Monday, 30 November 2015

The Yoga Programme (19-10 to 16-11 2015) Sponsored by Kumar kathiramalai

Through October & November The TEA Project engaged in helping to bring together 'the mind, body & soul' of students at a local government run school in Kandy with support from 30/30 Appeal sponsorship.
Venerable Sri Lankan Yogi Guru Janaka Tennakoon kindly volunteered his services to The TEA Project to teach a combination of Ashtang & Hatha yoga for the students . The Yoga Programme ran weekly for one month and sought to help empower young students with practical and transferable yoga techniques that would strengthen them physically, mentally & spiritually to tackle life's challenges.
The programme aimed to:
• Develop individual sensory perception
• Improve listening skills and personal well-being
• Improve behaviour
• Increase mindfulness and well being
• Improve physical and mental health
• Develop transferable Yoga skills
• Provide a therapeutic environment where children could relax and build confidence
Here is a brief overview of the programme and what the children achieved:
The word “hatha” can be translated two ways: as “willful” or “forceful,” or the yoga of activity, and as “sun” (ha) and “moon” (tha), the yoga of balance. Guru Janeka combined therapeutic postures of Hatha with more physically exertive Ashtang positions to complement feelings of mental and physical well being for the students.
The lessons were greeted as a welcome change to the children's school day and the programme was expertly led by Guru Janaka who commands a natural and non threatening air of respect amongst pupils; teachers commented that he was 'very cool'. It was heart warming to see so many smiles and hear so much fun and laughter from the children during sessions. The students come from the poorest socio-economic backgrounds where abuse and neglect are common; often struggling to concentrate in class and displaying unruly behaviour towards peers and staff. The children noticeably took to the challenge and it was clear that the experience had effected them very positively. The children will be able to take what they have learned and continue to apply the practice outside as well as inside school.
Pictures speak a thousand words and we need to only look at photographs taken during classes with the students to feel the positive energy and wellness.
All this you made possible. Thank you so much Kumar.
Racheal & Carl

Monday, 16 November 2015


        The 30/30 Appeal - Wired 4 Sound Workshop    
Sponsored by Dee Tracey 

A 'Wired 4 Sound' workshop was delivered on 'Remembrance Day' to children aged 11-15 years old who attend a Government run school on the outskirts of Kandy, Sri Lanka. The students come from the poorest socio-economic backgrounds.

The workshop aimed to:

·         Develop individual sensory perception
·         Improve listening skills & personal well-being
·         Increase awareness of global issues
·         Highlight the importance of resolving conflicts peacefully
·         Develop creative technical skills
·         Provide a therapeutic environment where children can relax,express    themselves and build confidence within a supportive environment.

Here is a brief overview of the workshop and what some of the children achieved:

The workshop opened with a relaxed 10 minute group discussion/ice breaker. The workshop facilitator referred to a  t-shirt depicting and image of Che Guevara. The children were asked if they knew who the image was of.  One child guessed correctly but the group perception was that 'Che' was responsible 'for bringing drugs to Sri Lanka'. An explanation and discussion about the Cuban Revolution, armed conflict and the 'act of remembrance' followed. The global significance of 'Remembrance Day' would have been lost as none of the children had heard of the First or Second World Wars so the recent Sri Lankan Civil War was put into context and led in turn to a discussion about child soldiers, the futility of war and the need to always find peaceful resolutions to conflict. The children & staff later took part in a  '2 minutes silence' for the first time in their lives; all the children respected the silence.

In preparation for the 2 minute remembrance students were asked to sit at their desks, eyes closed, and to listen. After 10 minutes they were asked to write down and discuss 10 things they had observed and from this list choose one thing to make into a 'wire sound' sculpture. Vehicles and birds were created and crafted by hand.

Following a short break students were asked to compile their wire sound sculptures together, creating a collective still life. The rest of the session was used to draw the collective still life. Students were encouraged to 'keep drawing' during the session and to 'never use an eraser'. A lot of students have behavioural issues, lack discipline and find it difficult to concentrate for long periods. Practising these simple rules show children not to look at the marks they produce as mistakes that need erasing. They are supported to take pleasure in the process, to not be concerned about the end result; which will come naturally. Children are taught to keep working until they have what they wanted to achieve; if it's 'boring' keep working until it is no longer boring.
This process is difficult for the children to accept at first after years of rigid discipline. But they soon adapt, learning to enjoy 'the experience' as much as the result. Students are shown how to draw freely, without over-thinking, by following a series of 'timed' life drawing exercises. These fast sketches create a more natural and flowing style over time.

The Principal of the school commented that before The TEA Project applied this approach students were unruly and unable to sit quietly and concentrate in class. She believes they now have this ability and this is due to the teaching practise applied in The TEA Project workshops. The children have all noticeably developed an aptitude of confidence.

All this was made possible by a donation to The 30/30 Appeal 2015.

Racheal & Carl


The 30/30 Appeal: L.I.F.E Training (September - October 2015)
Sponsored by Tracey & Bernard (Bracken-Mercer)

The L.I.F.E (Leadership, Independence, Futures & Empowerment) Training Programme ran during September and October 2015. The training consists of 12 intensive hours run over a four week period; 25 children participated in the programme aged 11-12 years old from a rural school in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka.

The training programme aims to:

·         Develop confidence and self esteem
·         Improve listening and team work skills
·         Develop leadership qualities
·         Develop presentation and communication skills
·         Teach children about children's rights instruments and entitlements

Here is a brief overview of your programme and what some of the children achieved:

Day One:  The children shared what they hoped to achieve from the training with others, they identified their strengths, they learnt about good and poor leadership qualities and planned and delivered their first group presentations.

Day Two: The children looked at personal qualities and skills which they wanted to improve; i.e. be a better public speaker, improve confidence etc.  Each child made a Personal Goal which was realistic and achievable then in groups all the children planned and delivered a creative presentation.

Day Three: The children identified the difference between children and adult rights, i.e. children need protection and love.  We learnt about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and everyone received a child friendly version of the Convention.  We played debate games and posed questions like 'do men make better leaders than women'?  and 'do adults know more than children'?

Day Four: On the final day of the programme children reviewed their Personal Goals and shared lessons learnt and barriers faced.  The children importantly learnt that if they 'try hard' and 'be brave' they can achieve anything.  The children received a certificate of achievement, a group photograph and we evaluated the learning outcomes and experiences of the children.

Outcomes and feedback from the training:
All the children commented about how they felt more confident after the training and more comfortable speaking in public.  The children developed  presentation skills and learnt about the importance of good body language and eye contact.  Children commented they learnt how working together produced better results and helped them forge trust in others and new friendships.

From the evaluation forms most children preferred the goal setting activity and the many games we played during the training.  Two children said the training had ''changed their lives''.  A teacher who participated will soon be trained by The TEA Project to be a L.I.F.E trainer and she will be supported to deliver subsequent training programmes independently.

All this you made possible. Thank you both so much.

Racheal & Carl

Monday, 9 November 2015

'The Healthy Children Project' (HCP)

'The Healthy Children Project' (HCP)
With planning now in place and Government Departmental approval received we were able to tell the girls from the orphanage about their involvement in 'The Healthy Children Project' running for 5 weeks over Christmas.

A team of professionals and medical volunteers from Scotland will take the project to the girl's home and also schools and rural working women to educate them on sexual health, first aid and life saving resuscitation techniques. The girls were also informed about additional plans to take them on a day trip to the Botanical Gardens in Kandy for a picnic and games. 

There will definitely be no rice and curry on the picnic menu!

The girls were also excited to learn about a Christmas Day party with carols, stories, special food, crafts and party games. 

Our family is looking forward to spending Christmas day with the girls and each of the 21 orphans will get a present to open on the big day. Our two children will donate a Christmas present each to the girls home.

Each gift costs around £10 per child. If you would like to give a gift to an orphaned girl this Christmas you can send a £10 donation to The TEA Project and we will provide you with details of the gift purchased and of the girl who's Christmas you made bright.                                                                   You can donate via the by referencing your donation
'xmas gift' or get more information about HCP by emailing

'Voluntary Teaching Assistant' required in Sri Lanka.

'Voluntary Teaching Assistant' required in Sri Lanka.

The TEA Project is looking for a volunteer who can deliver after school classes to grade 6, 7 & 8 children with additional support needs in English. You must be able to commit to a minimum of 3 months with longer periods encouraged. 
This is a fantastic opportunity for someone who is either trained and wants to share their skilled experience or a young person who has plans to become a teacher.
A teaching qualification is not required for this post.
It is preferred for the applicant to be degree educated or possess equivalent work experience, be enthusiastic, engaging and having a competent understanding of the English language is essential.
The position is based at a school in rural Kurunegala, Sri Lanka and will be wholly funded by the applicant with practical support provided by The TEA Project and school administration.
Please email your interest with a CV (and photograph if possible) to