Shoes donation for Grade 1 new children at Ullala Maha Vidyalaya

on 17th January 2014 , on behalf of his grandson Deshan Hewavidana , Mr Sirisena Gamage donated brand new pairs of shoes and socks to all the new children of Grade 1 at Ulllala Maha Vidyalakya Kamburupitiya . The money for this wonderful gesture was raised by Deshan and his friends at his former school Norton Knatchbull in Ashford ,Kent .

.Mr Sirisena Gamage, and all other VIPs were garlanded at the school gate and was taken to the hall by the school band amid the cheers and applause of children and the parents . In his speech Mr Gamage praised his grandson and said it was a joy to see that Ullala school which was founded by Devsiri’s father Late Mr D C Hewavidana had been benefited by the philanthropy of three generations of his Family. He assured the children that Deshan, now a first year undergraduate at Warwick University would continue raise funds to help the school further. The school then staged a beautiful concert where children in very colourful costumes performed cultural dances , and sang songs . There were many speeches from the dignitaries and staff members

In his Thank You speech the principal expressed his utmost gratitude to Hewavidana family for the amazing presents the school had just received. He thanked UKFG for their continuing support for the school .At the end of the ceremony, all the guest and children were treated to Ice Cream.

Click the images below to enlarge

Books and equipment donation to Massmulle School children

During our trip to Srilanka in 2013 we officially started all the UKFG work on the 23rd July 2013 by visiting Massmulle School, a poor rural school in Kamburupitya . The school that was under the threat  of closure in 2007 has gone through a remarkable turn around  and become one of the best schools in the district. This is all due to the genorisity of  UKFG member Nicky Pharoah and her company Learning Curve that has donated so much money to school.

As soon as we arrived, we were treated to an incredible ovation by  the school children , which was particularly gratifying for us as it is always great to see how much the local community support and value our project. We donated various new pieces of stationery and other tangible products to all the school children, which is seen as a luxury for them. Devsiri then donated the school  principal the picture frames and school calendars especially printed for them by Nicky Pharoah.  Our family bought everyone ice cream, which really brought a smile to children’s faces and brightened up everybody’s day.

Click the images below to enlarge


A new Laptop, uniforms and shoes for Puswelkada School children

Having saved Massmulle Primary school in Kamburupitiya from imminent closure by donating it a new library, computer centre, books and shoes and uniforms for children every year, UKFG’s biggest donor Nicky Pharoah has extended her extra ordinary philanthropy to Pusewelkada Junior school in Galle.

On 8th January 2013, on behalf of Nicky Pharoah, her husband Colin Newbold and their company, The Learning Curve , UKFG chairman Mr Sirisena Gamage presented the children with new Uniforms and shoes. The children were utterly delighted with the gifts they have received. it was heart warming to see some of the children walking up and down the school corridor wearing a pair of shoes for the first time in their lives.

The School principal Margret Wellapili and the whole staff had a delightful surprise when Mr Gamage presented them with Nicky’s biggest gift, a brand New laptop worth 70000 rupees (£340) . This was a much needed teaching aid for the school and the children could not believe their luck when they are allowed to touch and feel it by the Principal.

At the thanks giving ceremony the children performed beautiful cultural dances and sang songs. The Head boy made a love thank you speech in fluent English. Mrs Wellapili in her speech thanked Nicky Pharaoh profoundly for the wonderful donations she had made to school and children . She explained that not only her school the whole Puswelkda village was grateful to Nicky and the her company for saving the school from closure by donating money and equipment. She further explained that almost all the parents of her children were very poor labourers and would not even earn £20 a month They could not afford to buy an expensive pair of shoes for £10 or uniform worth £8 for their children and Nicky had been their saviour.

Mr Gamage in his speech commended the teachers for the superb way the little children spoke in English . He hoped that using the new laptop as a learning aid, the children would pass more examinations and bring the credit to the school and the village. He also said that Nicky Pharoah has given the school’s brightest child LILLIAN FIELDS Scholarship in memory of her dear grandmother Lillian. He hoped that with the hep of this scholarship this child would go to University one day and then become.

At the end of the ceremony, the children and the parents were treated to tea, biscuits Ice cream .

Click the images below to enlarge

NEW UNIFORMS and Shoes for children at Masmulle school

Every year Nicky Pharoah, her husband Colin Newbold and their Company  The Learning Curve ( Tunbridge Wells , UK) buy Children of their adopted school  Massmulle in Kamburupitiya Srilanka new uniforms &  shoes

On 5th March 2013, on behalf of Nicky and Colin, UKFG Srilanka chairman Sirisena Gamage and Devsiri’s  cousin Ananda Hewavidana presented every children a pair of new school uniforms and shoes, 5 pair of socks and panties each.  The chief guest was   the chairman of local council, Pradeshiya Saba .The principals of neighboring school  and hundreds of parents and many villagers were also present . The VIPS were greeted at the gate by the  school band (All band equipment and uniforms were donated by Nicky Pharoah two years before ) and taken them to the ceremony in a beautiful parade

The children whose parents wont even earn £10 a week were delighted to receive brand new pairs of socks, shoes and uniforms that cost more than £25 each.  The children performed beautiful cultural dances and singsongs on the stage Nicky Pharoah herself had  donated three years previously . In their speeches, the chief guests and local dignitaries thanked  Nicky, Colin and The Learning curve for the wonderful  gifts and the way they had been helping the school and all their children for many years.

The enclosed photos shows how delighted the Massmulle children were to receive those wonderful gifts from Nicky and Colin.

Click the images below to enlarge

Donation of DVD , Video Camera and other equipment to Ullala School

Ullala Maha Vidyalaya is one of the leading schools in Kamburupitiya. This was founded by Dinum’s grandfather and the famous philanthropist in the area late Mr D C Hewavidana . Mr Wannige Aruna the new school principal has made a remarkable improvement to the school’s appearance and environment . Under his leadership the children’s discipline has reached the highest standard within a very short period. Parents, old boys and villages have volunteered to renovate the school buildings which had become dilapidated over the years. Quality of teaching has improved remarkably and parents have been queuing up to enrol their little children to Grade 1 at Ullala

At the invitation of the Principal , Dinum and his father Devsiri together with the members of their extended Hewavidana family members, retired Head Master S W Hewavidana, Dharmadasa Hewavidana , Ananda Hewavidana and the Local Educational officer visited the school on 4th January 2013. The school had laid a grand welcome for the VIP guests . They were garlanded at the school gate and were accompanied by the school band to the main hall. Smartly dressed children each holding a beautiful Anthurian were lined up applauding the the guest

After lighting the traditional oil lamp by the guests the ceremony  started with paying respect to the school founder Mr D C Hewavidana .  Devsiri, Dinum and other Hewavidana family members  laid flowers in front of his photo and honoured him with a minute silence. The school then staged a beautiful concert where children in very colourful costumes performed cultural dances , and sang songs . There were many speeches from the dignitaries and staff members . Little Dinum Hewavidana entertained the children and guests with his unique dancing and singing

Addressing the assembly, Mr Sirisena Gamage further assured the children and parents that UK FRIENDS OF GALLE Foundation would renovate and modernise the school library and buy all the new books for it. Mr Gamage also offered a 5 year scholarship to one poor and bright child . Then to the great delight of children, little Dinum handed over a brand new fridge, a cooker, a kettle , a DVD player and a video camera worth nearly 200,000 rupees to the Principal. In his speech Mr Devsiri said that it was an honour and privilege for him to be able to support the school his dear father had founded. He thanked  the children , staff and parents for the wonderful welcoming ceremony and promised to donate a valuable and prestige cup called D C HEWAVIDANA Memorial Cup for the winning house at school’s annual sports meet

 In his Thank You speech the principal expressed his utmost gratitude to Hewavidana family for the amazing presents the school had just received. He thanked UKFG for their continuing support for the school and mentioned Mick & Valerie Chittenden of Essex who donated a computer and shoes for children a few years before. Mr Aruna assured the guests and parents that his devoted teachers  continue to work hard to make the children achieve best O/L and A/L results this year

At the end of the ceremony, Dinum presented all 400 children with a British 2 Pence coin each as a souvenir . Finally all the guest and children were treated to Ice Cream.

Click the images below to enlarge

UKFG donates stationery to Sapugoda and Gatare school children

In 2011, Neil Carson, the CE at Johnson Matthey donated  the beautiful Carson library to Sapugada Ratanapala school . At the same time Alan Hutchison donated a complete library with new books to the neighbouring school Gatare Junior. Dinum Hewavidana made  flying visits to the both schools on 4th Jan 2013 .  There were grand welcoming ceremonies at the schools where children performed cultural dances and sang songs. Little Dinum  presented children with stationery which he had brought from England. .    The two principals expressed their gratitude to Neil Carson and Alan Hutchison and said the libraries had made a huge difference to children’s education. 

At the end of the ceremony the children and the staff were delighted to receive   a British coin each from Dinum as a souvenir . Then the  children and  parents were treated to  ice cream by Mr Gamage.

Please click the photos to enlarge

Dinum opens the Srilanka shaped pond donated by Deshan to Massmulle School

In 2012 Deshan Hewavidana sold UKFG T shirts to his fellow pupils at Norton Knatchbull Grammer School in Ashford and raised £900 . When Deshan went to Srilanka with his family in July 2012 he donated 15000 rupees each to a few schools supported by UKFG in Kamburupitiya Srilanka. Some schools have bough various equipment with the money and Massmulle school decided to build a pond with their share

On 4th January 2013 Deshan’s little brother Dinum ceremoniously opened the beautiful pond built in the shape of Srilanka

The highlight of the opening was the concert staged by the little children. The [performed traditional dances and sang cultural songs to the delight of guests and the parents . As usual Dinum delighted his friends at Massmulle by singing a few Sinhala and English songs accompanied by his trade mark dancing. In his speech , the Principal thanked Deshan and his friends for the wonderful donation and said the Lanka Pond has become an educational as well as a relaxing place for children.

In his speech , Mr Gamage thanked Mrs Nicky Pharoah for her extra ordinary generosity which rescued Massmulle school from closure . He told children that that Deshan would visit the school with his family in July 2013 . As usual everybody was treated to ice cream at the end.

In the evening, on behalf of Nicky Pharorah . school’s former Head Master Mr S W Hewavidana handed over  5000 rupees each to the  10 children she sponsored and sent them out on a shopping spree. The children and their parents were utterly delighted with the money and bought school books, clothes and shoes with the money and said how grateful they were to her gesture

Please click the photos to enlarge

Donation of a laptop and Digital camera to Children at Howpe School Imaduwa, Galle

Little Dinum, his father Devsiri and UKFG Chairman Sirisena Gamage went to Devsiri’s old village school Howpe Maha Vidayalaya in Galle on 7th January 2013 bearing valuable gifts. The staff and children gave them a tremendous welcome and put up a cultural show where talented children in colourful costumes performed traditional dances and sang songs.

Little Dinum Sang Sinhala and English songs to the delight of all the children and staff.

The school children were delighted too receive a laptop generously donated by Devsiri’s colleague at Rolls Royce (UK). Nick Lucas and his wife Janet . Dinum also donated his own Digital camera to the school . In his speech, the school principal Mr Sarathweera thanked Nick and Janet Lucas profoundly for donating a lap top . He said that this was the first time school have received a laptop and all his 400 children would be given a chance to use it. He explained how Hewavidana family and Mr Gamge had been the major  benefactors of the school and thanked them for the hundreds of books, computers, a multi media projector, a camera and Brand new pairs of shoes which they had given to the children over the years.

The highlight of the day for children was undoubtedly the ice cream treat for everybody

Please click the photos to enlarge

Renovating Puswelkada school building and donating children books

In 1957, Devsiri’s father’s employer and closest friend, the famous Philanthropist in Galle, late B R Disanayake founded the Puswelkada junior school, Galle.  For four decades. Devsiri’s father had been the patron of the school who looked after the welfare of poor children there. Since his passing away the school was somewhat neglected by the authorities and building had become dilapidated

Mr Sirisena Gamge’s latest project in 2012 was to totally renovate the school building. He had irons grills fitted on to windows and installed new gates to protect staff and children from astray dogs and birds. The building was then re-painted. The cost of 160,000 rupees (£800) was equally shared by Nicky Pharorah (Tunbridge Wells) and Devsiri’s family.

On 13th November 2013, little Dinum Hewavidana’s 9th Birthday, in front of local dignitaries, parents and children Mr Gamage ceremonially handed over the building to the school Head Mrs Margret Wellapili. Instead of having a party in England Dinum celebrated his birthday by donating book bags, pens,pencil and exercise books to all the children at Puswelkada school.

Please click the photos to enlarge