HSBC Employment Skills

Posted on by Jackie

DSC_9107The NGO’s flagship project received a big boost this September thanks to HSBC, which is sponsoring it for one year.

The bank’s donation covers all the salaries and running costs of the Mahasenpura Community Computer Centre, plus its outreach work.

The centre is located in Mahasenpura School, but is open seven days a week and caters to a wide range of students of all ages.

Many are O-level and A-level leavers who come to the centre for three months while they are waiting for their exam results. They use this time to boost their IT skills by studying for the Microsoft Office Certificate Course.

HSBC’s funding also includes a budget to fix computers at other schools and undertake a number of one-off events and programmes including an employment skills seminar, a field visit to Colombo and a two-day IT camp for O-level students.

Moraketiyara School Chairs

Posted on by Jackie

chair handover moraketiara school (4) 2We would like to extend a big thank you to the Rotary Club of Okehampton in the UK, which has provided new chairs for the school auditorium.

The club raised £400 in total, which paid for 100 new chairs for the pupils to sit on during assembly and for special events at the school.

We would also like to thank John and Sandra Moppett who made this donation possible after traveling to Sri Lanka on holiday in 2017.

They originally helped to source funds for school after it was damaged by the Tsunami in 2004.


Shangri-La Garage Sale

Posted on by Jackie

Shangri La Garage saleThe Shangri-La Golf Resort and Spa in Hambantota held another of its quarterly garage sales in July.

This time the hotel raised Rs40,400 towards a school library renovation fund after selling off lost and found items.

Thanks to the hotel’s great efforts over the past couple of years, the library fund now stands at close to a quarter of a million rupees.

Moraketiyara School Toilet

Posted on by Jackie

Moraketiyara toilet 2018.06 (8)Thanks to John and Sandra Moppett, one of the toilet blocks at Moraketiyara School has been renovated.

The Moppetts first got involved with the school after the Tsunami in 2004.

Its setting on the coastal road, very close to Tangalle, meant that it was one of the worst affected schools by the waves, which caused extensive destruction to the area.

Working through the Rotary Club of Okehampton, John and Sandra helped to raise funds to build a new two-story building for the students.

When they visited Sri Lanka on holiday in 2017, they were keen to visit the school to see how it is getting on.

After being told the roof of their building is now sagging, they have launched a new fundraising drive for repairs and a campaign to persuade the government to find the cash to make it safer.

Their first project since returning to the UK has been the renovation of the staff toilets, which they personally funded themselves.

Their second project is chairs for the auditorium, which the Rotary Club of Okehampton is paying for.

Shangri-La Garage Sale

Posted on by Jackie

The Shangri-La Golf Resort and Spa in Hambantota held its fourth garage sale at the end of March.

The hotel raised a total of Rs52,100 over a two day period from the sale of lost and found items, plus donations from hotel staff.

As a result of the latest sale, the hotel has raised just over Rs200,000 from a series of sales, which are being used to fund the renovation of a school library in Tissamaharama.

HSBC’s Student Sponsorship

Posted on by Jackie

DSC_9997We were delighted that HSBC’s CS Manager, Dilini Fernando, came to visit us in February to meet some of the roughly 200 students the bank is sponsoring.

Pictured are some of the A-level students from Tangalle Girls School giving a thank you speech and explaining what the donation has meant to them.

HSBC is sponsoring students ranging from 15- to 16-year old preparing for their O-levels all the way through to university undergraduates as part of the celebrations of its 150th global anniversary.

MCCC Certificate Ceremony

Posted on by Tharindu

Certifcate ceremony 2018 (4) 2Our latest certificate awards ceremony was held in February at the Mahasenpura Community Community Centre (MCCC).

Students from classes XLV to LII came to collect their certificates while SRI Director, Jackie Horne was in Sri Lanka.

All the students had completed the three-month Microsoft Certificate Course studying Word, Excel, Powerpoint and Access.

Pictured, I give a speech thanking the students for their hard work and efforts.


Wild Elephant Holding Area

Posted on by Jaya

For the past six months I have been working with Mr Chintaka, the park warden at Lunugamvehera National Park to map out a new home for elephants, which need to be moved from other parts of the country.

Wild elephant Lunugamvehera

Wild elephant Lunugamvehera

Sri Lanka has a big problem with wild elephants trampling crops and villagers are always asking the government to remove them.

The problem is that elephants have very strong home ranges and they will always try to get back to them.

This means that when the government moves them, they just break down fences, wires, even walls, then walk hundreds of kilometers to get back again.

Elephant feed

Elephant feed

This latest initiative is to create a new home range deep inside Lunugamvehera Park and put a big electric fence around it to keep the elephants secure.

I have been helping to map the vegetation inside this proposed zone so the Department of Wildlife and Conservation can work out how many male elephants can live there without the need for additional food being brought in.

When it opens, this part of the park will not be open to tourists.

Sri Dewananda IT Lab Renovation

Posted on by Jaya

It was very pleasing to help facilitate the renovation of Sri Dewananda Computer Lab.I T lab Dewananda (3)

It is a large school with 700 students up to A-level, but only had one working computer.

There had been 20 computers at one time, donated by the Asian Development Bank.

However, they progressively all broke and although SRI was able to keep fixing them with new parts, the school was eventually down to just one computer.

It was very generous of Sri Lanka’s largest private sector bank, Commercial Bank to step in with the funding for the project, which was overseen by its branch manager in Tissamaharama, Syamal Fernando.

The regional branch manager, Janaka Sooriyaarchchi, also attended the opening ceremony alongside SRI trustee Mark Bucknall, who was over from the UK and the former school principal, Mrs Ramaya.

National Reconciliation Convention

Posted on by Jaya

SirisenaAt the end of October, I participated at this convention as one of 33 members representing the government and NGOs from Hambantota District.

We all travelled by mini bus to the Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo.

The convention was organised by the Ministry of National Co-Existence, Dialogue and Official Languages.

There were about 5,000 social workers and NGOs from across the country.

Our President, Maithripala Sirisena gave a speech where he discussed why Sri Lanka needs a new constitution so all members of society work together and gunfire is never heard in our country again.



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