Out of all the developments that have taken place in our project village Miyagala during the last couple of years, the improvement of the main road leading to the village centre is the most striking. More sections of the footpath that once existed, were widened and concreted in 2014. Now, one can cross the three streams to reach the village without having to remove the shoes. One can also travel to the village by three-wheeler or by car, if one wishes to.
A bridge over the big stream and two culverts over the two smaller streams have been constructed. This is a huge relief, especially for the children and elderly folk living close to the main road.
Traders bring all sorts of products by lorry to be sold to the villagers. These infrastructural developments were financed by the state, Sahana along with the influence of our local coordinator the Ven. Maithri ensured that the collective voice of the villagers in and around Miyagala were heard by the authorities responsible for building and construction of road works.
Several enquiries regarding the schooling project were received through our new website (http://www.sahana-germany.org) out of which two new sponsorships were realized.
A newspaper article on Sahana that appeared in the “Hannover Neue Presse” to mark the 10th year post Tsunami, helped to maintain the total donations on approximately the same level as in the previous year. Due to signs of the declining Euro, two transactions of funds to our bank in Sri Lanka were realized during the first half of the year.
- Schooling Project
The schooling of 77 children from 12 communities in and around Miyagala were supported by 60 sponsors (Group Photo 4). The sponsorship of 17 children were suspended as a result of them and their parents failing to meet our requirements and conditions associated with the bursary, in spite of repeated requests and warnings. On the other hand 27 new children were welcomed to participate in our bursary scheme. Moreover, two handicapped and differently abled youth received financial aid to help meet their living expenses.
The scholarship fees amounted to 40% of the total donations received.
- Ethic School Project
In order to ensure electricity to the school building, two electric pylons had to be put in place alongside the path leading to the school. The necessary installations and wiring were also done inside the building.
In view of the fact that we’ll be needing funds to implement the upcoming cinnamon cultivation project, the children were not taken on a weekend excursion as we did in the past. They were of course disappointed.
- Cultivation of Spices
This project will be developed so as to make it a „self-runner“. As a preliminary step, a group of 10 potential team leaders were taken to visit a cinnamon plantation followed by a factory tour of the processing plant in Balangoda.
After having loosened the soil with the help of a tractor, 7200 cinnamon saplings were planted by hand in an area of approx. 8000 m² (two acres) during the rainy season towards the end of the year.
- Kosgoda Projects
The Sahana houses built in 2005 are without any visible defects. Three have been repainted by the lucky owners. The usual Buddhist cultural activities are held regularly in the reconstructed temple.
- Outlook 2015/2016/2017
- Continuation of the cinnamon and pepper cultivation project
- Visiting a pepper plantation with subsequent factory tour of the processing plant
- Cultivation of pepper
- Construction of a hall for processing the spices (by 2017)
- Sourcing additional books for the library
On behalf of Sahana, I wholeheartedly thank all our sponsors, donors and well-wishers near and far for their continued support.
Rajah Wirasekara , June 2015