We are delighted to share a blog written by student Oleena Lenasy Wijayakoon from Lyceum International School, Kurunegala, Sri Lanka, who is part of a team delivering a Global Goals project for the 2019-20 Global Goals Competition.
Their project is among over 957 social action projects currently running as part of the GSL movement and we are excited to be supporting them to design and lead positive social change in their community.
The main concern of our team is to improve the quality of education in underprivileged schools in Sri Lanka. For this year’s project we have selected Iriyaminna junior school in Kurunegala district. We payed several visits to this and interviewed the principal, staff members and students of that school to identify the problems and difficulties they are facing in the school. From these interviews and from our own observations we identified several problems:
- Absenteeism of students
- Students with learning difficulties
- Unpleasant look of school premises
- Improper sanitary facilities
- Not having a teacher to teach English language
- Not having a library for students extra needs
Absenteeism is mainly caused by parents irresponsibility. So we decided to have several awareness programs with the help of councilors an other professionals to make the parents understand the importance of education.
If the absenteeism rate drops down children with learning difficulties will improve themselves too. Our English teachers, elder brothers and sisters will be visiting the school twice a month to help them with their English language skills. We are also hoping to build a library for those students. To achieve that we must build a library and provide them with books.
Estimated cost for the project is GBP 4200.00. To get the funds needed, we had many fund raising activities such as selling old books, popcorn and ice cream on parents days and during the school interval. Also we had public awareness programs through social media, leading newspapers and by displaying banners in the school compound. As a result we got many donations from individuals and by companies.
At present we have GBP 1600.00 in our treasury.
Being able to lead and participate in this 2020 GSL competition is one of the greatest opportunities I’ve had in my life. I discovered many abilities and skills that lay hidden within my life which I never knew before. Working in this project helped me identify those skills and abilities.
During this short period of time of our project I learnt;
- How to work as a team, by distributing work within group members in the most suitable way.
- How to handle and maintain documents approximately.
- How true is the saying one mans trash is the other mans treasure.(on one parents day we earn over 50000 rupees by selling old books)
- Various ways of fund raising.
- To do public speaking with confidence.
- How to manage time ( we had to manage both our school work and project work )
- Most importantly I got a high self esteem as I found out my capabilities and skills. At the same time my heart is filled with joy of doing a good deed.
Just as everybody in the world we were also haunted by the Covid 19 pandemic. We handed over all the materials needed for the building to the principal of Iriyaminna junior school. We would not go ahead with constructions until such time that Covid 19 endemic ends. Afterwards we will start our constructions.
The Next Chapter
In the future we will be planning to register our organization “Book to remember” in Sri Lankan Government as a non charitable organization.
Through that organization we will select one underprivileged school every year and improve their quality of education in every aspect we can.
We are also planning to launch a website for our organization to increase public awareness.
The 2019-20 GSL Global Goals Competition is now open and runs until June 2020. If you belong to one of the 700+ teams of students currently delivering a social action project as part of the competition we would love to hear from you and feature your blog and project photos on our website to inspire others.