Sri Lanka

Building of a Day Care Center and Montessori School for approximately 50 children in Pallemalala, Hambantota District, Sri Lanka

June 2, 2005

Sylvia Hoebig and Anu Perera

Pallemalala is a small village in the Hambantota district in Southern Sri Lanka. The villagers' main income source is fishing. Due to the tsunami, many of the already very poor families have suffered major losses, both materially and emotionally.

The child care center now operates from this tent without furniture, with school children helping — see photos below.

In many families, wives have lost their husbands and are now forced to provide for their children by themselves. Since they are mostly untrained, there are very few opportunities available to them. So, in addition to the financial difficulties, they face an enormous amount of psychological stress, which of course affects the emotional and motivational behavior and development of their children. A Day Care Center (kindergarten, age 2 – 4) combined with a Montessori school (age 4-5) would help immensely to support these families psychologically, physically and economically.
Presently, the Janadiriya Women's Association, who Real Medicine would partner up with on this project, provides a day care center for 30 children in a tent that has been donated by World Vision. But this can only be a temporary and limited solution.
Buying land (1 acre) for the market price of RS 1,000,000 (US$ 10,000) would make it possible to construct a Day Care Center and Montessori School for about 50 children.
Since Hambantota is a very poor area (even before the tsunami) it would be necessary to take over the running costs for the first year to operate the center and the school.
Project Objectives
  • To facilitate psycho trauma care for the children and their families.
  • To facilitate psychological and socio-economic development of the families.
  • To support the children in their development and provide a harmonic and child friendly environment.
  • To provide employment for two teachers as well as for one or two seamstresses to sew the Montessori uniforms, as well as one cook to prepare the meals, and two caretakers/cleaning persons for the house. (Employment should be mainly given to parents of the children and to members of the families affected by the tsunami.)
  • To give the availability of time and freedom to the single mothers/working parents to pursue employment.
Country Page: Sri Lanka Initiative Page: Pallemalala Vidyalaya School