Vitiyala is a village in the Thihagoda Division, inland from tsunami-affected Matara on the South Coast.
Aruna Pre-school is located in a rural area where the villagers have a low income, usually employed in casual labour or small scale market trading. From our first visit to the school it was apparent that the small building was in need of some attention.
The walls were like a patchwork of holes and cracks, the floor was similarly damaged, te roof leaked and the doors and windows were riddled termites. In addition, the toilet had been broken for some time and was now unusable.
There was also a severe lack of furniture and facilities. For the 30 children in the main room, there were only 12 very badly damaged chairs and a few equally broken desks. The younger children who use the hall belonging to the bank for their activities had no furniture but used mats on the floor.
With the funds raised by Sibford School, UK, a make over was planned. Consulting with the teachers, children and parents a list of needs and priorities was made and the parents volunteered to help where they could. Having wanted to improve the facilities for a long time, given the opportunity they were all eager to help.
The project proposes to provide a safe and pleasant environment for the children by undertake repairs to the walls, floor and roof, provide new toilet facilities and supply enough furniture for each child. Some educational and play items will also be provided.
As usual, the participation of the community will be a central part of the work.