Monthly Archives: May 2007

Kande Viharaya Temple English Classes

Posted on by Mark

Sunday school is an important part of a child’s life in Sri Lanka. This is because lessons are not geared to religious instruction, but teaching children how to become better community members by respecting each other and their families.

In recent years, teaching English has also become more popular as a means of helping children to catch up with a language that had previously been neglected in Sri Lanka.

We decided to help the temple set up English classes for about 80 children by paying for two teachers and making an additional 25 desks and chairs to cater for the growing numbers who wanted to come to the class.

No trip to Sri Lanka is complete without attending one of the classes and hearing the latest English nursery rhyme they have learnt to sing.

 

Kande Viharaya Temple Sewing Group

Posted on by Mark

Jackie and I instantly warmed to the Chief Priest of this temple – the Reverend Kadapana Gunananda Thero. We have since called him the smiley priest partly because his name is a bit of a mouthful for non-Sinhalese speakers, but mainly because he is always so happy.

From the outset we could also see the dedication to serving his community. For example, he uses his ayurvedic training to hold free clinics for local villagers and has been trying to boost average rural family incomes of about US$25 per month.

We have helped him to do this by donating US$1,954 to set up a sewing group – purchasing two sewing machines, a bit batch of materials and hiring the services of a teacher who established a weekly class for 32 women.

Within a few weeks, the women had already started producing decorative bags and murals, which they could sell to passing tourists, while I now have a growing collection of hand sewn tomatoes.