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Sri Lanka

Provision of a Nursery School  

The Trustees of The Lady Leech Fund of the William Leech Charity, whose objects stated by the benefactor are to provide help for children in deprived circumstances have identified a need in Sri Lanka and have committed to provide a school in conjunction with the Anglican Diocese of Colombo  

In Sri Lanka formal schooling begins at the age of 6 years. To prepare children for entry to the primary schools a network of  Pre-schools, also known as Nursery schools or Montessori schools exist island wide. These are all privately run and fee levying and range from those attached to the big prestigious private schools to thousands run by trained or semi-trained women teachers as a kind of “cottage industry”.

The church’s involvement in these pre-schools stems from the fact that children from very poor families or deprived areas find access to the privately run schools difficult for financial and social reasons. Presently around 45 pre-schools are run by parishes of the Diocese of Colombo.

Mylambaverly  is a small village in the Eravur Secretariat Division lying to its east.

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It has a population of just 3000 persons. The Anglican Diocese of Colombo has a small chapel there looked after by the main church, St. Andrew’s, Batticaloa. Until recently several hundred IDPs were housed in a land belonging to the Church next to this chapel.

A Pre-school and Nutrition Centre is now run in the old unused chapel building for about 65 children. Since adequate nutrition is also an issue due to poverty, the school doubles as a nutritional centre, providing breakfast, lunch and a glass of milk in the afternoon.Pre-School run in former Mylambaverly Chapel .

The proposed Pre-School  

The total area of the land which was earlier used to house the displaced persons. is 1.214 hectares or 3 acres. Part of the land has been planted with bananas, coconuts and vegetables as a livelihood project by several youth of the area. It is also proposed to build a new Chapel in the premises. The balance land will be used for the pre-school and a play area for the children. Two temporary shelters constructed for the displaced persons, exist on the land, with two rows of external toilets and a well used for obtaining both for drinking and washing, since no tap water is available in the area.

 It is intended to strengthen and convert one of the existing structures to house the pre-school. (see below)

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 View of land looking East. The existing Chapel is to the left of the picture 

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Close up of structure which we hope to convert to preschool

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The same structure (white roof) in the background  

 

This building is to the right of the land and is behind a circular hut used as a meeting hall, which is now intended to be used by the children, after strengthening, as a covered play area

 In the middle of 2008 the Lady Leech Fund offered to fund the provision of the above nursery school premises and the running costs for five years.  The original costs of the project were estimated to be £2000 for the construction of the school and £4000 pa for running costs.

Unfortunately, due to the current economic situation the value of the pound has depreciated to the point where these costs are 30% higher and with some additional playground equipment costs, the first year costs have risen to some £10,000.00