After three months’ visit in Germany, there are new tasks to fulfill in Sri Lanka
Our guest from Sri Lanka went back to her island and can help us now
to look after our projects and our scholarship students. Of course, we are doing a lot here to help her applying for a job in Germany. First, she will go on improving her knowledge of German by following German lessons at the Goethe-Institute in Colombo. We are keeping contact with companies and other places where she might get a job soon. We are sure that she will comply with requirements, considering her A-levels, her IT-studies that she completed successfully and her traineeships. Besides, there is her knowledge, sharpness and intelligence and not to forget her ambition.
Lions Club Maria Laach handing over great donation for Rohana Special School programme
Generous donation given by Lions Club Maria Laach to Neuwied-Matara Friendship Association that can be used to support the wood-carving programme at Rohana Special School in Matara, Sri Lanka for one year. Deaf boys will learn
how to make traditional masks that can be sold for special occasions or to tourists. There will be three exhibitions (January, May and August 2018) and we all hope that this programme will help them to make a living one day. Thanks a lot to Lions Club Maria Laach. Bohome stuuti!
13 years ago! – Terrible tsunami causes start of our work in Matara
Second Christmas Day in Germany – 13th commemoration of the terrible tsunami in Sri Lanka and round the Indian Ocean on that day in 2004.
There are very sad memories for our Srilankan guest, and we try to find an occasion of remembering important and beloved people by visiting a Buddhist Centre and a Christian church in Koblenz to find an outlet for strong emotions.
Although this Buddhist building is closed today, we can enter into that wonderful little garden next to the house and meditate for some minutes in front of a Buddha statue and think of those Ridmi had lost by this catastrophe and others who were badly affected.
On our way back, we stopped at Koblenz and visited a big church that was nicely decorated for Christmas celebrations. We saw the nativity scene with shepherds, sheep, angels and the Holy family illustrating the birth of Jesus Christ as described in the Bible. We even lit some candles just to think of beloved relatives.
Sri Lanka in a German Protestant Church
Our vice-president, Mrs. Edeltrud Pinger, took part in a religious service in a protestant church in Neuwied-Feldkirchen. She had been asked to talk about her association Neuwied-Matara-Friendship-Association, its projects and regular activities.
Instead of a usual sermon, there was a dialogue between Reverend Thomas Thillman and Mrs. Pinger. The focus was on reasons why she has been doing this work for more than 12 years now, on projects, particular help and activities in Matara, and the very personal question about
the personal benefit when working in such an association and helping people in Sri Lanka.
Mrs. Pinger reported about the long 12 years in the course of which a lot could be achieved in Matara schools: buildings, classrooms, school equipment and materials, about 30 scholarships, help after monsoon floods, and support in individual cases to grant humane life conditions. She did not forget to mention the first steps initiated by the Singhalese Mr. Sagara Abegunewardene, who has been the manager of the association for many years.
The last question about her personal benefit was a bit difficult to answer: On the one hand there is a lot of work, time and private money to be spent on dealing with lots of problems, raising money, the feeling of never having come to an end with this work. On the other hand there are children’s shining eyes, great thankfulness because of better living-conditions, friendships. But finally, there is only one sentence to say: I can’t help it – I must do it!
Neuwied-Matara-Friendship-Association thanks for the money that was collected in the course of this religious service.
Here we go again! – The Indian Ocean and Sri Lanka are waiting!
The vice president of Neuwied-Matara-Friendship-Association, Mrs. Edeltrud Pinger, is planning her 16th journey to Sri Lanka in mid-September, and there is a lot of planning, organizing, collecting,..…although there is always the danger of her suitcase bursting at the seams.Last Saturday, a board meeting took place and the members discussed Mrs. Pinger’s tasks and duties to be performed in Matara. Checking the former projects and buildings, commissioning repair works if necessary, teaching German lessons, visiting – at least – nine scholarship students and their families at home, talking to their parents – assisted by our school coordinator Mr. Wasantha, of course. It is really important to be serious when selecting new scholarship students. (more…)
Finally! – Meeting of godparents and godchild for the first time!
That was the long-awaited moment! In the morning, the German guests were shown around the school premises, visited students and teachers and watched their activities in the home science rooms and library and finally met their scholarship student Nethra. Big smiles on all faces. They had seen photographs of each other before, but this moment here was a very special one. Some words in English – the little, shy voice took some time to become more self-confident – but the English teacher helped to translate from and into Singhalese. Those faces spoke volumes and were aglow with happiness. Sophia is a bit older, but here were two young girls who, quickly, found common ground and language problem could be overcome easily. “Necessity is the mother of invention”. (more…)
German donor’s visit to meet scholarship student – First impression: perfect!
That’s a really exciting story: the long flight on Sunday, transfer from Colombo to Koggala Beach Hotel and the first fresh king-coconut-drink at the reception! Andreas Hoss with Karin and Sophia arrived sound and safe, and a voluminous, maybe tiring, but certainly great and amazing programme lies ahead of them. First they will have to cope with jetlag, strains of the long-distance-travel, the humid climate that you will have to get used to. There are hundreds of new sights and impressions; not much time to get used to. But there is enough positive energy aiming at curiosity instead of fear. (more…)
With sincere and deepest sympathy
We are mourning the sudden death of our highly honored Lord Mayor of Neuwied and founding member Mr. Nikolaus Roth, a good friend, dynamic and active initiator and supporter of our Neuwied-Matara Friendship Association.
He had just started his well-deserved holidays in Greece, together with his dear wife. On board of a sailing ship he suffered from a break-down and passed away abruptly against any expectation. He was only 59 years old and leaves his wife, two children, children in law and his first very young grandchild and, also departs from a very dedicated and active professional life. (more…)
100 monsoon-affected families supported by German friends
Lots of Matara inhabitants and from the surroundings were struck by monsoon-floods end of May. Several feet of water penetrating into houses and huts and remaining there for several days, flooded roads and destroyed interior
fittings, all this is a real disaster for hundreds of families. Most of them had to find shelter at friends’ or other family members’ houses. There were even reception camps at Rahula College and other places. It will take some time and cost lots of money to clean, repair, reconstruct and come back to normal. (more…)
First results coming up to our hopeful expectations
It’s a great pleasure to see the pictures showing progress of building activities that we planned together with our construction manager Mr. de Silva. A house will be built in a very remote and difficult to access area for one of our scholarship students’ families in need. Our members, friends, and those who read in our local newspapers about the new project, became generous donors, and finally we were able to move from planning stage to implementation. It’s a rather long way to go from Matara to that place and transporting materials through rough terrain. (more…)