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St Mary’s Convent School Improvement Matara Sri Lanka

Posted Date: 05/05/2005

SOS Malta together with an expert team from the Society of the Sacred Heart in India worked with the principal and staff of St Mary’s Convent School, Matara   In house sessions were conducted and observations and initial interactions were used to diagnose the needs of the school. It was decided that special efforts would be made to make the school a better place for pupils to learn with improvements to be considered as a distinct approach to educational change. SOS Malta would work on securing the necessary funding for implementing the development according to the school’s requirements.

After the initial diagnosis, certain objectives needed to be set. The strengths and weaknesses of the school were identified, as was a vision and a set of goals.

Sessions were planned to achieve the following specific purposes:
  • To build rapport with the staff and setting the ground
  • To identify a vision and a set of goals for the school
  • To review effective characteristics of the school, principal, teachers and classrooms
  • Development planning at school and classroom levels
After various meetings to identify the needs and problems of the school it was felt that a project on improving the organizational capacity was needed. The project would include:
  • The setting up of a School Development Board
  • Teacher Training and group facilitation
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Communication
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Project Management
  • Organisational Development
A fully equipped Audio Visual room will be set up to be able to offer all training in a professional environment by the visiting experts identified by Sister Karuna Mary Braganza rscj from India.  The training programme would be offered to the two adjoining public schools in Matara with an evaluation of the project after conclusion to be able to measure the outcomes and assess whether it can be developed further for other schools in Sri Lanka.

Development Board St Mary’s Convent School, Matara set up in April 2005

Livelihood Recovery Programme

The long-term goal of SOS Malta’s programme is to decrease poverty incidence in fishing villages identified as having lost most of the boats. The objective is increased and immediate income-generating opportunities for the fishermen and their families.

Sustainable Livelihood:

SOS Malta will support sustainable livelihood activities in about 12 villages of the project area.  Livelihood activities will include the purchase of traditional canoes and 6 metre fibre glass boats to include 9 hp engine, fishing nets, anchor, rope, buoy, masks, snorkels, flippers and torches.  15 boats have already been delivered to the fishermen of Denuwela and another 20 will be delivered in June to the villagers of Kalamulla in the Kalutara district.

6 metre fibre glass boats

SOS Malta has also initiated two micro financing projects for the women in Welligama and Merissa.  Ten Sewing Machines and the equipment to set up a kitchen for outside catering were bought.
SOS Malta will now organise some Entrepreneurship Training for the beneficiaries. This could include:-
1. Starting a business
2. Business planning
3. Market research
4. Bookkeeping and Record keeping
5. Sourcing of products
6. Stock control

We chose a project for women because they are always there for the family, therefore once they are economically empowered the whole family stand to benefit.  

The response was fantastic and the beneficiaries are already working hard to make a success of their project.

Ten Sewing Machines for the women in Merissa

Meal prepared for SOS Malta to inaugurate Kitchen in Welligama

Women who will be working in the kitchen

SOS Malta also bought 1000 Workbooks/Diary for Children Traumatised following Tsunami to help aid Recovery.  The books will help the children of St Mary’s Convent in Matara express themselves and work through their fears and concerns to enable them to start a healing process and to move on.  The children were able to question and face their emotions through drawing and creative approaches as the book is a personal journey for each child to undertake.

SOS Malta is grateful for all the support received for post Tsunami operations. ALPAs gift of LM1500 to the people of Sri Lanka will help reduce the poverty so many are living in.  The needs are great as this photo clearly explains!


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