Opening of Princess Sophie Pre-School at Anura College

In January 2016, at the beginning of the new school year, 15 young pre-school children started their career at Anura College. Later, they can continue to Primary section and go on to college after grade 5.

Anura Vidyalaya has been supported for many years by the German Neuwied-Matara-Friendship Association, and economically weak families can apply for a scholarship, which means regular monthly help whenever a German sponsor can be required. Starting their help in 2005, shortly after the disastrous tsunami, they focused on building hostels and school buildings. Now, donations becoming less and less, they concentrate on individual scholarships to give a chance to those who are economically weakest.

Latest achievement is the little pre-school at Anura College, named after the Princess of Neuwied Sophie Charlotte, who is the patron of Neuwied-Matara-Friendship- Association and very close to the members and their work.

The president and vice-president, Mr. Bernd Mertgen and Mrs. Edeltrud Pinger travelled to Sri Lanka and visited “their” schools in January and February 2016.

In March, the new pre-school building was solemnly opened. Buddhist monks sang and gave their blessing, some senior students organized part of the programme together with teachers, and the most important beings, the young pre-school students, were welcomed in the school community and were introduced to Buddhist practice and customs. The walls of the new classroom are white with beautiful paintings, child-friendly fairy-tale figures, flowers and animals. Some more teaching material is needed and will, perhaps, be donated when generous people read this article.

Our Friendship Association has always invested in education and some of the projects start bearing fruit. There is more safety and peace in the country, which is a helpful foundation for good education and stability. This means more chances of making one’s living and coping with socially and economically relevant circumstances. The influence of a small German association with about one hundred members may be minor and insignificant, but there are numerous individual fates that we were able to influence for the better, as well as (school-) communities that could be benefitted by our activities and projects.  As a result, we will go on. And there are more projects to be carried into effect and aims to achieve. But we need more supporters and donors. If you are the one to play this part, feel free to join us.