Valerie Chittenden’s Visit to Srilanka August 2009

Well what can I say about UKFG and SL that hasn’t already been said by others and me previously!  Siri has asked me to send a ‘run down’ so here it is!

This year I attended  two  major parties. One in Matara with around 120 people (the children always have chaperones). This took place in Ruvini’s parent’s garden. The children were so well behaved and polite. We had some speeches then some singing and dancing, some food and of course some photos…..well actually hundreds of photos (I bet you hadn’t noticed that)! The children gave us some presents of hand made pictures and things they had embroided etc.  We also had presents, to give them in return.

The 2nd party was very unusual as it was held in theBuddhistTemple inGalle (given freely by the monks) and we had a speech by the top Monk then more speeches and then the kids sang, danced and recited some things in English.  Again the children were very keen to give us presents and again we were happy to hand out gifts in return.

Both these parties were arranged by Siri and family and lasted around 5 hours each. The children were amazing, sitting still for so long with out any PS2s or mobile phones to keep the amused!  They all turned up in their best clothes, smiling faces and with their mum/dad/brothers/sisters in tow!

The people are so generous but have so little, so happy and yet have such primitive lives, willing to study hard to become better educated and yet their schools can only compare to a half brick and chicken wire hall with the sort of desks that were in my school in the 1950’s, and yet none of that matters as they happily walk 4 miles to school every day come rain or shine!

For everyone who have donated money through me or others to the UKFG, can be assured that every penny is used to maximum effect.  Siri ensures that every build is constantly checked and kept up to standard and that every child who is lucky enough to have a scholar ship goes to school.  There are many kids queuing to be awarded scholarship though UKFG but unfortunately its now harder than ever to find sponsors.

Even though this is now my 4th visit to Sri Lanka, I can’t wait to go again.

What can I say about SL ….It will always have a big part of my heart  J

Val Chittenden