Nature Volunteers - Sri Lanka

2009

Paid courses for adults to finance the costs of the EDC

We don't have enough financial support and sponsorships. Therefore, we decided to offer paid courses for adults - English, German and Russian - for employees in the tourist area (hotel staff, salesman, tour guides, etc.). The courses will last for 6 month, once in a week. In the courses the students can acquire basic knowledge in German and Russian and improve their English knowledge.

If the courses are very well accepted, we will be able to continue the courses for the children from poor families still free of charge.

January 2009

 


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New volunteer from Germany - from 28.03. till 25.04.2009

Now we've got a tall support from Germany - Iris. With patience and love she takes care of our little kids in the orphanage and our students in the education development centre. During the next days further challenges are waiting for Iris, who is very kind and have a lot of interests. That’s why the teamwork makes a lot of fun. Thank you.

April 2009

 

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Campaign: Collecting waste on Beruwala beach - April, 8th 2009

 Together with our two volunteers Maraike and Iris our teachers and the members of our Nature Pioneer group - students of the EDC - came in the morning time to the Beruwala beach to collect waste. Mr. Piyal, chairman of Beruwala Pradisabawa send a vehicle to transport the waste collected. After about 3 h the work was done und all the helper got refreshments from us.
After the waste collecting campaign on the beach we went to the EDC. There our teacher Buddhkia address the youth members of our nature pioneers the meaning and importance of this events and show them the big waste problem in Sri Lanka. It is essential that the children learn about the harm of the waste and how our waste collection campaign can save the wildlife and ocean life.
Thanks to all of you - especially our two volunteers Mareike und Iris from Germany.

April  2009 

 


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 New Year cleaning at the EDC - April 11th 2009

 Like every year in April a part of our students are coming to the EDC just a view days before the new year celebration (which is o 14th of April in Sri Lanka) to clean - the lecture and computer room as well as office and library. They clean the windows, remove the dust and wipe the floor - than we can start after the new year holidays in a clean and friendly education centre.
In this year the children also prepared a small program with singing songs together and playing some games and refreshments with cake and soft drinks for everyone. It was a very nice idea and we had a good time together. Big thanks to all the helping hands, the work of our teachers and the nice program for us.

April 2009

 

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 First 'Senior Volunteer' in Action - in April 2009

Originally he just came here on holiday and to visit his friend Sunil. He liked to walk around and after a few days got the volunteering bug and helped in the EDC with another volunteer Iris.
Our Hajo, who is called Sudu Zija (white grandpa) from the locals, is very kind, charming and funny. From his experiences and wisdom we would learn a lot, which makes him to a special gain of our project.
Thank you very much Hajo! We would like some more seniors, who help us active in Sri Lanka or Germany.

April  2009

 

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 2 new Computer for the EDC - April 2009

End of March we have got a big surprise from the members of the Sri Lanka Forum (www.forumromanum.de) - with a donation of 435€, which should be used to buy material or equipment for our educational project.
So we did - first we thought about the teaching of the children and therefore computers are very important, as there are broken very fast through the tropical climate. From the donation we were able to buy two second hand computers with monitors, mouse and keyboard as well as computer table and chairs. Now we have 10 computers for the training of the children. Furthermore, we had to add another electrical connection (wiring) with 4 new sockets and multi-plugs.
A big thank you to all members for our chance to go a little further and help to develop a good and adequate education for the children in our education centre.

April  2009

 

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 Sponsors wanted!

We are a team of volunteers and trying to support local families which live under miserable conditions - with free computer and English courses for their children, to extent their chance to a better job and support for their families.
Sponsors are very necessary for our work. As we are always looking for long term sponsors we know people who like to help often have a small financial background to support our projects. But there are different possibilities e.g. with software, which we might need (esp. anti virus programs) or books for our library. If you want to become a personal sponsor you might pay the monthly salary of our teachers (about 60€) or finance one of our projects for women or the environment.
Please, contact us and we will send you more information.

May 2009

 

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 Support for the refugees in the north-east of Sri Lanka -1st Transport

 Some days before we have seen pictures in the TV, which lead us to the immediate decision to support them - the escape for more than 100.000 refugees for LTTE areas in the north -east of the country. Like ants people run through a small whole which the army blast into the wall to escape from captivity. The people could be rescued, but they live in refugee camps. Food, drinking water and medicine is rare. This was the sign for us to do something!
Together with a part of the students of the EDC we start a first collection in our neighbourhood - with two posters, a tuk tuk with loudspeaker system and a small lorry our teachers and some students went through the neighbourhood for two days (Aluthgama, Beruwala, Darga Town) and asked the people to give some food items, drinking water or medicine for the refugees which we could send with a transport directly to the refugee area.
We bring together:
Rice (about 100kg) , Milk powder (4kg), Drinking water (about 120L) , Cookies (30 packs) , Sugar (about 10 kg) , Coco nuts ( 35 piece) , other food (flour, lentils, etc.), Soap (20 piece) , Washing powder (about 5 kg) , Medicine (plaster, panadol,...), clothing 3 full shopping bags

Many thanks to all the hard working students, Hotel Sunmali for the tuk tuk, Samagi Traders for the lorry, support of the chairman of Pradashebawa Mr. Piyal and of course all the people giving food items and cloth for the refugees.

May 2009

 


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 "United Support for the Refugees" 2. Transport

Support for the refugees” - was the motto of the second transport of the EDC - possible through financial support of members of the Sri Lanka Forum (SLF), Street Bob Forum, Reisespinne, Sri Lanka Board, ZMB Mobil and several private sponsors (colleagues and friends of the members and us). Today on 21st of May the items collected are going to Colombo. From there a transport is going on 22nd to the refugee areas - in cooperation with the TV channel ITN.
In cooperation and advice from organisations which are actively working in this areas we bought the following food items, sanitary article and medicine necessary for the refugees:
Drinking water (1,5l) - 1008 bottles, Flour - 50kg, Sugar- 50kg,
Samaposha (like cereal) - 100 packs, Rice - 300kg, Lentils - 50kg,
Tea - 15kg, Soya - 12,5kg, Salt - 16kg, Coco nuts - 100 piece,  
Cookies - 250 packs, Milk powder - 50 packs,
Soap for washing cloth - 120 piece, Soap - 150 piece,
Tooth paste - 50 piece, Tooth brush - 50 piece,
Plastic plates - 100 piece, Plastic cups - 25 piece,  
Pads (women) - 100 packs, Baby bottles (240ml) - 6 piece,
Baby bottles (120 ml) - 8 piece, Detol - for disinfection - 48 bottles,
Panadol - 600 tablets, Siddhalepa (like chin. balm) - 60 boxes,
Samahan (for cold) - 100 packs, Hydrogen Peroxide - desinf. - 450ml,
Povidone-Iodine-Tropical Solution - 1 l, ISO Propyl Alcohol - desinf. - 5 l,
Cotton wool - 88 packs,  
Asamadagam - for stomach problems - 72 bottles,
Plaster (roll) - 48 rolls, Plaster (stripes) - 500 piece

Rest of the money which we didn't spend and which is coming later we will use for a third transport. At the moment we will wait a little how the situation will change and how we can help well. Therefore´, we will try to keep the contact to the local organisations working there.
Thank you very much - many donors and helper supporting our work.

May 2009

 


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 Final Exam in May 2009 - End of the 5th Semester

 With some delay, manly due to many holidays in December (X-mas, new year), April (sinh./tamil new year) and May (Vesak) the 5th semester could be finished with the final exam on May 30./31. In the computer course a written test (theory part) and a practical test on the computer was part of the exam. Whereas the students in the English exam only faced a written test. In this year for the first time we also run an exam (theory/practical) in the new course graphic design.
All together 81 students came to the computer exam, 59 to English and 12 to graphic design. As result 60 (Computer), 44 (English) and 12 (Graphic design) could finish the exam successfully. Students who fail the test will get another chance with the next run.

May 2009

 

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 Certificate Awarding Ceremony in June - "We are one nation"

 This Awarding Ceremony on 6th of June was something very special - it was the first after the piece had been declared in Sri Lanka. For this reason we run the whole ceremony under the motto: We are one nation". A motto which is focused on the peaceful life together between the different ethnical groups (sinhala, tamil, muslim, burger) in Sri Lanka. So all guest were welcomed by children in traditional cloth in all 4 typical languages: "Vanakam" (Tamil), "Ayubowan" (Sinhala), "Hello" (English) und "Asalama aleikum" (Arabic). As in our educational centre children of all ethnical groups are studying peacefully together.
This time the ceremony was held in the conference hall of the area council in Beruwala. Besides special guests - the new chairman of Beruwala Pradishabawa Mr. Prassana Sanjeewa, Mr. Piyal, Mrs. Abewardhana, Mr. Benny Fernando, a monk from a temple close by and four guests from Germany - about 350 family members of the present students came.
The ceremony was mainly announced in Sinhala, Tamil and partly also in English that all guests (mainly sinhalese and muslim) were able to follow the program. Like in all ceremonies before, the students prepared the show with dancing, singing and small speeches. As refreshment the family members got milk packets, cake and cookies - furthermore, sandwiches, banana and tea for the special guests. All together is was a great event for everyone.

June 2009

 


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 LOTUS international - A new society in Germany -established on June 21st 2009

After long time of preparation on 21st of June we established the new society named "LOTUS international" in Buschow, Germany. This event was shared by the founder members: Werner, Ilona, Nicole, Myrjam, Cathleen, Janin und Andrea (picture from left to right). As president of the society Ilona Launhardt (picture down) was elected by the members.
LOTUS - has the motto: "Life without tears and sorrow" and is devoted to help children and elders as well as education and cultural exchange. But it is mainly made up to support our educational project in Sri Lanka (EDC).
First steps have been done, but it will need some time as we will be officially registered. At the moment we are building a new homepage for the society, which soon can be visited under: www.lotus-international.org
We've also got a first member already - Hajo from Hamburg, who is very helpful in his support for our society.

June 2009 

 


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Start of the 6th semester in July 2009

 With only one week of preparation time we could start the new course - the 6th semester already - at the EDC. Again with higher numbers of applicants. This time we've got 136 students for computer and 81 for the English course. Due to staff problems we can't continue the new course of Graphic Design.
In this semester for the first time we can run extra classes in 'Spoken English', which will be held by our volunteers working at the EDC. It should mainly help to overcome the shy and barriers of talking of the children. 

July 2009 

 

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 Ladies power from Germany and Switzerland - 2 volunteers in July 2009

Kati (left) and Nicole (right), are the names of the two new volunteers, which came from Germany and the Switzerland to work in the EDC. They are mainly helping in the social area, with teaching English of working at the nearby orphanage as well as in the environmental projects. We are very glad to have them here to share their fun and help - lots of new ideas.
Thanks for your coming and your support.

July 2009

 

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 New Beach Cleaning Program on July 26th in Beruwala

 Today we went out some early for a good reason - our 'Green Pioneer Team', some of the students and our volunteers Kati und Nicole came to the beach in Beruwala at about 7:30am to collect waste.
Especially plastic items and broken glass bottles went into the rubbish bags of the collectors. These things are not only ugly at the beach they can also be a risk for man and nature.
This kind of action is not only important for the environment it is manly to build some awareness for the nature and change the attitude of the children towards a better waste behaviour (not just throwing on the ground).
At the end everyone got small refreshments before they went home at lunchtime.
Thanks to every helping hand and the organiser.

July 2009

 


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 Environmental education at the EDC - Picture presentation for our Nature Pioneers

 On August 2nd the teaching was not about computer or English, but environment and especially mammals at the EDC. Usually, once per week there are some small talks or events to develop the environmental awareness of our Green Pioneer Team.
This time we arranged a picture presentation about mammals. After the talk the students could see the life of the mammals in a BBC report. To get a closer understanding for those animals and see how mammals are living in other parts of the world.
All together a very interesting and informative event for the students.

August 2009

 


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 Support from the students of the Jahngymnasium in Rathenow for the students of the EDC

As done in the last year, students of the Jahngymnasium in Rathenow went out on their project day to work for the support of the students of the EDC. All together more than 3000€ was the result from this hard working time. The donation will be used to continue the free education of our student which comes from poor families.
For this great event from the school Jahngymnasiums students of the EDC found a very special way to say 'thank you'. They designed a nice thank you poster for the students in Germany. As soon as the work will be finished it will send to Rathenow and arrive there just right in time when the school will start after summer holidays. With this poster our students want to say thank you for all the work and effort from the students, teachers and responsible persons.
Thank you very much from all our students and members of the EDC - a very big achievement!

August 2009

 

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 New volunteer from Germany - in August 2009

Tall, blond hair, blue eyes and a very kind lady is our third female volunteer in this summer - it is Anna-Corinna from Germany. She loves to teach the children and play with the girls at the orphanage. She is very friendly and kind and is also looking forward to helping in our environmental project.
Welcome to the EDC and our big family. The kids like you very much and you help them to lose their shyness of speaking English.
Thank you very much for your efforts and sunshine in our house.

August 2009

 

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 Long term volunteers from the U.K. - from end of August 2009

Leigh (1st left) and Lisa (1st right) - are our new volunteer couple from the U.K. They are taking one year career break to support us with our projects here in Sri Lanka.
Lisa is teaching English or playing with the girls of the orphanage, while Leigh is working on the laptop or designing plans. Together they are working in our garden and painting the fence. When the work is done one day, it will look great! And more challenges are just waiting.
We are very glad about their support, so many new ideas and experience. They are really lovely. After work we have interesting discussions and a nice time. We might learn many things from them.
Thank you very much for your coming - all your efforts and time.

August 2009

 

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 Singharaja-Eco-Tourism-Project meeting 27.8.

A few weeks ago we received an email from the Low Country CBO Consortium" in Deniyaya about 60 km’s north east of Galle close to the Singharaja rainforest.
This forest belongs to the last remaining natural rainforest area in Sri Lanka. Although one part of the forest is already developed for tourism it’s now planned to provide access also from Deniyaya for Ecotourists. Interested volunteers are expected to create a concept, tours and advertising material.
On the 27th of August we went to have a look at the organisation and the rainforest. We received a hearty welcome from the president of the LCCBO Mr. Lankathikala in Deniyaya. We are still looking for interested volunteers who would like to work in this part of rainforest for a period of 6 months. You will be accommodated by a guest family in the village – housing and meals are provided. Interested? Than write us an email. Thank you.

September 2009 

 

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“Vier Pfoten” dog care clinic: visit to our partners

 On Saturday (05.09.) we made our way to Mihiripenne, Talpe – a little place close to Galle. Finally we wanted to get to know the chief of the “Vier Pfoten” dog clinic” in person. Her name is Marina Möbius (picture right) - she has a big heart for dogs and is standing up for this with enormous energy – she is financing the project nearly exclusively from her own funds and is even taking part in operations, and clinic duties (after the training with a local veterinarian).
There are about 100 dogs on the site – the dogs impossible to re-house are living here, others are receiving medical treatment or are on their way to recovery or wait for new owners. Anybody who knows Sri Lanka and the conditions some dogs are living in here is going to find this a dog paradise. This is provided through the care and commitment of the whole team and especially through Marina Möbius. The professionalism of this project is visible through the full equipped operating room and the card index system for dogs – even the public Sri Lankan hospitals aren’t equipped this well.
The core of the project is the castration, and vaccination programmes which take place every week in the surrounded areas and even Kandy. This service is free of charge for locals who could otherwise not afford it.. These programmes are very important in Sri Lanka to limit the uncontrolled spread of the street dogs and the spread of disease. What Marina Möbius is missing is the acceptance of the project as a charity in the country and financial support for the supply of the necessary medicines, castration / sterilizations, and vaccination programmes.
We need help! Help as well and support this unique dog project. More information can be found here. 

September 2009 

 


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 A new volunteer from Germany arrived – September 2009

Two days ago we had a new member in our multi-cultural-family. It’s Ariane from Germany who will support us during the upcoming two months.
Mainly she’ll help us with our mangrove-planting-project and the turtle project of our partner organisation. But also in other parts as management and conservation. Of course it’ll be a great to have her join the team.
We are glad that you came – your funny and easy nature makes it enjoyable to work with you and because of your honesty it’s easy to involve you idea in our projects. Thank you.

September 2009

 

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 A new English teacher – since October 2009

Our new full-time English teacher is Harshi. At first, she will do the "Spoken English" lessons together with our volunteers and in the next semester she will also adopt the theoretical part. Harshi replaces our English teacher Mangala, who will teach graphic design starting next semester (he is also a trained for teaching computer classes).

October 2009

 

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 3rd aid transport for war refugees

On October 29th we finished our third aid transport for war refugees – and this time we were on the spot ourselves to get an understanding of the situation. Our destination was Silavattura (near Mannar), a former stronghold of the LTTE and in the war zone with many refugees and refugee camps.
Above all, our aim was to help children. Most of them go to school but they don't have the money to buy school supplies on their own. So we bought several exercise books, pens, pencils, rubbers and some drawing blocks – altogether for 820 children living in this area. With the aid of our volunteers and members of staff we packed everything in plastic bags within two days, ready for dispatch.
After nine hours driving we gave presents to children in seven schools and to a temple. All of the kids were really happy and although they only speak Tamil and just a few words in English and Sinhala, the children, the director and the teachers were able to express their gratitude.
We want to thank our donators, helping hands and assistants – above all the Navy, which did a great job and made this all possible. Organisation and safety were awesome. Thank you!

October 2009

 


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 Slight overflow at the EDC

 On November the 11th we had a huge thunderstorm. After a few hours our access road changed into a river and we even caught fish outside our gates!
This event showed us that we have to make more of an effort to build a new access road and to get a better drainage. Under these conditions, the access is just unacceptable for the children.

November 2009

 

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 New seminar and working room for our volunteers!

After a long period of renovation we finished working on the room behind our lecture room, which shall be the working room for our volunteers as well as being used for seminars and conferences. Due to the addition of a new large window, the room is flooded with light.
Another way to get in is from the reading gallery. The entrance is next to the library and offers some space to read or just to relax.
Another Highlight is our new wireless internet connection. So we are able to work with the internet both in the classrooms and upstairs in the living rooms.

November 2009

 

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 New volunteers in November with Happy End!

Since the middle of November, Julia and Daniel are here as volunteers for one month. And right at the beginning, they surprised us with their plans. One week after they arrived, on November the 26th they married! Both of them wore traditional Sri Lankan clothes – it looked beautiful and was an one-time moment. Of course, they had a wedding cake, and sliced it traditionally to feed each other afterwards. A funny note they did not have to change their last names! Both Julia, and Daniel share the same surname "Schwenk" (but thankfully aren’t related!).
Both of them are hard-working and help us a lot with our projects. Julia teaches English while Daniel plants trees for our pupils and their families. Together they work for our mangroves project, in the turtle hatchery and clean the beach.
Thank you for your support and good luck for your new life as a married couple.

November 2009

 

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 Planting about 500 mangroves in Bentota

 Early in the morning, on December the 13th, we started to do something good for the local environment – we planed to plant about 500 mangroves. Together our volunteers Julia, Daniel and Leigh and our "Green Pioneer" Team loaded our mangroves saplings onto a small truck and transported them to Bentota Beach.
The team of about 30 were able to finish this project by about noon after a short break for refreshment.
We implemented this project in collaboration with the German associations "friends for friend’s e.V." and "plant for the planet e.V.". About 1500 mangroves will be planted in the near future.
Thank you very much to all helping hands!

December 2009

 


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 New Volunteers in December

In the last few days, Micha and Sigrun our new volunteers arrived from Germany. They will be with us for six weeks, mainly in our partner organisations "Dog Care" in Talpe and on the "Turtle Conservation Project" in Kosgoda.
We are pleased about your help – your friendly and chummy manner makes working with you very comfortable. Thank you!

December 2009

 

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