Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Case Study: Girls United (L.I.F.E 4 Orphans Training)

The TEA Project has worked at a local Girls Home in Kandy for 2-years; in recent months we've become concerned at the sudden change in behavior of the girls. Generally engaging, energetic and outgoing the girls have become isolated and detached. There has been a suicide attempt, bullying, severe infighting and an increasing lack of motivation to participate in our weekly ‘Girls Group’. This raised alarm bells and inspired us to plan a tailored training programme facilitated just for the girls. 'Girls United'.

We ran 2-days of our leadership programme, ‘L.I.F.E Training’. Over a weekend 16 girls aged between 9 and 16 years attended. A local school from The TEA Project's ‘School Network’ kindly donated the facilities helping to create a positive training environment away from the orphanage. The training was delivered by two strong female role models; a professional volunteer TEA-cher and our Project Worker; both local and able to deliver the programme completely in native ‘Sinhala’.
The training aimed to empower and en-skill the girls with leadership qualities. The girls worked in unity planning presentations and role plays, learnt about international children’s rights, qualities needed for being ‘strong women’, they set personal goals, talked in depth and openly about difficult personal experiences and the trials of life at the orphanage.
The girls commented they had never shared experiences with one another before, how they felt “relaxed” after being given the opportunity to talk openly and felt “listened to for the first time”. Shared personal stories and enabled the girls to understand and appreciate each other. They talked about sisterhood and developed a list of basic rules to work together on to help one another.
A number of serious concerns about the girl’s home including physical and mental abuse came to light. These concerns were logged; the stories and incidents will be related directly to senior managers at the girl's home. The TEA Project saw that issues were addressed effectively and that the girls were heard.
The training helped us to re-shape the projects weekly girls group into a 'focus group' aimed at giving the girls a platform to talk, be heard and make positive change.

Friday, 8 April 2016

Meet Tracy!

The TEA Project is proud to present our new patron: Meet Tracy Holsinger. Tracy is an award winning director, actor, teacher and founding member of the fanatastic Mind Adventures theatre company A graduate in Drama and Theatre Arts from Goldsmiths College, University of London and a Licentiate in teaching Drama from Trinity Guildhall, UK. Former Head of the Arts at the prestigious British School in Colombo Tracy has been the recipient of the BUNKA Award for Special Achievement in Theatre and the Sunethra Bandaranaike Trust grant for new theatre-making. She has worked in several capacities both in Sri Lanka and the UK including BBC Radio4. In 2015 Tracy returned to host her national morning show on TNL Radio
This morning 'madame patron' took the project's 'Run for Poverty' campaign 'on air' to raise national awareness & support for TEA.
The TEA Project is so grateful to have such a dynamic & inspirational female patron & role model who will advocate for the children we are privileged to work for.
Read about Tracy's 'Graceful Passions' from a recent interview with The Daily News:…

Monday, 4 April 2016

Reaching Out

@the weekend we traveled to the West Coast to meet the wonderful pupils and staff from our new partner school in Kuliyapitiya.
Roughly 500 students from families most at need attend the school. It seemed most of them were there to welcome us when we arrived.
We met with the enigmatic Principle & his committed teaching team and agreed to run a Leadership camp at the school later in the year and provide teacher training for staff using professional volunteers from TEA.
We gave the school an initial donation; 20 re-usable sanitary towel packs and a first aid kit. The packs are handmade by girls from a women's refuge supported by The TEA Project in Kandy. We buy the packs from the girls, they receive the profits. Girls most in need of support will be identified at the school to receive the packs which last for up to 3 years.
Thank you to everyone for making us so welcome and to our local Project Worker, Sachini, for organising the visit and identifying the need of the new partner school.
The TEA Project now directly supports 5 schools and 3 orphanages in the Central, East, West & North of the island; accessing over two thousand young people.
If you would like to support The TEA project please visit