Ananda School ages 5-17
Kitulampitiya Road near Hirimbura Cross Road
The school's volunteer coordinator teacher is Mr Bandula. In any school, volunteers should not teach classes without a teacher present unless they are extremely confident. Children are children everywhere and they may take advantage of your lack of Sinhala!
Some of the school buildings and the playground Ananda School's Sports Day Parade
Thotagoda School ages 11 – 17
This is a semi rural school a short bus or tuk tuk ride
from the accommodation, just past Karapitiya. At this
school , generally two volunteers work together usually in
Grades 5 and 6.
The Vice Principal is Mr Priyan.
Mr Pryantha is the volunteer coordinator.
Volunteers mainly teach spoken English. Help was
recently sought by the staff who asked volunteers to
design mathematical murals for the walls of the school.
These are the lowest levels of the school which is
built up a hillside on 4 levels. Previous volunteers
have recently donated and built them a pit latrine.
The Sacred Heart Girls School ages 6 - 18
Kandaywattha Road, Galle
This is not a private school as some volunteers have mistakenly thought. It is a very large Government school which has a small amount of church funding as the school's Principal is a nun. Pupil intake is restricted in as much as the school tries to take pupils whose parents are committed to providing the supportive environment children need to make the most of their education.
We are very keen to continue supporting this school because the staff is very motivated. They take on board all worthwhile input from foreign/volunteer teachers, incorporating it into their methodology and curriculum. Thus volunteer input is retained for the future – far more so than in any other schools.
The Head of the Primary School is Mrs Vanoja. She is also responsible for the 12 girls at the school who have learning disabilites or other special needs.
Special needs children working with learning materials donated by a volunteer.
Four girls are deaf and mute, but very intellectually capable. It’s so good for these girls if you will work with them, teaching them using spoken English and Sinhalese and American sign language. Deaf children can be very marginalised so by working with them (and playing – please give them some fun!) you will do wonders for their self esteem and morale. They are lovely girls who inspire everyone who works with them.
Volunteers can also teach other subjects within the mainstream – English, maths, science, drama & dance etc.
The deaf girls with some of their work
Sulaimanya Muslim School
Acting Principal – Mr Salam.
This school is at Galagediya Junction about 500 yards from the accommodation.
This is a new venture and one that has been initiated to try to build bridges between the local communities of Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus. Volunteers will work with Grades 1 and 2 teaching spoken English.
A TESL programme is available in ring binders in the volunteer resource area. The plan is for volunteers to use this, record what has been covered with which class in which school, to ensure continuity and consistency. Please seek out these records and the TESL programme before you commence teaching.
The Nurses Training School
Principal: Mrs Gunawardene, Student Coordinator: Mr Sujeewa Ariyananda
The NTS is on the main road about 500 yards from the accommodation.
There are roughly 130 young women and 2 young men in years 1 – 3 of their Nurses Training. Most of the girls live in cramped dormitories. The boys travel in each day. Their needs are for spoken language experience and fun/sports activities to bring interest to their lives. They are deeply appreciative of anything volunteers do for them.
Volunteers who are qualified nurses and doctors may also be involved in delivering training to the nursing students subject to approval by the Principal and it fitting in with their curriculum. A copy of this is available to download from the Volunteer Documents page.
They also badly need help with any medical text books and physiology models and skeletons you can provide to add to their non existent resources. The text book they use is Anatomy and Physiology in Health and Illness by Anne Waugh and Allison Grant 9th Edition or later. They have only 3 copies between 130 students.
Nursing Students Dormitory Mr Sujeewa Ariyananda with student nurses
In lectures Third year student nurses with their Nursing Tutor
The Teaching Hospital at Karapitiya
A short tuk tuk or bus ride from the accommodation.
Volunteers who are qualified doctors, nurses or physiotherapists may assist and/or possibly teach, at this hospital subject to their qualifications being ratified by the governing staff of the hospital. Volunteers will find conditions very different to those in European and American hospitals. Medical students may find this hospital is a good choice for their elective term. As this is a teaching hospital, volunteers may also be involved in training. Dr. Cryshanta will help prospective volunteers achieve a worthwhile placement by corresponding with them prior to their flight to Sri Lanka and meeting with them after they arrive.
This hospital has 1591 beds and 900 staff nurses. Every aspect of medical treatment is available at this hospital from birth to death. There are 56 wards and units. There is one whole wing which is devoted to the treatment of patients with cancer. An Accident and Emergency Wing/Trauma Hospital was completed in 2011.
For a hospital in the developing world, conditions in the hospital are very good although to those unfamiliar with Third World medical care, some facilities may look grim. Some of the wards, such as the children’s cancer wards, isolation unit etc are of a high standard. In other wards, general conditions may be good, but there may not be enough beds so some patients will be lying on the floor without a mattress. They prefer to resort to this rather than turn sick people away.
They are desperately short of chemotherapy drugs. If anyone is able to help by channeling donations of such drugs to the hospital, it would be wonderful. If you are able to help or wish to discuss any other such matter, please contact Janaka and he will put you in touch with Dr. Cryshanta.
In the first instance anyone wishing to be a medical volunteer should email Janaka through the website.
Impossible to photograph the hospital! Isolation wards
Two Elders' Homes
Samarasinghe (Piyadigama) Elders’ Home
Bope Road, in the Piyadigama area not far from the mosque.
12 elderly men Caretaker: Mr Senarathna
There is a need for groups of volunteers to make up a working party every 2 – 4 weeks to help them by cleaning their home and washing their sheets. In the volunteer’s store, equipment is available for use for this task. The elders would also benefit from volunteers being prepared to play darts, carom and cards with them. These have been provided at their home via a volunteer’s donation. Cleaning and washing may seem menial tasks, but showing these old men that someone cares enough to do this for them is a great gift to give them.
Van Reeth Elders’ Home
Kandaywattha Road, Galle
This home has up to 75 residents – both male and female. Van Reeth Elders' Home is provided and run by Catholic nuns. Sister Felicitas is the Sister in Charge and her Deputy in Charge is Sister Nadeesha – both sisters are nurses. The home takes elderly people of all faiths.
The need here is for volunteers to play Carrom, cards, bingo, snakes and ladders and ludo with the elderly people. These have been provided for the home by a project volunteer. The old people also like to do art work so please encourage them in this (materials in the Van Reeth box in the volunteers’ resource store), and be given hand and limb massage (baby oil in store), nail clipping, hair cutting, assistance with shaving (mirrors in store), chiropody, physiotherapy, sore treatment, physiotherapy, etc. Generally showing them kindness and attention will improve the quality of their lives.
Adult spoken English Language and Literacy Class
There are a number of families living near the accommodation who want to improve their English. These sessions are informal and take place in family homes with parents and older children who every much appreciate the opportunity to converse and play games using spoken English. This will undoubtedly have benefits for the families involved but also for the local community as a whole.
Teenagers’ spoken Language and Literacy Class
Also in a home near the Temple
This group needs re-establishing and is particularly important as teenagers everywhere can be a vulnerable group, so anything positive that engages them and furthers their learning, thereby enhancing the results of their mainstream education is beneficial.
Ruhuna Children’s Home (orphanage)
Kitulampitiya Road near Hirimbura Cross Road
There is a group of nursery children, aged 2.5 plus, with whom our volunteers have worked and which is still available for volunteers who wish to help with the usual learning activities associated with this age group.
Our volunteers also work with the younger group who are aged between 1 and 2.5 years, termed the 'Baby Group'. The emphasis with these children is play and experiential activities rather than the more academic pre school learning tasks. Previously, this younger group of children was in an enclosed area of the orphanage without activities or stimulus of any sort. We are very pleased to be able to offer these babies the chance to play in the open air with water, sand, balls, ropes, toys etc. so that they are not just sitting or standing on a tiled floor without stimulus, doing nothing all day, every day.
Volunteers who are considering working at the Ruhuna Children's Home should download the Word document that describes the Organisation of the Baby Class at the orphanage which contains information that volunteers need to know before prior to commencing this work.
The Project has had an outside area cleaned up for the Baby Class and there is an undercover area for when it rains. We plan to improve the play surface and paint murals and floor games to make the space safer and more attractive.
Photos of the children are unavailable as it is orphanage policy not to allow children to be photographed. There are also strict procedures via child welfare for ensuring that volunteers are sound. These are similar to those that would be implemented in developed countries. Orphans are a particularly vulnerable group. Please note that we do not take people to view the orphanage just 'out of interest'. Only volunteers who wish to work here may visit the orphanage after Child Welfare clearance procedures have been followed.
The best shot possible of the front of the orphanage! This is the nursery class room for children aged 2.5+
The Street Children's Nursery and Day Care Centre
Teacher - Mrs Vagira
Located off Lower Wakwalla Road in central Galle.
This nursery takes children who live and sleep on the streets and also from the very poor area in which it was situated - a former shanty town. Many of these children have parents who are in prison and/or work as prostitutes. Volunteers generally work here in pairs assisting the teacher, although some volunteers have worked alone. Watch your personal possessions whilst working here. These children are delightful and innocent in the true sense that they do not know any better and are a product of their sad histories and living conditions on the street. You will discover that the children are lovely and very rewarding to work with. They are helpless victims of their dire circumstances.
Miss Kamala's Nursery
Teacher Miss Kamala
A small, well organised nursery school in Dangedara, a short bus or tuk tuk ride from Yasodora where the volunteers are accommodated.
This is particularly suitable to volunteers who would enjoy the experience of working with young children in an atmosphere that is well organised and where they will have the security of receiving sound direction.
Next to the Lighthouse Hotel, Galle.
Volunteers can help provide swimming instruction at the
municipal swimming pool which is overseen by the
Lighthouse Hotel. There are various swimming classes for
both adults and children.
Many Sri Lankans, especially women, cannot swim.
This meant that more people died during the Tsunami than
would have had this not been the case.
Some volunteers enjoy helping with swimming instruction
for children and/or adults.
There are also classes for women only as this is a
particularly vulnerable group.
In the future, volunteers will also be able to participate in skills training at the Temple to be started at a date as soon as possible. Training will start with IT using two donated secondhand laptops.