Monthly Archives: October 2020

Asanagala Temple IT lab

Posted on by Tharindu

Ranminithenna Computer donation 3We were delighted that we could set up a new computer lab at Asanagala Shri Abhinawaramaya Temple in Ranminithenna village in late September thanks to a donation from HSBC and Save Yala, a local organization, which promotes conservation at the nearby national park.

HSBC recycled five used computers from its Colombo HQ, while Save Yala provided the furniture. Our deputy IT manager, Nuwan, rewired one of the temple’s classrooms.

This is a very rural area with little access to IT resources so setting up an IT under the auspices of the temple’s community teaching programmess will really help the local community.

There was a slight delay in getting classes up-and-running after Covid cases started to spread from Colombo, but we were able to launch classes in a socially distance way in late November.

KeekasRunning the IT lab is a community effort too. One of the two volunteer teachers, Prasad Janaka, works at Hambantota General Hospital.

The other, Prasad Jeewantha (pictured), is a local farmer. He was one of the first school students to learn computing at SRI’s regional training centre after the NGO was established following the 2004 tsunami while he was at nearby Osuwinna School.

He said that he volunteered to teach as a way of giving something back to the community after it helped him when he was child.

Safari Drivers and Tour Guides Class

Posted on by Jaya

Jaya safari class copyThis September we started running special bi-monthly classes at the Mahasenpura Centre for local safari drivers and tour guides who haven’t been able to work because of the impact that Covid-19 has had on the tourism industry.

The classes have been set up in association with the Safari Drivers Association.

The aim is to use this fallow period to deepen the drivers’ knowledge about the animals, flora and fauna that live in the neighborouring national parks (Yala, Bundala and Uda Walawe). We also hope that the classes will increase environmental awareness.

I led the first two classes on elephants with the assistance of my old boss, Dr Fernando Prithivaraj, one of Sri Lanka’s foremost elephant conservationists. He provided detailed maps showing where the home ranges of various elephant herds are located.

During the first session, I explained about the difference between African and Asian elephants. During the second session, we looked more closely at elephant behavior and how to identify individual elephants.