Galwewa - 2015
Yesterday we visited the very excited 85 children at Galwewa school.
As we drove past the school to turn and come back I could see children scurrying from the gate to the classrooms. Little did I know at that time what had been planned by them for us.
As usual, we unloaded the van. The boxes way too heavy for the kids to carry so some of the parents gave a hand.
We unpacked all the items and then were ushered into the largest of the four classrooms. Before I could enter, I was presented with two necklaces of flowers. One was the most beautiful pink petals and the other of bright yellow flowers.
We sat and were regaled with each class singing a song. There was even a song for me, Madam Julie Aunty. Once this was finished, it was time for quick speeches. I had my turn and of course needed an interpreter. My Sinhalese isn't good enough to make a speech. After this was over, I was presented with the most beautiful folder of the children's work all addressed to me, welcoming me for this year to their school. I was very touched by this gesture. Outside the classroom we had lots of parents with babies and toddlers who'd come to see their children perform and meet with us again this year.
We moved to the little room where we'd set up our gifts and commenced our distribution with grade 1. Very quickly, the children had their school bags filled with books, pencils, caps, toys and other things. Lots of noise and small smiling faces.
Unfortunately we were short of five bags so I needed to buy them from the shops in Hambantota. I was shocked at the price, at least 1500- rupees for one. I was able to get reasonable quality ones for 800 rupees but even at that price, they aren't affordable for some families. What a delightful day for us and them.
After school finished and the children had gone home, we had refreshments with the staff and chatting and laughing about the morning.
Before we left, as usual we visited the young boy who was a student at Galwewa and now is well enough to attend a special needs school in Hambabtota. He was born with major health problems and is on constant medication to keep him well.
I was very happy to see that he'd put on a little bit of weight and was looking as healthy as he did. His family are very poor and work very hard as subsistence farmers live and provide this child with his medication.
We were able to provide him with a bag of goodies and again donated SR5000- to his mum for medication. We in turn were presented with a pot of local curd.
Overall, a great day full of excitement and happiness for all.