Harrow Tsunami Relief Fund

Message from the Head Master of Harrow School, London

When the Tsunami struck inSri Lankaon Boxing Day 2004,HarrowSchoolhad a cricket team playing on the test-match ground inGalle.  Our cricketers were fortunate to escape and received much assistance and comfort from local Sri Lankan people.  It was the desire of those boys involved and the rest of us in the school community that any money raised by Harrow should be directed to relief and development in theGallearea.  We have supported many such projects and provided the funds to rebuildVidyalokaCollege, the eminent boys school inGalle.  We are delighted that the College has been restored and improved so extensively.  We send our good wishes to the people and pupils of Vidyaloka,Galleand the southern province for their continuing progress in the future and an enduring link with pupils at our School.

B J Lenon, Head Master of Harrow School, 1999-2011

 Overview

In total, the Harrow Tsunami Relief Fund has raised and distributed more than £500,000 to worthwhile and urgent projects inSri Lankasince the Tsunami on Boxing Day 2004.  We have contributed to a wide range of programmes and projects mainly in the southern province aroundGalleand up and down the eastern coastline which were the worst affected areas.  We have been greatly assisted in assessing and implementing projects by the Hirdaramani (Harrovian) family ofSri Lanka.

This update includes a summary of relief projects selected by Harrow School itself, in conjunction with the Hirdaramani family, and other organisations in the UK and Sri Lanka.

In addition our remit was extended considerably through the work of partner enthusiasts who made use of the charitable provision of the Harrow Tsunami Relief Fund to give funds to a greater number and variety of relief projects.

Harrow School Projects

Our relief work has involved the following projects:

  • VidyalokaCollege: This boys’ school inGallefor 1,200 pupils, which was destroyed in the disaster, has been completely rebuilt and extended at a cost of £250,000
  • Contributing to numerous projects along the south coast involving housing reconstruction and the regeneration of communities
  • Assisting a member of the Harrow Ambulance Rescue Service who advised the Sri Lankan Minister of Health on developing a new ambulance service in the southern province
  • Establishing a pension for the widow of a taxi driver who was killed while driving a member of theHarrowSchoolcricket tour, and have contributed towards a number of hardship and scholarship awards to orphans to enable them to continue their education

Working with Mrs Harriet Crawley whose husband, Mr Julian Ayer, died in the disaster.  She funded the construction of an indoor cricket centre and spectator stand at the test match stadium inGalle, as part of the overall reconstruction of the ground.  The centre is being used both by talented local cricketers and children from local schools

Partner Projects

A selection of these include:

  • UK Friends of Galle:  Working with the founder, Mr Devsiri Hewavidana, in a large number of projects.  Principally over several years, this has included funding scholarships and awards to pupils, building new libraries and other facilities at local schools, and accepting charitable donations from supporters wishing to support Tsunami relief projects inSri Lanka
  • Mr Alan Hutchison raised funds to renew an entire fishing fleet in the town of Sivantivuon the east coast. This involved replacing about 80 boats, canoes and fishing equipment, the only livelihood for the local community
  • David and Tess Le Sueur: Through the Midlands Appeal forSri Lanka, they have undertaken a large number of projects on the east coast, including:
  • Lahuguela and Akkaraipattu: Building two temporary shelters for 250 people, adding a kindergarten for 60 children, and refurbishing their school
  • Pottuvi: Building two permanent houses for Tsunami families, funding four livelihood projects for sewing, carpentry, fruit & vegetable growing and a gift shop with internet facilities. Renovating fifteen classrooms, building two new ones and creating a playground at theCentralCollege
  • Tambiluvil: Converting a derelict house into a Girls Home, known as the Tambiluvil Home for Girls, including the training of staff; building a new cricket ground funded by The Oval Cricket Relief Trust and the Bernard Sunley Foundation
  • Starting a Global Linking programme withUKschools through the British Council

Footnote

The Sri Lankan High Commissioner visited HarrowSchoolin November 2006 when Harrow boys took part in their annual ‘Long Ducker’ charity run (Marble Arch toHarrowSchool) and raised £55,000 for Tsunami relief. She is shown with Douglas Collins, Director of the Harrow Development Trust and Jake Galbraith, the winning 20 mile runner.