• First glimpse of a computer, 2006

When we first came across Osuwinna in 2006, we were shocked by how little the school had. 

Many Sri Lankan schools have open classrooms without windows and doors, but Osuwinna didn't even have partitions between classrooms.

As a result, the children were being taught in two long unsegregrated buildings as they would have been in Victorian England. 

But what the school did have was a Principal determined to turn it around, to the extent that he had even paid for the construction of a basic toilet block out of his own salary.

Having discussed what his priorities we set to work with the parents to overhaul the school. 

The first job was to put in partitions between the classrooms, then wiremesh over the windows. 

We had new desks and chairs built, then turned our attention to some old teachers quarters, which had fallen into disrepair.

Again with the parents help, we renovated these to create a small library and computer lab, which the Principal also opened up to neighbouring Ranminithenna School so they could benefit too.

Since those early days, we've regularly gone back to Osuwinna and Jon Ashworth's Yala Fund also paid for the renovation of the Principal's office. 

And it seems to have worked. 

Pupil numbers, exam results have improved and Osuwinna is now a thriving rural school.