Sri Lanka: Pre-School for Impoverished Children.
This project supports pre-school educational activities for poor children whose families live adjacent to an urban landfill. The program ensures students’ entry into the public educational system while providing nutrition and counseling services for pre-schoolers.
Henamulla Pre-school enrolls 160 children aged 2.5 to 5.5 years old from 8:30 to 12:00 every weekday. The school is physically located just a few meters away from a large solid waste landfill which receives the garbage of the capital city of Colombo. The children that attend the school live in the slums adjacent to the dump.
The school provides clothes, food, and education for the children in a safe and clean environment. There are several different classrooms for the instruction of the children which is done in two different languages for each grade level.
Families whose children attend the school are asked to pay a monthly tuition of 100 rupees [approximately 1 dollar US], but many cannot afford even this very modest sum. All children get a hot meal for lunch before departing for the day. Drawing from the local population, the majority of students are Muslim.
Through La Salle International, a donor has provided funds for electrical needs of the school; our sister foundation in Australia (The Lasallian Foundation) has been very generous to this project, providing food and clothing subsidies. Funds are still needed for educational sponsorship, supplies and building maintenance. The kids greatly enjoy being at the school and there is a good energy between the students and the teachers.
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