Not only “building” – but also “Bildung” ( = education)

Contact of Neuwied-Matara Friendship Association with “Lions Club” Helsinki, Finland, turns out to be an ecologically favourable one: the young Finnish professional with a master’s degree in economics, Ms. Maija Zitting, has concentrated her work – worldwide and particularly in Asia – on environmental topics that can be decisive for a country’s development. The economic expert taught lessons at Anura College on six days. In cooperation with the science teacher, Mrs. Lakshmi Ratnayake, she worked with three groups of students focusing on environmental protection, a problem that has not yet been fully considered by adults. The conscience of young people, however, who are meant and willing to take responsibility for the country and its future, can certainly be strengthened by this project, and the knowledge can be used for the country’s benefit. Students were highly interested, and everything was well organized logistically – thanks to the Venerable High Priest of Mantinda Temple School, Lady Principal of Anura College and our coordinator in Matara, Mr. Ruwan Abegunewardene.

He was the one to plan Ms. Maija’s programme apart from school work. So, she was not only able to teach, but also to learn: meditation by Rev. Shanta Thero of Mahamantinda Temple, visit of Veherahena Temple, visit of Rohana Special School (one of our project schools, school for handicapped children), trip to Dondra – the southernmost place of Sri Lanka, excursion to Koggala Lake and finally visit of Galle, capital district town in the southwest with Dutch and Portuguese monuments.
We are sure that Maija will be given a hearty farewell, full of appreciation for teaching these lessons and developing the students’ conscience of and care about environmental problems. By the Venerable High Priest she will be given a framed certificate as a souvenir of her important work that – to her – was a natural course of action. Let’s hope that the result of this project will be reflected by the future way of treating this beautiful nature – particularly the one in Sri Lanka – accordingly.