Expanding our foundation's work beyond Sri Lanka, Lotus foundation-funding projects to repair and restore two schools in Pijao, Colombia. Also we are working with our local represtatives and school to provide continuous support for education and extracurricular activities.
With over 10,250 population, Pijao is a municipality in the southeastern part of the country. Known for its thriving coffee cultivation, the majority of the population depend on farming coffee or other agricultural activities.
Far corners of the region are rich in natural beauty, warm hearts and smiling faces. Majority of the population of the rural areas of Pijao is struggling hard financially. However, You won't be able to spend a minute in Pijao without a smiling local regardless of the financial hardships they endure.
Understanding the struggle of the community in rural villages of the area during a family Christmas vacation to Colombia our founder decided to lend a helping hand to support the betterment of the community.
Being met Mr Juan David Agudelo (Tour guide of Thayan family during their Colombia tour in December 2018)who is very actively participating in various charity and community programs in the area during a coffee exploration tour in Pijao, our founder's kind heart was inspired to help as the Thayans family can through his charity foundation, Lotus foundation.
Seen and heard of the previous projects Mr Juan David Agudelo has successfully executed in the past, Thayans family was convinced that they could trustfully collaborate with Mr Juan David Agudelo to make a small difference in the community for better.
Thus rural school repairing and restoring project came to life. With this, we were able to improve the facilities of two rural schools in Pijao namely La Palmera School and El Espartillal School.Coming up with the initial idea for the project on 31st of December of 2018 during Thayan family's Colombia vacation, the lotus foundation was able to start the project and successfully complete it in May 2018.
Facility development project in La Palmera School, Pijao, Colombia
Located in a beautiful rural village La Palmera, the school provides education for children from the age 5 -12. With over 100 students, the school receives students from severely financially struggling families in the area. Although the government provides financial support to maintain the school, the funds are not enough to fulfil the necessities of the children.
The school was lacking many important facilities that had affected the quality of the life of the students as well as the quality of their education.
Before our project, the school's roof had many leaks and had a destroyed ceiling. The mattresses for children to sleep was unhealthy and the children's blankets were not in good shape. Mattresses were unhealthy to use and were causing skin rashes.
With our project, we were able to fix the roof and add a new ceiling to the school building to improve heat insulation of the building. We also fully funded for new high-quality mattresses and blankets for all the beds of the school.
Successfully finishing the development and repairing work in the school in June. we are very happy to see the kids are enjoying the new facilities. The developments have enabled them to experience an improved quality in school life which have immensely affected their education according to the teachers.
As the teachers say, now the students are paying better attention to their lessons without any distractions. They are receiving a better sleep in school which have also improved their ability to focus on lessons. They have shown better grades in their recent school exams which fill our hearts with joy.
El Espartillal School, Pijao, Colombia
Located a one and half hour drive away from Pijao, El Espartillal School is another very rural school of the area that needed help. The school provides education for students of age 5-12 and had requirements that needed to fulfil as soon as possible. Among them were the top two requirements; lack of a refrigerator and unhealthy beddings.
The teachers and the staff have to keep students food in the kitchen without refrigeration which increases the chances for contamination and food poisoning. Although the student beds of the school were in good condition mattresses, pillows and blankets were in bad shape to use.
Although the school has received the support from the government from time to time to maintain the school, there were many areas the authorities have overlooked. And the parents who are struggling financially in their families weren't able to fulfil to ensure a better educational experience for their children.
During our development project in collaboration with Mr Juan David Agudelo we were able to fully fund them for a new two-door refrigerator. We also repaired their old beds and provided them with new mattresses, pillows and blankets for all the beds.
And we are very happy to hear from the teachers that our efforts have paid off and the children are receiving better grades and interested in and enthusiastically participating in their lessons.
Next Step - School Orchards Project
In collaboration with Mr Juan David Agudelo, Lotus Children's foundation is funding to open 4 fruit and vegetable orchards in 4 different rural schools in Pijao. To help the student gain life skills in agriculture, the foundation is dedicate to invest and making a difference.
With the project, the students will be able to learn with experience to benefit from the rich soil and the climate of the area growing the right crops.
During the second stage of the project, we'll organize programs to teach the students how to develop various products from the crops grown that has a good market value.
From seeds gardening tools to the right knowledge, we aim to provide the children with everything they need to learn some agricultural skills and agriculture-based product development skills. With this, we are aiming to prepare the students to start their small businesses when are of the right age to generate steady incomes to support themselves financially.
With this, the school will also able to make a small income and enable them to learn life skills to support the children and by selling the products made by the students to the local market.