SubPage Banner

News Details




















St Mary’s Convent, Beach Road, Matara, Sri Lanka

Posted Date: 08/02/2005

 On December 26 2004 St Mary’s Convent in Matara, Sri Lanka was devastated by the tsunami that destroyed much of the island’s coastline.  Of the 2,500 children attending the school many have lost mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and friends. Many more are now without homes.

Although the children are slowly begining to return, the fear in their eyes is all too plain to see.  This is often worsened when frequent rumours cause pandemonium through Matara warning that another Tsunami is on the way.  When  you consider that the school is less than 20 metres from the beach, you can understand the real fear and uncertainty of parents who drop their children off in the morning, having witnessed the scenes on Devember 26.

The Sri Lanken Government has now passed a resolution that no public buildings or schools can be within 100 metres from the sea.  This means that St Mary’s Convent will have to be rebuilt.

The board of governors of St Mary’s Convent seek the collaboration and cooperation of all donor organisations, schools and the world community at large to help rebuild the school further away from the ocean.

 The Convent was founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1908. The congregation initially arrived in Galle on the southern coast of Sri Lanka and founded the first school there named Sacred Heart Convent in 1896.

In 1908 the sisters of Charity went to Matara, a town on the coast approximately 28 miles south of Galle.  They were welcomed by the people of Matara with open arms and founded St Mary’s Convent that same year.  The beginings were small admitting 20 students and 10 orphans brought from Galle.


The aim of the school is to impart an individual education based on Christian principles, providing students with comprehensive educational opportunities to prepare young people for responsible community involvement and careers to suit their interests and skills.

Since the begining of the school, nearly 100 years ago, it has developed in size however maintaining a high quality of education with many foreign and local sisters taking an active part in the teaching of the students.

Today the school is classified as a government assisted school with 60% of the teachers’ salaraies being paid by the government of Sri Lanka.  The school is a great service to the multi faith community of Matara.

The needs are great :-

  • Financial assistance required to buy a plot of land to rebuild the school safely away from the ocean and in line with new government resolutions.
  • Expert advisors on planning for the new school to include advice on a new orgnaisational structure to be in line with the requirments of a modern primary and secondary school.
  • Financial assistance for rebuilding the school.
  • Volunteers to aid in the construction process (after land has been bought)
  • Assistance in purchasing the school equipment.

Other ways to help :-

  • Providing support and sustenance for the least financially-able schoolchildren.  $30 per month
  • Twinning with St Mary’s and setting up communication channels.
  • Start penpal friendships with St Mary’s students

Contact :-

Sister Sandamali Kurera
Kumari Kulatunga


Quick Search