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Oru Paanai - Education

the school - webOru Paanai has diversified its scope of  activities in this period to undertake another project - that of promoting  education in the northeast. This  activity, which is being undertaken  under the title Oru Paanai Education (OP Education), was the brainchild of  Ram Subramaniam, one of our  members, who was very keen to  provide active support to various  initiatives which had been launched in  the northeast by civil society  organisations there. (Details of these  initiatives are given elsewhere in this  newsletter).

Just as our involvement in promoting education in the northeast was gaining a sound footing, OP Education suffered a significant blow when Ram passed away suddenly. Education has always been valued highly in our culture and in our opinion, it will always provide the path to rebuilding the war torn regions.

The OP Committee is keen on continuing Ram’s pioneering efforts, in addition to maintaining our commitment to providing lunchtime meals which will always remain our primary purpose – our raison d’etre.

Fund raising for Oru Paanai Education will be done separately, as far as possible, and the monies spent according to our  members’ wishes, whether it be on providing meals or supporting  educational activities.

OP Education has been involved with three initiatives in the northeast. Our involvement was a consequence  of  us recognising that the prolonged war in the area had impacted adversely on the education of children there in many ways. Some schools had ceased functioning altogether, others had been destroyed by shelling, and even in the schools that had been functioning children often kept away as they were afraid of being caught in the cross fire. Many of these children had fallen so far behind in their educational standards that they are now struggling to catch up.

The initiatives we are supporting are aimed at remediation - additional tuition classes in the more important subjects, mostly undertaken by volunteers.

The initiatives OP has supported are as follows :

1. RHYTHM – Batticaloa: extra  English classes in Kannagkudah Maha Vidyalyam for 84 students; classes in English, maths and  science for 75 students in Karadiyanaru Maha Vidyalayam; and classes in English, maths and science for 25 students in Illupadichenai Ambla Vidyalayam.

2. Siva Thamil Manida Vidiya Kalaham STMVK (Dawn of Humanity of Siva Thamils) was started in 2003 by Jaffna University medical students. It is popularly known as Mahadeva Padippaham, named after an inspirational chemistry teacher. Their aim was to provide not only  educational evening classes in maths, English and science, but also focus on cultural and spiritual welfare. Initially their activities were focussed on displaced children in Chunnakam, but now they work mainly in Mullaitihivu and Kilinochchi.

3. AUSDA ( All  University Students Development Association ) - Vavuniya District – which provides financial support to impoverished students from Vavuniya who need assistance to continue their university studies and also provides remedial  tuition classes for ‘O’ Level students in  remote areas in the district.

All three projects are closely monitored by OP Education and provide quarterly progress reports as well as financial reports on how the money is being spent. If any well-wishers would like to contribute to  these educational activities supported by OP Education, we would gladly accept contributions and ensure that they are spent appropriately.

Oru Paanai - feeding hungry children in Sri Lanka
Charity no: 1136376

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