Xinxin's Blog

55 months after the Tsunami - II

Jul 27 – 31, 2009, Galle, Hambantota and Matara

3) POVERTY AMONG STUDENTS. For individual students, it is also helpful to offer them a hand. These fishery communities are in poverty. Education is not an extra burden for them like other poor countries, as they have a free system that exempts parents from tuition fees, books expenses and uniforms. Still, raising 1 or 2 kids in a family and providing food, cloths and stationary is difficult. If only we could help students a little, they are much better off.

Photos 13&14: A school in a very poor rural area. This is the only building it has. (taken at Janadiphathi Mahinda Rajapaks Rotary School)

Despite all the above sad parts, the visit filled with pleasure and laughter. Students are super SWEET. Typical Sri Lankan tropical smiles accompany us all the time! They were waving hands when we caught sight of them, greeting us in simple English, following us wherever we go, rushing to the camera when I was taking pictures… They simply like you.

Photos 15&16: They are warm, and curious:)

A typical day starts at around 7am – as school starts at 7:30 and finishes early at 1:30. Travelling long distance between each cluster in rural areas took up much time. So everyday before 2pm was very tight, only to take a short break on the van. Splendid sceneries in deep south Sri Lanka had exploited my break time though…

Photos 17&18: They deserve a better life.

This week was impressive. I saw the schools and their communities myself, and was moved by enthusiastic students and teachers. Deep thoughts surrounded me at the meantime: NGOs always take rapid responses after disasters, but have we considered taking away an existing aid may have put people back in trouble? These schools are all state-of-the-art buildings with high standards; today, all lights are off, computer labs are empty, toilets are stuck and messy, and so on and so forth. It is not the donor that to be blamed (quite a few of them ended up with shortage in funds, or incomplete work, though, and some designs didn’t take into account the real needs and circumstances), but we should be more aware of the blind spots after the short enthusiasm.

Greetings from Thallala Maha Vidyalaya!

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