Monthly Archives: October 2011


Posted on by Jackie

After the HSBC delegation had visited KG03 School Library, we all moved to nearby KG01 School to inaugurate its new library and attend the joint opening ceremony, held in the school playground.

We had wanted to become more involved at KG01 School ever since we helped provide funds to build a kitchen in 2008. The principal, Mr Piyasena, is an extremely forward looking and inventive man and it was extremely heartening to be able to give the school a proper library for the first time.

As this is a primary school, we wanted to really brighten up the room for the children and bought over a big jungle mural from the UK, which takes up almost one entire wall.

The school also outdid itself with the opening ceremony. The poya lamp, which is used to bless the occasion (pictured right) was one of the most beautiful we’d ever seen and the Principal even composed his own thank you song, which the children performed to the assembled guests.


Posted on by Jackie

Our landmark project for 2011 was a series of four libraries we built or renovated and then furnished working in partnership with HSBC Sri Lanka and in particular, one of the Bank’s Corporate Sustainability managers, Dilini Fernando.

HSBC gave us a lot of freedom to choose four deserving schools, two of which were recommended to us by the Department of Education and two on the basis of our own local knowledge. What was most encouraging was the lack of strings attached. Both KG01 and KG03 schools are extremely rural and hundreds of miles away from the nearest HSBC branch, meaning there was unlikely to be any business benefit.

KG03 School already had the beginnings of a library thanks to a donation from an old pupil, but there hadn’t been enough money to finish it off. HSBC’s donation enabled us to complete the construction work and then create a wonderful and colourful reading space for the children.

Pictured right are some of HSBC’s Colombo-based staff who were happy to make the 11 hour round trip to the school. Two staff members read to each class before the opening ceremony, which was also attended by Sriyan Cooray, HSBC’s CTO and Tharanga Gunasekera, Head of Marketing.

HSBC volunteers read to the children in the new library

World Children’s day

Posted on by Jackie

For the first time, Jonathan and I were in Sri Lanka for World Children’s Day and decided to take Nadigamwila School on a trip to Bundala National Park, my favourite place in Sri Lanka.

Jaya organized a talk in the park visitors’ centre to discuss the wildlife and we then set off in blazing heat for the beach. Come midday and with temperatures touching 37 degrees Celsius, everyone decamped under some trees for singing, dancing and lunch.

A few hours later as the temperatures cooled, we headed off again, though not before Teddy’s jeep got stuck in the sand and everyone had to get out and push.