Horigampita School

February 2011

The school seems to have improved over the last year and this year we completed the following in support of this school:

·         Provision of curtains in 4 classrooms to help keep mosquito’s out
·         Reading books to add to the library

In 2007, after arriving at the school and casually looking around, I noticed the old delapidated buildings that were there the year before. However, what I didn’t realise was that these were the existing toilets, constantly in use. It is impossile to describe how bad they were, but just to give you some idea, the girls outside urinal consisted of four walls with a broken concrete floor and a crack that opened up to a ten inch gap.

Adding to all of this, I discovered that everything was blocked. What was more astonishing was that there was no water in the school whatsoever and children carried pails of water from neighbouring houses. Obviously, all the toilets were blocked and only seeped slowly. The teachers tended not to use the toilets at all and most children only used the urinal. However, there are children as young as five attending the school, therfore, it could become quite difficult on times to stop a young child doing whatcomes naturally. All the drains were totally blocked.

Just days before we left the U.K., we were contacted by Ysgol Glan Taf (Cardiff), who very kindly donated a generous sum, with which we had intended to buy computers for the school, but seeing the diabolicle state of the sanitation facilities, we decided thet this was obviously far more important.

First of all, I decided that I would knock down the existing toilets, sink a new well and fit washing / drinking facilities.

One problem: Before we started, I was informed by the head teacher, that no work could be carried out on school property without permission from the local education authority.

“ Well” I said, “ lets go” but the head was adamant that nobody would see us. However, I explained, as a foreigner, I am able open doors and see people that they could not. The head was still adamant that we would not be seen, but eventually agreed to try.

We travelled to Galle and in no time at all we were sitting in the office of the Chief of Education for southern Galle, much to the amazement of the teachers.

I duely explained what I wanted and the chief told me it was very admiral but was not easy to carry out straight away. However, he wanted to introduce me to the project manager for southern Galle, who was downstairs, who also happened to be a friend of his.

Apparantly, no building project at any school can commence without his permission.

I met up with him and told him what my intentions were. I explained that the toilets were blocked and dangerous and also the fact that there was no water whatsoever in the school. He admired my passion and said it was not a simple task, as no foreigner could invest money in a Sri Lankan school without a lengthy investigation by several parties, taking 3-4 months. He asked me how many months I was here for. I promptly explained only two weeks. After a lot of discussion we finally decided that we did not want to build toilets or a well in the school. However, we were extremely lucky enough to know of a person in Horigampita village who also wanted to donate money, but who wanted to remain anonymous. As a local, he would be able to invest straight away.

Thirty minutes later, with all the correct paper work and official stamps, we were sent to the planning department.

I went into four more different departments, in each one there was someone already waiting for me and each was extremely helpful. In just three and a half hours, we left with all the correct documents, full plans and planning permission, and arrangements to meet the following day on site with the building inspector. Brilliant and all to the forward thinking of some important people in the education department. Well done Sri LankaEducation department.

The next day we met on site with the Well builder and planning inspector and the following day the work was started.

We sunk a new well 21 feet deep x 4ft 6 wide concrete rings all around. This then fed a 1000 litre tank which has been installed in an old disused storeroom to stop any vandals tinkering with the water. We bought the biggest pump and all wiring and pumbing and building work was completed by local tradesmen.

The old outside girls urinal was knocked down and two brand new toilets were built in its place. We also refurbushed the three other toilets with new floor and pans new drainage and recemented and tiled all floors. All toilets then painted.

The well had a huge concrete slab to cover it and make it safe. We also dug a new ces pit 6ft x 6ft x 10ft deep which was then double bricked on three sides. The bottom is not bricked allowing the waste water to drain. Due to the size of the pit it is thought it will take Five years plus before it needs emptying.

Planning were there practically every day and were very thorough.

We managed to finish about 75% of the work while we were there and the rest was finished of afterwards.To think what we achieved in a few weeks was fantastic and a school of 164 children and staff now has proper and adequate water and toilet facilities. Also we purchased shoes and socks for every child in the school.

Last year this school had 123 students however after buying shoes for all the children word got around and there was a rumour i might call back so now everyone wants to join this school they now have 164 a huge increase.

Who knows what will now happen next year as we have carried out all this work.

The final bill for the school is expected to be less than £1000 for all the building work.I have also implemented extra english lessons for ten students at this school which is starting in may.

I have collected books from St Helens Schools, but i am having problems with shipping as soon as it is sorted i will send.

Name of School Horagampita
Most Recent Date Visited February 2010
School Info Lots of work done here previously – toilets, cess pit and water supply. Also well  sponsored by Ysgol Gyfun Cymraeg Glantaf.

We have also taken books from the UK donated by St Helens.

They have now started a library and children can take books home for the first time.

We sponsor children at this school.

Number and age range of pupils 90e Students Age 5 -16
Project required Project Information Quotation Status
Repairs taps in toilets Slight damage to taps in need of repair. £10 To be sponsored
Water supply Now that the water board have run water to the gate we can bring water to the tank so as to have a supply even in the dry season. £120 To be sponsored
Annual Water Charge Mains water will only be used in the dry season (Jan – Feb) Well water used at all other times. £30 To be sponsored
Repair Gate Repairs to gate so the school is secure. £30 To be sponsored
School chairs for teachers At the moment school teachers sits on tiny pupil seats. £50 Purchased Feb 2010
Books/library If we purchase books we insist that a library system is applied so children can take books home. £100 – £400 To be sponsored
New cupboard We have provided books so they now have a good library system where children can take books home,  Needs new cupboard for storage. £60 To be sponsored
New uniform Girls – dresses / boys – shorts and shirts. £325 To be sponsored
New shoes and socks Girls white / boys black trainers. £450 To be sponsored
New school bag Black ruck sack with HAT logo. £180 To be sponsored
New School bag with Book / pens / pencil sets Black Ruck sack with Hat Logo. Exercise books, pens, ruler mathematical set etc. £500 To be sponsored
Alternative to above is to  buy just a set amount of items per school. Attendance by some students is poor and this obviously shows in their results.  This rewards those who study hard and those that attend school regularly. It does not discriminate and simply makes children try harder or attend school more often.

Uniform, Shoes,Rucksack, Books etc

40 complete school sets as above

Total £600

£600

To be sponsored