Our original Sparkes Home in Kallar continues to thrive and is now regarded as a “flag ship” among the children’s homes run by the Methodist church in Sri Lanka.
The trustees have visited Kallar four times this year. The girls in the home continue to thrive and their school results improve each year. In our last newsletter we mentioned four girls taking A levels in August 2012. They are now awaiting their results and have high hopes for university and college places. These are girls from extremely remote and poor villages where university is almost unheard of and girls are married off at a very young age. We are funding these four girls for English and IT courses and their accommodation while they await their results. We will then fund their tertiary education. A further 2 girls will take their A levels in 2013 and we hope that another girl will go to a specialist dance school in January.
Over the last 7 years we have established strong links with the Methodist organisation and support their efforts to help disadvantaged children throughout Sri Lanka. Unfortunately their major international sponsor is withdrawing all financial support for residential homes at the end of 2012. The Methodist church is working hard to replace this funding, both from international sources and from local initiatives. Following visits by the Trustees, in addition to our long term support for Kallar, we have agreed to provide interim funding for three existing girls homes threatened with closure. We are now caring for over 120 girls in Sri Lanka.
Kalmunai is only ten miles south of Kallar. The home has 35 girls in residence who, like our Kallar girls, go to school locally and benefit from extra tuition in the home after school. The trustees have visited Kalmunai four times this year. We are very impressed by the warden and her staff and the home is on a beautiful site.
Tummodara is on the west coast, approximately 20 miles north of the international airport. It is one of the oldest established homes run by the Methodist church and has a fine collection of pigs, cows and chickens in the grounds! We have visited the home and were impressed by the 25 girls and the loyal long-standing staff.
Hatton is in the heart of the tea country. We are providing funds for crucial repairs. When we first visited this home in March there were gaping holes in the roof and windows were falling out. By October the main dormitory had a new roof and windows and the wash area had been renovated. The work is still in progress to weather proof and improve this home for 28 girls.
It has only been possible to extend our activities in Sri Lanka because of the huge generosity of our donors and sponsors. We would like to thank all of you. Particular thanks go to major donors: the Holliday Foundation, The Mann Cornwell Trust, the Gibson Charitable Trust and the family and friends of Carolyne Stanforth in whose memory the Kallar extension is dedicated.
We welcome donors, sponsors, friends and family who may be on holiday in Sri Lanka to visit the homes.