Project Regaining the Smile – Sri Lanka
By far, the biggest natural disaster the modern world has ever seen, the Asian Tsunami disaster left over 125,000 dead according to the latest count. One of the worst hit countries, Sri Lanka had their death toll over 30,000.
Among the many persons affected were Children, most of whom have lost their loved ones and their place of living and also lost their schools. There were 59 schools completely destroyed and over 100 partially destroyed leading to over 75,000 students and 3,000 teachers affected.
Round Table Sri Lanka embarked on the project “Regaining The Smile”, to rebuild affected schools and bring back smiles on the children’s faces. This resulted in the construction of 3 large schools, thereby touching the lives of over 3,000 students and many more generations to come. The overall cost of this venture amounted to approx. US$ 2mn.
The largest of these schools, Hegalle Maha Vidyalaya in Kosgoda was the only school that lost its Principle to the Tsunami. She had just managed to send all the other teachers who were working during that holiday but could not escape herself and was unfortunate on that day. The school had most of its structures destroyed, affecting the 1,800 students who attended. The rebuilding project cost Round Table Sri Lanka over US$1.2mn. The overall dream was to complete also a playground but due to lack of funds, most of the rest, including all classrooms and a large auditorium. This was thanks to the donations by worldwide Round Tablers and their associated who donated generously.
The money from the WOCO foundation is used to complete the finishing touches vital for the overall project success, such as the boundry wall and landscaping elements to the complex.
The school has so far been visited by many Round Table and WOCO foundation members, who have also graced the various building opening and handing over ceremonies. Over 1,800 current students, their teachers and many generations of future students enjoy these new facilities and are grateful to averyone who has contributed – thus, regaining the smile!