New School Dedication: Mission Accomplished (update)

We are delighted to report the children of Madu village in the Vavnia district of Northern Sri Lanka now have a brand new school.

Local community leaders and area military commanders joined Bhante at a special April 3, 2011 event in which the school was handed over to education authorities.

Upon arrival Bhante was received by Security Forces Commander Major General Sumedha Perera, Brigadier Priyantha Napagoda and Brigadier Kariyakarawana. Bhante was led to the school by the local school band. The ceremony there opened with singing the national anthem and hoisting the national flag.

The local people and community leaders gave speeches expressing their gratitude to Bhante for taking up the challenge of rebuilding their school so quickly and beautifully. When Bhante first visited the village and promised to rebuild the school, nobody believed that goal could be reached in two months.

Area military commanders appreciated Bhante’s direct involvement with and close supervision of every phase of the project, from design to completion. Bhante kept in constant touch with his long-term driver Sidath in Sri Lanka, who supervised the construction daily. Together, they resolved every challenge, including the decision to change the roof from wood to steel in order to contain costs.

Twenty years ago the school was destroyed by LTTE separatists during the civil war. Villagers ran away; some were killed and wounded. Since the end of war in 2010, families have been coming back to the region to resettle. When Bhante visited and met community leaders and area military commanders, they told him of the need for a school. They said returning families had to leave their children in other cities to continue their education.

As you will see in the photographs, we built a superb school – not an easy task. Bhante expresses his gratitude to several people for helping make the project a great success. Our sponsors Rehan and Anura Perera, after several phone conversations with Bhante, provided funding to cover the total cost of the project. Bhante’s long-term driver Sidath also deserves thanks for a job well done.

Also, the military worked very hard to put together a grand opening ceremony. We appreciate the help of the military in organizing the opening celebration, cleaning up the surrounding area, and providing food and drinks for all the guests.