Big opening ceremony of new first floor at Anura College

(Here is the report of our vice president Edeltrud Pinger:) For more than a week, I have been here in Sri Lanka now. I regularly go to Matara to teach German, I talk to our scholarship children, look at the new building and can realize that the library is well situated in this newly built first floor, tidily arranged and enough room for students to work, to study and to read leisurely. There is a solid roof now, protecting the building against strong wind and heavy rain. Sunday, August 30th, the school community and guests were invited to celebrate the opening.

At 10 o’ clock in the morning, everything and everybody is ready for the big parade. As a guest of honor, I’m welcomed by four 5-grade-students offering me a pretty bunch of flowers, escorting me to the nicely decorated marquee. There were colourful dancing groups of Anura College and Mantinda Temple School showing their impressive talent when performing their dances accompanied by the musicians playing their drums and other instruments. Principal, staff and parents were part of this parade that

was even accompanied by police officers protecting it against traffic and thus, granting a good view to spectators at the roadside. The programme on stage was a pleasure, too. Appreciating speeches made by the Venerable Highpriest of Mantinda Temple School, Lady Principal of Anura Vidyalaya, the students’ prefect, in turns with drama scenes, presentations in English and German language (here I felt really proud to see the result of my German lessons), and a traditional dance full of impressing emotions. In my English speech, translated into Sinhala by the English teacher, Mr. Wasantha Rajapaksha, I tried to express the importance of our work at Anura College for the benefit of the students, particularly our scholarships for children of needy families, hit my unemployment, illness, poverty. The monthly donation is meant to give some help and provide a better future. Besides, what our Neuwied-Matara-Friendship- Association has donated to the school in form of science rooms, home science room, English medium room, dance and music room, small library, toilets…is for all the students’ benefit and should be treated with care and kept clean and in good condition. When there is need of repair, it should be carried out accordingly. This is what we really want to be understood and to be done. German lessons have become a tradition, meanwhile, and some of the ambitious and talented students participate for the third time, although there are only three weeks a year. They are ready to face that challenge and to continue. This might become easier now, because of the new German language book, based on English language that Singhalese students start to learn in grade 1 already, a helpful book, planned, designed and written by myself and given cost-free to the students. There is an audio-CD with each book which can be used at school or at home when I’m not present, offering the right pronunciation, reading and grammar exercises and lots of geographical and cultural information about Germany. The next project will start soon: an old, partially decayed building will be demolished, and there will be a space for students to spend their break time. An open roof can protect them against wind and rain. One of our members who does not want to accept presents on the occasion of his birthday, wants his guests to make donations that are meant to give a table tennis-table or other sports facilities to Anura Vidyalaya. Some benches could be put up here where students can have their breakfast or lunch, some luxury that should become self-evident. Time flies; some more German lessons and then, there will be the farewell party next Thursday, September 10th. Two more scholarship children will join our programme, which is a good result of my 12th journey to this island. I hope so much that there could be accepted some more, provided that there are some generous fellow- citizens ready to donate 25 € a month and maintain some correspondence. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of our association, September 26th, 11 a. m. – 4 p. m. at VHS in Neuwied, we will present what has been carried out in the past and give information about what is going on at the moment. You are welcome to join us.