Foundation, ensures that a large number of
students from grades 1 to 12 from regions of Seenigama, Hikkaduwa, Boossa,
Ahangama, Baddegama, Laggala, Sevanagala, Balapitiya and Werallana receive
school supplies which are essential to their education.
As with any important event conducted in the village, the ceremony began with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp along with a few speeches made by FoG’s Founder/Trustee Mr Kushil Gunasekera and one of the major sponsors Mr George Hettiaratchy, who assisted in making this day possible. Other donors whose great efforts we have to acknowledge is that of Stewart and Heather Ritchie together with Transocean, Shaktha Amaratunga, Sriyan Senadhira, Ben Hatta, Andrea Pereira and Sasha and Friends who collectively organized donation of funds both on their own and also amongst their friends.
One of the key speakers was head prefect of the Sevanagala School who kept the
audience spellbound to say the least. “I never expected such a beautiful flow of
rhyming words from a student from a rural village. Her speech brought tears to
those who were present” said Mr Hettiaratchy.
The speeches were followed by the most exciting part of the ceremony which was
the distribution of the essential school items to these youngsters. Donors,
school teachers and Mr Gunasekera presented the gifts on December 26th, 29th,
30th and January 05th which highlighted the new school year on a happy note for
these disadvantaged rural children.
The gifts were received with much excitement. Their smiling faces embraced the
gift package which contained items such as a school bag, shoes, socks, uniform,
books, colour pencils, pens and pencils and for the youngsters in grades 1 to 4,
an additional supply of a drawing book, pastels, water bottle, lunch box, pencil
case, ruler and eraser, which would prepare them for yet another school year.
The children from Anula Wijerama Girls’ home being an orphanage were not
forgotten. Their essential school items were also presented to them at their
premises which were gladly received with open arms.
We have up to date sponsored over 6000 children with this facility since the year 2000, having started with just 50 children in the first occasion. It is our experience that the majority of these children have no choice but to share the essential school supplies with their brothers and sisters whilst many do not wear shoes to school and some carry only 1 book to write all 8 subjects.
The conclusion of such a ceremony is always in Seenigama style with serving of refreshments, some brought by the students from Sevanagala. A satisfactory event indeed, not only for the students and those who attended but also for the Foundation in fulfilling the needs of these rural children in whichever way possible
“So once again, all of us left Seenigama with a satisfaction that we are part of a highly admirable and genuine charity organization. I would like to salute Kushil and his dedicated staff for wonders achieved by them since the Tsunami” concluded Mr Hettiaratchy.
Click Here to View the List of 524 Children