On 24th June, Barry Comprehensive School teachers Ms Rowe and Mr Burman along with eight Year 12 students, embarked on their once-in-a-lifetime trip to Sri Lanka in partnership with the charity Help Lanka. The purpose of the two-week trip was to contribute to bettering communities, in particular those most disadvantaged.
Whilst in Sri Lanka, Team Lanka 2015 spent weekday mornings teaching at Uggalbodda Primary School and were responsible for delivering lessons to children aged between 5 and 11 years old. Our students had planned all of their lessons independently as well as preparing all of the resources. The team succeeded in providing a variety of fun and engaging learning opportunities for the Sri Lankan children, whilst our students themselves developed many new skills and noticeably grew in confidence over the course of the two-weeks. The school were given numerous teaching resources that Team Lanka 2015 had been able to purchase with the fundraising money acquired throughout the year. The team were also able to present the school with a new sound system at the end of the visit as a parting gift. The children at the school thoroughly enjoyed the experience of the visit and it was extremely emotional having to leave them on the last day.
Weekday afternoons were spent in various locations. The team visited Ragama convalescent home, BS Jayawardene boys home and St Joseph’s deaf school and provided face painting, arts and crafts sessions, sports and games. The team was also able to donate toys, books and equipment to all three establishments – all of which will certainly be put to good use, as their own resources are so limited. The team were especially proud to be able to donate over 200 hearing aids to St Joseph’s deaf school as well as much needed crutches and a wheelchair to St Martin’s home for disabled elders in Cotugoda.
Team Lanka 2015 had the opportunity to spend their weekends discovering some of Sri Lanka’s most beautiful tourist and cultural attractions. The team spent their first weekend exploring the city of Kandy, including the Temple of the Sacred Tooth, which houses Sri Lanka’s most important Buddhist relic – a tooth of the Buddha. Particular favourites during this weekend also included the Millennium Elephant Foundation and the Lions Rock at Sigiriya. For the second weekend, the team travelled to Galle in the south of the island, where they visited a turtle sanctuary and the Dutch fort.
Our students worked extremely hard throughout the year in preparation for the trip to Sri Lanka, continually fundraising in order to reach the required target. This hard work was most certainly emulated throughout their time away. Our tour guide, Niroshan, as well as teachers at Uggalbodda primary school and matrons in the orphanages and homes that we visited all complimented the team, particularly on their enthusiasm and kindness. Team Lanka 2015 were excellent representatives of Barry Comprehensive School and should be extremely proud of all that they achieved.
Miss Rowe, Mr Burman and Team Lanka 2015 would like to thank pupils, parents, staff and members of the local community for all of their support throughout the year and for their generous donations. Without this, the team would not have been able to make such a great impact in Sri Lanka.
If you would like any more information about what the trip entails, or would like to offer your support for next summer’s trip, please speak to Mr Bourton or Miss Rowe.