Nicky Pharoah, the Managing Director of The Learning Curve at Tunbridge Wells, not only saved Massmulle school by donating a library and computer centre, she also sponsors 10 children there. Before leaving UK, Deshan received money from Nicky with the request that they should be spent on her 10 children for buying anything and everything they want.
After visiting the first two schools Massmulle and Kahagala , later in the afternoon, Devsiri and his two sons Deshan and Dinum invited Nicky’s children to the biggest stores at Kamburupitiya. They all turned up smartly dressed and with their parents. The children were given £15 (2500 rupees) to spend on clothes, shoes and other accessories and ended up having a great time buying whatever they pleased for the first time in their lives. Some of the poor parents who could only dream of buying those things for their children were shedding tears with happiness. They were expressing gratitude to Nicky and her husband Colin and thanking them for their continuous support for their children and the school. Mr Gamage then donated £50 Nick has given to little Ayesha’s mum who is struggling to bring up her family with three young children.
Afterwards, Devsiri and his boys met up with the children and took some photos outside the store, and Deshan and Dinum shook hands and posed with all the lovely scholarship children.
The second school Devsiri and his family visited on the same day was Kahagala. It was the first time that the family had travelled to the school, and they were treated to a surprising yet fascinating guard of honour as they entered the school premises. After familiarising themselves with the school staff and children, they witnessed another school show. Here, there was more dancing from schoolchildren, speeches and more entertainment provided by Devsiri’s boys. Deshan presented more gifts from his t-shirt sales, including text books and pens to every single child there. At the end of the event, all the children had ice cream and Dinum and Deshan joined in with playing cricket and even attempting to solve a Rubik’s Cube.
Devsiri and his family visited Massmulle school that has been supported by Nicky Pharorah in UK over the last five years.
They were treated to a rapturous welcome from the school and then proceeded to be the guests of honour at their ceremony. There were many items present, such as speeches from senior figures of UKFG, traditional dancing from schoolchildren and singing from Devsiri’s two sons Deshan and Dinum.
After the ceremony finished, Devsiri’s son Deshan donated an envelope worth 16,000 rupees (£65 ) to the school, all funded from his T-Shirt sales in the Norton Knatchbull School and Highworth. This money is to be used to build a beautiful pond .At the end of the donation, all schoolchildren were given a rare treat of ice cream.
Jo Riches and Rob Steed, who built and maintain the new UKFG website wanted to go to Sri Lanka with their Children Dylan and Lily for a family holiday. Dylan, and his sister Lily, decided they would like to take stationery and art equipment for one of the schools UKFG supports , the Massmulle. Dylan did a sponsored walk that raised over £250 and both children asked their friends and family to donate stationery.
A family friend donated some colourful pencil cases, and 2 boxes of stationery and art equipment was donated.
On 8th April 2012 Jo Riches and Rob Steed went to Massmulle School with the family. , Devsiri and his son Dinum who had earlier flown in from the UK to spend Srilankan new year at home and Mr G ( Chairman Sirisena Gamage ) were there to welcome the Steed family .
The school had organised a tremendous welcome for the family. Dylan and Lily were able to present every child in the school with a pencil case full of pens and pencils. They also donated 2 computer chairs, a large fan and a pair of wireless microphones for the school. Finally, they left a large box of stationery to share. The children presented Liily with a birthday cake which she cut while everybody was singing Happy birthday to her.
The presentation took place at the school’s annual sports day to celebrate Sri Lankan New Year. The whole family were made very welcome and very much enjoyed meeting the children and their families. Then they were whisked away to another welcome Ceremony at Ratanapala school where Neil Carson had donated a beautiful Carson library in January 2012. The children had organised a very colourful event with various cultural dances and sing songs. Dylan presented the school children with stationery.
The Chief Executive at Johnson Matthey(London) Neil Carson and Family, followed their wonderful gift of a brand new Neil Carson school library to Ratanapal School in Sapugada, Kamburupitiya in January 2012, with a further donation of £1000 ( 190,000 Srilankan rupees) . Mr Carson let the school decide what they would like to buy with this generous fund . The children expressed their wishes to have new IT equipment bought with this huge donation.
On 12th March 2012, in a simple ceremony, Lanka chairman of UKFG , Mr Sirisena Gamge handed over a brand new computer, scanner, printer and multi media projector bought from Neil’s donation. He also donated new book racks for the Carson library.
In his speech, The School Principal Mr Ananda, thanked MR Carson and family for adopting their little school and giving them a wonderful future with the donation of the library , books and now the IT equipment. He said the Carson Library was beyond their wildest dream and he cannot belive how fortunate his school to receive such a wonderful gift from Carson family 8000 miles away whom they have never met. Now this gift of IT equipment would help him and his staff to use new technology to educate his children better. Mr Ananda further said that not only his staff,and the children, but the whole village is looking forward to see Carson family visiting them one day so they all could personally express their gratitude to them. The principal also thanked Mr Gamage and all the UK FRIENDS OF GALLE.
Addressing the children, Mr Gamage thanked the school for organising the simple ceremony and said Mr Carson and family were delighted to see the photos and the video of the library opening ceremony and they were amazed to watch the wonderful dance and singing performance by the children that day. Mr & Mrs Carson was humbled to see the delight in children’s eyes on that day and they have decided to make more funds available to buy IT equipment for children to use. Mr Gamage further said Carson hoped that the children at Ratanapala would use all the new facilities, do well with education and go to University. Mr Gamage told the children that the only thing UKFG expect from children is to work hard at school become great Citizen of Srilanka and serve the motherland well
The photos below shows the delightful smiles of children who just received latest gifts from Mr Neil Carson and Family.
Nicky Pahrorah and her husband Colin Newbold who donated Lillian library and computer room continue with their amazing philanthropy towards the Massmulle School . After their heart warming experience of visiting the school and meeting the 10 poor children they sponsored , last January, they have donated nearly £2000 to buy more essential items for the children. Last Tuesday Mr G gifted each children a pair of new school uniforms and shoes, 5 pair of socks and pantries each. They have also donated a new book baskets for children to study out doors, a Well to drink water from and few other items.
On 13th March 2012, on behalf of Nicky and Colin, UKFG Srilanka charirman Mr Sirisena Gamage and Devsiri’s two cousin,s Mr S W Hewavidana and Mr Ananda Hewavidana presented every children a pair of new school uniforms and shoes, 5 pair of socks and panties each. They have also donated new book baskets for children to study out doors, a Well to drink water from and few other essential items.
The enclosed photos shows how delighted the Massmulle children were to receive those extra ordinary gifts from Nicky and Colin.
On 12th January 2012, Nicky Pharoah and Colin Newbold (Owners of The Learning Curve limited, Tunbridge Wells, UK) were the chief guests at the ceremonious opening of Carson library at Ratanapala School, Kamburupitiya in Srilanka.
This much needed library was built by Mr Neil Carson, Chief Exec of Johnson Matthey in the UK Neil, his wife Helen, children Phil, Peter and Hannah who visited Srilanka in August 2011 were the guests of UKFG’s annual tea party in Galle. Having spoken to many children Johnson Matthey sponsored at the party, the family became very impressed with the work UKFG did and the benefit his company’s scholarships has brought to children. On their return to UK, My Carson contacted Devsiri and offered £6500 of family funds to built a library in a rural school. Ratanapala school became the lucky recipients of his generosity.
The Carson library , the biggest school library is a testament to the remarkable ability of UKFG Srilanka chairman (Devsiri’s father-in-law) Mr Sirisena Gamage, better known as Mr G. Nobody could belive that this library was built in just 5 weeks . Devsiri elder son Deshan Hewavidana,17 and his school friends raised well over £300 by selling UKFG T-shirts and bought books for the Carson library. After Nicky Pharoah and Dinum Hewavidana, 8, ceremoniously cut the ribbon and opened the library on behalf of carson family. Mr Colin Newbold then donated all the new books to children on behalf of Deshan and friends. Three hours of beautiful singsongs and colorful dances and speeches by VIPs took place after the opening
Puskwelada Primary School, about 10 kms inside of Galle) was founded the proprietor of Waulugala Tea estate ,Mr B R Disanayake at the request of his superintendent and Devsiri’s late father Mr D C Hewavidana in 1957. Puswelkada is a very poor village and most of the villagers are working as casual labourers in nearby tea estates earning mere £10 a week. The parents of the children cannot afford to buy books or shoes for their children. Some of the children only have their school uniforms to wear (They wear them every waking moment). This school was facing closure about five years ago and due to the combined efforts of staff, supported by UKFG, that threat has been removed and the roll-call is slowly increasing.
On 11th January 2012, Nicky Pharoah and Colin Newbold visited the school for the first time . They were accompanied by Mr. Sirisena Gamage. Devsiri and little Dinum . The guests were warmly welcomed by the Puswelkada School children, staff and villagers. The VIPs were treated to a full programme of music, dance and numerous speeches, kicked off by being ceremoniously escorted up the hill by the school band.
In his speech Mr Gamage explained that , investing in the education of rural Sri Lankan people, encouraging them to go on to further education and to university and get qualified and then come back and serve their village communities is the way out of poverty for Sri Lanka. Nicky and Colin joined together for their own speech to the school (teachers, students and parents) and explained how delighted they were to visit the school at last. To the utter delight of parents they promised to present the children with new uniform and a pair of shoes every year.
At the end of the speeches all the children were presented with a set of excise books , pens and pencils followed by tea and home-made delicacies, taken with the Principal and her teachers. Finally children their parents and villagers all enjoyed ice-cream treat.
Nicky Pharoah the Managing Director of TLC Ltd at Tunbridge has been the biggest donor for UKFG over the last five years. Her extraordinary genorisity changed the fortune of Massmulle school that was about to be closed four years ago. Not only she presented school children with shoes, books, uniforms and school equipment but she also donated a complete new Lillian library in 2008.
On 9 August 2011 Devsiri Hewavidana and his family hand over the new extension to Lillian library and a brand new school stage. The new extension would house the principal’s office and computer centre. All the school children, their parents and local VIPS attended the opening ceremony and enjoyed the cultural even with chidren’s singing and dancing.
The annual tea party for UKFG Matara scholars were held at Mr Sirisena Gamage’s residence at Yatiyana, Matara on 8th August 2011.
There were large gathering of parents, guardians of children as well as the villagers. Many children performed cultural dances, sang songs, and made speeches thanking their sponsors. At the end of the tea part all the children received many gifts sent by their sponsors in UK and also enjoyed a treat of ice cream.