How You Can Help
We hope we've inspired you to help us to help Sri Lanka. We're happy to receive one-off lump sums, regular monthly donations, or funds tailored to specific projects. We also love organising visits to the country, school exchanges and volunteering.
Don't be shy. Let us know what works for you!!
How to Donate:
We have HSBC bank accounts in Sri Lanka, Hong Kong and the UK.
We're classified as a designated merchant in Hong Kong, so you can collect reward points if you donate via a credit card, or select us as a bill payment merchant online. We're also happy to provide proof of receipt for Hong Kong’s Inland Revenue Department.
If you are a UK taxpayer, Gift Aid can boost your donation by 25%.
You can also make an online donation from anywhere in the world through Virgin Money Giving (they will add a processing fee)
For all enquiries, please email: Jackie@schoolsreliefinitiative.com
How to Support us:
We hope the following (by no means exhaustive) list provides some inspiration about the different ways you can help. We're always open to new ideas!
Sustain the MCTC
Financing the MCTC is always at the very top of our wishlist because it costs us a minimum of $20,000 a year in teachers's salaries and running costs before we can even engage in any outreach work to support other government schools where we've built computer labs over the years. Help us to keep the centre up-and-running. Sustainability for a small NGO like SRI is all.
Raise Environmental Awareness
We've done an increasing number of environmental projects over the years. We'd like to do a lot more. The photo above is a rubbish dump in Tissa where we're based. Educating the next generation through school trips, essay-writing competitions, nature walks, school gardens and national park clean up days are all ways to turn situations like this around.
Renovate a Classroom
This is a typical example of what a Sri Lankan classroom looks like. It's open to the elements, with no windows, or often just wire mesh. There's a roof but no ceiling and there's very little in the way of any kind of facilities including electricity, books and furniture.
This is what the same classroom at Nadigamwila School looked like after three donors turned it into an English lab. Renovation projects like this typically cost $3,000 to $5,000 depending on the state of the room. We always try to involve the parents in the construction work.
Build a Computer Lab or Supply Equipment
This is a photo of Uda Matala School before we turned the classroom into a proper IT lab using repurposed computers from our main training centre (the MCTC). The helps to extend the computers' working lives. Many schools now have designated IT rooms, but they usually only have a couple of computers.
Above is the second IT lab that SRI built and furnished at Uduwila School (we created a small one in the NGO's early days). Many schools' computers are broken as they're old and there's no budget to fix them. This is where SRI tries to step in: a new motherboard costs about $75 and RAM about $25.
Create a Library or Provide Books
This is Lelawala School library before we renovated it. A good library acts as a school's lynchpin, not only providing an inspiring reading environment, but also a venue for other community-based activities including after-school classes.
This is the libary at KG01 primary school after we renovated and furnished it thanks to a donation from a global bank. Library projects can range from about $300 for new books and suppplemenary furniture to $5,000 for full renovations.
This is a typical school library bookshelf. The hot climate means that books degrade very quickly. Limited budgets also mean that there aren't enough books to go around and children aren't allowed to take them home.
This is the bookshelf of an SRI library project. Outside of Colombo, children don't get an opportunity to read Sinhalese versions of bestsellers like Harry Potter. It doesn't cost much to remedy this given that books retail for about $2 to $5 each.
Renovate a Science Lab
Here is another example of a typical Sri Lankan classroom pre-renovation. Sometimes we renovate general classrooms in order to protect them from wild animals and other damage. Other times we turn them into specialist classrooms for science, languages and IT.
Here is the science lab at Kawantissapura School post renovation thanks to one individual donor. Equipping classrooms is not only cheap but also provides employment for local workmen. A small child's wooden chair costs around $15 and a desk about $30.
Sponsor a Student or Teacher
Pictured above is one of our sponsorship students on her front doorstep. We work with school principals and social workers to identify who to help. Many families are struggling to get by on as little as $1 a day as a result of economic hardship, illness or the loss of a mother or father. Sponsorships vary from $10 to $20 per month.
Many schools lack enough teachers and those they do have often include a large number of volunteers like Miss Chamodi above. She's being sponsored as a special needs assistant at a lab we also renovated. A typical volunteer receives about $30 per month up to roughly $200 for a fully qualified teacher.