Friday, 30 December 2016

The TEA Project - 'Building Charity - A Year in Review' (2016)

Just click on this written Facebook link or copy & paste it into your address bar.

''Over the past 12 months the media has sold us fear and division.
The TEA Project promotes the values of hope & unity.
We are a small team achieving big things. With your support we will continue to grow and build on what we have achieved in 2016; creating more & more positive outcomes for vulnerable children living in poverty.

There is so much need in the world, it's difficult to know where a donation will be most effective. We understand this. All that we can say is that a donation to The TEA Project effects real and positive change for the future.
Resolve to join with us in 2017 to empower that change.

Thank you to all the people who decided to become a part of the project in 2016. Happy new year from everyone at The TEA Project. Enjoy our year in review''.

'Only you make The TEA Project possible'.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

'My Train to Train'
(A VolunTEAr's Story - TEAcher Training in Sri Lanka)
Nicola Walsh - Senior UK School Inspector.

''I arrived in the North very early in the morning after a long journey; i was collected from the station and driven to a local girl's orphanage where i would be staying.
After a brief sleep from 4 am to 6 am I set off to visit the school.
I was met by the Principal; who, much to my surprise, had invited a wide selection of children and parents to see me.
As I entered the room I was greeted by a sea of expectant faces. There were children with varying requirements and abilities including deaf children and children with downs syndrome. Young people with very clear and specific special needs.
Within a 10 minute interview slot I performed an observation with each child to ascertain language skills and clapping rhythms to assess coordination and numeracy.
With the support of a local TEA translator we gave every child and parent a simple task to focus on as a result of the 1:1 interview.
To my amazement we identified a child who could not see. The boy was 7 and had only been in school 3 months. His vision was seriously impaired and the parent had not identified this; only saying he stays on his own, stays in etc. With dialogue and a few basic sight tests we advised to take the child to an optician; basic but true.
We explained to the teacher of a deaf child to concentrate on pictures and communicating in other ways. The child was intelligent and could do things expected of a similar child of the same age but needed the correct medium to be able to express this.
And so the day progressed, offering what seemed to be basic advice; easily understood I thought from my ‘Western’ perspective but which was a whole new world to the teachers and parents in this region.
I presented a document used extensively in the UK to monitor a child’s development from 0-5 years old which can be easily used to measure the stage of the child’s development in every aspect.
I shared this with teachers and they were given a hard copy in English.
Teachers were extremely responsive.
On my second day we looked at language and literacy and I showed them how sounds are represented as graphemes. Getting children to listen to sounds and to be able to represent them as graphemes is crucial in literacy development.
By this time the electricity had cut yet again and the temp was 30+. Time to finish.
All the teachers went away happy and the feedback was overwhelmingly positive.
I cautioned teachers to be aware of children who are sent to them with special needs. Differentiating tasks to suit the needs of each child is not advocated in the Sri Lankan curriculum. Teachers routinely repeat from the text book with little understanding or desire to know how well the children are appreciating the concepts.
I really enjoyed the experience and look forward to returning again as a volunTEAr''.
If you would like to volunTEAr your professional skills or make a donation to support The TEA Project volunTEAr network then please visit our website.

Monday, 12 December 2016

Pen-Ship Pals

One of the first programmes Racheal and i set up on arriving to Sri Lanka was 'Penship-Pals'. Letter writing is an increasingly lost art these days. It's such a simple and effective way of connecting young people, educating & informing themselves about the richness of diversity and the similarities that unite us. Forging friendships, sometimes life long, across the invisible divide. Do you remember that feeling when the postman delivered something especially for you? We still continue the programme today, almost 3 years later, with partnerships between schools in the UK & SL.

Children in SL wrote that they hadn't a clue about Easter or Easter Eggs, about not owning bikes and that in Sri Lanka children very rarely own animals as pets like children commonly do in the UK. Dogs & cats mostly roam wild. SL is a predominantly Buddhist country; animals are respected to wander freely without capture or maltreatment.

The academic year runs from January to December so writing letters to their UK Pen pals through the school partnership programme was a real treat on the last day of term. In the new year when UK children return to school they will receive a pile of letters and beautiful pictures from their school friends in Sri Lanka; bringing that special feeling back to life.

#safetea #theteaproject #theteap

This Christmas The TEA Project has launched the 'SAFE-TEA FIRST APPEAL'.
Can you spare one minute to read about Nimal? Simply click on the link:
You can help change his story. What better present could you give a child?
We hope you make a resolution this year to join with us to help protect thousands of children from abuse in 2017 by donating to our SAFE-TEA FIRST APPEAL.
In January 2017 The TEA Project is embarking on a month of safeguarding training across Sri Lanka with the help of experienced Child Protection professionals from the UK. Our hope is to fund this month of essential SAFE-TEA training and extend it throughout the whole of 2017. Our appeal target is £1,000.
'SAFE-TEA training can change the rest of a child's life. One year of training can change thousands of vulnerable children's lives forever'.
*Christmas is a time for giving. Everyone has a cause that is special to them and we appreciate everybody's personal circumstances are different. We are making our appeal to try and support some of the most vulnerable children in society. In our attempt we do not overlook the needs of others. If you cannot support our appeal then we fully respect that decision. We hope that you can help spread awareness to our campaign. Thank you & Merry Christmas.
Carl Gale - Director
The TEA Project - UK Charity 1163485

The Lighthouse Church

We would like to thank The Lighthouse Church in Kandy for inviting The TEA Project to speak to the Sunday congregation.
The Reverend kindly accepted a 'TEA-box' which will be permanently situated at the church to accept donations for the project.
Thank you to everyone for making us feel welcome, for your kind donations and offers of voluntary support.
If you know of an organisation that would like to place one our TEA-boxes and support our programmes with vulnerable children then please email us at

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Fast & Furious Awards

The TEA Project awarded certificates of excellence and an early Christmas present to 69 students who attended our after school debate club this term.
The ceremony marks the end of the government school year in Sri Lanka and the awards recognise the considerable effort and achievements the children have put into their self titled 'Fast & Furious' (F&F) clubs.
Next term the Principle intends to enter F&F into a regional inter-school debate competition.
We are very proud of all the students and we're happy to have been given the opportunity to recognise their input. Extracurricular programmes provided by The TEA Project are vitally important in developing students confidence, pride & self belief in their abilities.