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.



KG03 TV donation

Posted on by Jackie

TV Donation KG 03 school 2017.10 (2)We would like to thank HSBC, which has been a huge support to the charity over the past decade.

Its latest donation comprises seven TVs, which we have donated to schools in the Tissa area.

All of the computers have 40 inch screens and were formerly installed in the bank’s offices and branches in Colombo.

The donation to KG03 primary school is particularly apt since HSBC also funded the construction of a library here a few years ago.

The room now has a TV as well.

Kandagasmankada TV donation

Posted on by Jackie

TV Donation Kendagasmankada school 2017.10 (3)This is the third TV donation we have made to a special needs unit thanks to the generosity of HSBC, which has donated seven TVs.

The monitors, which have 40 inch screens, were formally used at the Bank’s offices and branches in Colombo.

Special needs children really benefit from being able to watch and learn from TV programmes and this school as a unit with 16 children.

The school itself was started in 1980 a part of the Lunugamvehera irrigation project.

Pallemattala TV donation

Posted on by Jackie

TV Donation Pallemattala school 2017.10 (2)This is a tiny little primary school situated very close to the new Mattala airport.

It currently has 84 students, up from nine when the principal first arrived 12 years ago.

However, the school has not been developed by the government in that time period and has few facilities.

A few years ago, SRI gave the school a computer and thanks to HSBC it now has a TV with a 40 inch screen as well.

The TV is one of seven the Bank donated from its branches and offices in Colombo.

Medawelena TV donation

Posted on by Jackie

TV Donation medawelana 2017.10 (3)This is the first donation we have been able to make to the special needs classroom at Medawelena School.

It is thanks to the generosity of HSBC, which has donated a total of seven TVs that were formally used by its offices and branches in Colombo.

The TV is a great addition to the school as the special needs unit has very few facilities and the classroom itself is not in good repair.

For example, it does not have a proper ceiling and the floor is in bad condition.

Uduwila TV donation

Posted on by Jackie

TV Donation Uduwela 2017.10Thanks to a donation from HSBC, SRI has been able to deliver TVs to a group of schools in the Tissa area.

All of the TVs are re-purposed from the Bank’s offices and branches in Colombo.

Uduwila School was top of the list because SRI has previously created a special needs centre there.

Special needs children really benefit from being able to watch, listen and copy what they see on the screen.

This is the first electrical item in the classroom.

Teaching Assistant

Posted on by Jackie

Montessori pre schoolThanks to a donation from Cate Thomas and her brother John Skutsch, we were able to continue sponsoring a teaching assistant at the Sumudu pre-school in Lunugamvehera.

Cate and John both previously lived in Sri Lanka and have raised funds for a number of schools over the years, including Sumudu where the renovated and fitted out the school classroom.

The current donation will fund the teaching assistant, Dasani Esha, for a second year.

An assistant was needed given how much the numbers have grown since the Montessori pre-school opened in 2009 with 17 students. Some 41 pre-school children are currently registered.


Programming seminar

Posted on by Tharindu

The Mahasenpura Community Computer Centre (MCCC) held a weekend programming seminar in mid-September.Programming seminar

We would like to thank Dilan Anushka and Amil Kanchana, the two software engineers who volunteered their time to come to Tissa from Colombo and teach the students who are studying for our one-year diploma course.

Dilan conducted a Java session and Amil UI/UX.

Pictured right are Dilan and Amil with some of the students, plus centre manager, Tharindu and teacher, Nuwan.

The plan to return to Tissa once a month to complete the programming module for the students. In the meantime, they will give the students practical sessions over the internet.

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