Wednesday, 22 July 2015

School's Out!

Schools out! Summer is really here, well we think! Sri Lanka doesn't do seasons much, only sun & rain, rain & sun...and mosquitoes. We're missing the events of an English summer & suffering from a stubborn dose of the Kandy flu; but it seems to have hit the whole population so we're not alone. In true British spirit we don't complain (much) and the work goes on...(with antibiotics).

It's a pleasure to write the TEAblog and describe back what you are helping to create but keeping it concise is proving more of a challenge; but we will endure if you can. Your support is making a difference and we need your continued support & action to make that difference a lasting one.  Your literary stamina is 1st class.

End of term was rewarded with a TEAparty at MB school with the compulsory balloons, Jelly and sweets (and fruit salad of course made by the children). The term end marks some of the busiest preceding months The TEA Project has experienced so far. It culminated with the completion of our 2nd successful L.I.F.E Training & 1st Peer Leadership programme at RIS School in Kurunegala and also the release of our new awareness video. Did you have time to check out 'The TEA Challenge'?? If you haven't seen the video or made plans to 'Take the Challenge' then visit and have a look *Thank you for all the hours of video production & web building which was donated for free from generous techies (geeks&oddballs) in the U.S. & U.K.

The events signalled a transition into the second half of the year for us where new innovative  projects and even bigger challenges lie ahead; projects to compliment our current growing schedule of programmes.

..........LIFE/ECHO is coming....

School's out.....for a while at least. So enjoy yourselves. Summer holidays are a particularly vulnerable time for the young people we work for. Without school to occupy them, the absence of consistent care and with an influx of tourists to the city children are loured back onto the streets and exposed to the subsequent dangers of abuse that follow. Throughout August we are running creative workshops with a local charity that will provide a distraction the children need; keeping them safe and entertained. Friends have been recruited and are keenly recycling everything we can get hold of in order to provide materials for the workshops. Recycling is an alien concept in Sri Lanka so the exercise is really valuable but more importantly it helps to subdue our Western guilt; having to continuously throw recyclable materials away, which for a family from London, is too traumatising for words.We are also planning to 'Train the Trainers' for the charity to compliment the August workshops. Managers and children from all four of the charities projects in Sri Lanka will attend. At a recent event hosted by the charity we were reunited with some of the young people who attended our 'Youth Volunteer Training' in Nuwara Eliya last year. We are so proud to see the confidence they have continued to develop and hear about how they still volunteer and help in their local community.

.........30/30 is coming......

Following the summer break we hope to have in place a school network in Kandy called 'Joining Hands'. There are 5 government run schools in the area serving the very poorest children. This month we secured a new school partnership making a current tally of 2 schools and we are in discussions to recruit the remaining 3 schools into the group. The idea behind 'Joining Hands' is to enable a supportive school network which provides mutual benefit and assistance to all students & staff of the member partners and allows them access to The TEA Project's Youth Empowerment services. The weekly assistance we provide to MB School through workshops, art regeneration projects like the recently completed 'Cloud Steps', PenShip-Pal Programme and school partnering are used to promote the benefits of 'Joining Hands' and establishing the network.

Please take time if you can to share TEA Project awareness whenever possible and visit the website to see how you can 'Take the Challenge', watch your new video and 'Help Change a Life'.

Enjoy the summer; we'll catch up again in August.

Happy camping.