Building the Education Development Centre
In early 2006, after cleaning the land and building a temporary hut, first construction works on the education centre could start. Thanks to the hard working building labours, the ground floor of the building - the office and the class rooms - were almost finished by the mid of May
Opening of the Education Centre, May, 27th 2006
The Education Centre was ceremonially inaugurated by Mr. A. Böldt, representative of the sponsor Gazprom Germania in Berlin, Germany. Other guests were Mrs. Böldt and Mr. Piyal, Lord Mayor of Beruwala (Beruwala Pradeshiya Shbawa), as well as the first pupils' families and friends. Chandralal Premakumara M.G., president of the Nature Conservation Society, welcomed the guests and thanked the sponsor for enabling this unique institute. Mr. Böldt put in his speech emphasis on what this building stands for - a lasting help for the tsunami-affected families and a better future for their children.
Starting the Nature Volunteers Programme
As a part of the educational programme of the Nature Conservation Society, a volunteering project should be formed which should mainly support the education of the children. Shortly after the opening of the EDC, the volunteering programme was launched and officially registered as the Nature Volunteers Association.
The first semester
In June, only a short time after the official opening of the EDC, the first course in English and computer skills started. With new equipment, new teaching materials and new teachers, it was a test for everybody. 71 children were enrolled for this first six-month class.
The children were taught once per week theoretically and twice per week for one hour respectively "hands-on" at the computer desk. They learned how to handle all programmes of MS Office.
December, 30th 2006
At the end of the first semester the students had to pass a final exam in order to show their theoretical and practical knowledge. All students that passed that test received a certificate with the markings.
The certificate was handed over in a small ceremony which was organised by the children themselves - with dances, songs and small theatre plays. We welcomed some guests from the Pradeshiya Shbawa, Mr. Piyal (Lord Mayor), a monk of the temple nearby and members of the organisation "Turtle Conservation Project" and of the UN Volunteers.