Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Bridge 2 Peace Sri Lanka

In 2004, after the Tsunami hit the shores of Sri Lanka, many well meaning Nations and individuals committed time and money to projects, many of which have been abandoned or mismanaged.
Living in Srilanka, has given me the opportunity to meet three incredible women who are dedicated to helping rural communities in war torn, Tsunami ravaged , rural Srilanka.
Their steadfast commitment to helping the poor has been a source of inspiration to me. Notwithstanding our racial differences, the common thread of our humanity binds us to a cause we believe in working for despite our own personal challenges.

Bridge2peace is one of the NGOs still working consistently to better the lives of the poor in Rural Sri Lanka, by providing free quality preschool education to the poor in rural Sri Lanka.
Bridge2Peace goes beyond the band wagon of the tsunami relief efforts and puts in place a model of education that will remove ethnic segregation which has been a major cause of division among the people of Srilanka.
Through an education in a trilingual medium of English, Sinhala and Tamil, Bridge2Peace creates a community that embraces unity in a Country recovering from over two decades of civil war.

Bridge2Peace Sri Lanka has built a school in Lunugamverahera, which provides quality teacher training and free Montessori education for the poor in the area.
Though i have been here only about a year now, I at once connected with the mission and have committed my time contributing in whatever way I can.
Volunteering for me, is not something I choose to do, it’s something I am compelled to do; driven by an incomprehensible force, I have over the years been drawn to doing what I can to make a difference in the lives of children. Suffering youngsters stir in me the desire to give my widows mite, from cuddling HIV positive babies to providing children’s books for an orphanage library.
Coming from a part of the world where any non religious affiliated charity work is viewed with suspicion, volunteering comes with its own unique stigma, ranging from being considered a fraud, to being ridiculed for having a ‘Mother Theresa complex’.
Reaching out to the helpless leaves me with a better perspective of life, and I learn to count my blessings.

One of the most intense moments I experienced on a visit to the Bridge2Peace Montessori, was watching a child with Down’s syndrome, work on his own, studying intently in an organized and stimulating educational environment. This child would have been segregated and hidden from the public, but here he was, enjoying the experience of quality education.A high quality Montessori education in a rural community is a huge blessing for both parents and teachers in the area.

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