• Kande Viharaya Temple Sewing Group

Our closest collaberation in Tissa has been with the Kande Viharaya Temple and our friend the chief priest who runs it. 

It's a very small temple with just one other permanent priest, but it's very influential in the area and has been a huge force for good.

The smiley priest (so called because he's always smiling, but mainly because we can't pronounce his name) is a trained aryurvedic doctor and treats the local community from the temple. 

He's also the Deputy Principal of nearby Kawantissapura School and runs a large number of community programmes after school hours. 

For the past five years we have been sponsoring a sewing group at the temple for a group of local women, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet on a total family income of roughly US$25 per month.  

We set the group up by purchasing two sewing machines, a big batch of material and the services of a trained sewing teacher.

Within a few weeks, the women were already producing a decorative bags and murals and within a couple of years, we had been able to set up franchises for them at a couple of local hotels.  

Our second project at the temple is English teaching and we have set up two classes, often crammed to the brim. 

We are paying for two teachers and purchased desks and chairs to cater for the growing numbers who want to attend.

The smiley priest would like to raise new funds to complete a library building he has been building at the top of the temple's lands. 

When it is finished it will have stunning views as it sits at the top of a small hill with 360 degree views of uninterrupted jungle for miles around.