The staff of Rose Charities Srilanka has just come off a very big weekend!

On Saturday October 27th, we hosted a grand educational enrichment seminar in Vellavely, on a scale such as we have never before attempted. Over a thousand students gathered at the Auditorium of Vellavely Kalai-Magal Vidyalayam for a day-long series of seminars aimed at preparing them for December’s GCE O-level examinations.

Saturday’s event was the culmination of an enrichment program that Rose Srilanka had conducted over the past six months in the villages of Vellavely in Batticaloa district. These Enrichment Classes brought local educators to students in remote and poverty-stricken villages who would not otherwise have an opportunity for extra help with their studies and exam preparation. Saturday’s event differed in that it brought a team of 28 educational experts and professionals all the way from Colombo. For this, Rose Charities Srilanka must give heartfelt thanks to a longtime friend and supporter of Rose Srilanka, Dr. Yogaraja of Loyal Publications in Colombo, who introduced Rose Srilanka to this incredible team.

With the support of the Zonal and Divisional Education officers and school principals, 1600 students from 30 schools were invited to this event. These schools are in areas that have been severely affected by war and poverty and where students have no access to tutors or afterschool programs.

Rose Charities staff worked tirelessly for a week leading up to the event, transporting and setting chairs, preparing packages of pens and paper for each student, and resources for the educational team. When the big day came, we were ready. Early Saturday morning, over a thousand students began making their way from all over the Pattiruppu education zone. There is no public transportation available in this area, so most students had to make their own way to the venue. Some of the more distant schools arranged buses, but most arrived by bicycle.

The education team, led by Mr. Velayuthan Thevasenathipathy, Attorney at Law, put on a series of intensive seminars covering Math, Science, History and Tamil subjects. In addition to receiving pens, paper, and a file folder, each student received a booklet containing an O-level study guide and sample questions. These booklets were generously donated by Mr. Thevasenathipathy. The lecturers put on lively and engaging seminars with quiz-games and prizes, and had students laughing, clapping and having a great time. Feedback provided by students after the event was overwhelmingly positive. In fact, after a full day of lectures, many students didn’t want to leave and asked the team if they could stay on for another day! Mr. Thevasenathipathy remarked that in his 35-years’ experience participating in education seminars, he has never had such a terrific experience as this. We at Rose Srilanka feel the same way. Saturday’s event was without a doubt the most exciting, gratifying and successful event we have ever been a part of! We must give thanks and congratulations to Mr. Thevasenathipathy and his team, whose contribution went beyond all expectations. We are so happy to have begun this exciting new partnership and look forward to collaborating on new projects in the future.

And so, at the end of a long and exhausting day, the staff of Rose Charities Srilanka left Vellavely filled with happiness and could look forward to a well-earned day of rest. Next week we move forward, looking ahead to continue the projects with high hope of even further successes.