Gangeyaya was one of the earliest schools we worked with and provided a valuable lesson in the need to build a long-term relationship with the local community. 

On our first visit, for example, we came across some disused classrooms that would make an ideal library and computer block.
Having asked to take some photos for planning purposes, we set off back to Tissa in the car, only to be told a Sri Lankan friend who was driving that some of the teachers had been suspicious of our motives. 

They thought we had been taking photos so we could go back to England, raise money and then keep it for ourselves. He said their cynicism derived from previous visits by charities, which took photos but never returned.
It was a sobering thought, but made us determined to prove them wrong. And today, Gangeyaya has a computer block, which is regularly serviced by our IT teacher Nuwan.

We also built a library we keep stocked up with a weekly supply of magazines and newspapers.
When the schools celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010, SRI's project manager, Jaya, organised an environmental day for the school on behalf of the Department of Wildlife and the Forestry Commission.