My Experiences at Ranmuthugala
By: Sithara Pathirana
Emerge Lanka Foundation Programs Assistant
On the 10th of February this year we commenced work in a new shelter in Ranmuthugala. Nirukshi Miss, Amanda Miss, Iro and Charuni Akka, Myself and Udani – visited the shelter to commence our programme. As we entered through the gate, a few large buildings along with a shrine room spaced between a large area of land could be seen, A group of girls were playing and cycling freely in the foreground. My initial impression was that even though these girls do not have access to the world outside, they seemed to live here happily with their friends. Of course some of them looked very mischievous and I wondered whether it would be difficult for us to hold their attention for long periods of time. All of them seemed pleasant while a few fa
ces seemed to hold toughness within them. We were able to have a pleasant discussion with the girls followed by a discussion with the authorities.We played a name game where all of us got to know each others’ names. Some of them had been in our programme before, while in other shelters. They were glad to meet us and we felt the same. They kept on asking us about the beads and if we had brought them that day. I could feel their eagerness to start beading. While getting to know them, I felt that though some seemed tough, they were just like all the other children we work with. On the second day we all went to the shelter and we were welcomed more eagerly. We all got together and had a game to collect necessary information. The girls were then treated to a piece of cake and their favorite song. It was rather difficult to keep the class together, and holding their attention throughout. I believe this will not be so in the future. Especially with the training we received by Nirukshi miss and also the guidance we have been given by her, we will be able to understand the girls and their problems and also be able to lighten their burdens. With the dedication of the Emerge team which I am proud to be a part of and the commitment we have, I believe these girls will actively take part in the Beads 2 Business and Life skills workshops and learn as much as they could grasp. I am sure when they leave the shelter their out look in life would be much different. Just like them I too was away from home and have experienced difficulties the girls at the shelter have faced and understand how they feel, I am especially thankful to Nirukshi Miss, my roots of a happy and successful tree of life. I feel the girls will cooperate with us and be a strength to the continuation of our programme.