Children's Resource Centre AidCamp

Sri Lanka - August 2010

This project successfully concluded on 29 August 2010. The following report was written by Linda, a first-time volunteer with AidCamps International.

"On arrival at Colombo airport, myself and another volunteer who I met up with in Dubai, were met by Kevin our Project Leader, we were taken to a little guest house on the beach in Negombo and slowly met up with the other volunteers as they arrived, we were all enthusiastic and eager to start the project so it was really nice to share a meal together and get to know the group I would be spending the next 3 weeks with, with ages ranging from 21 to 76 the conversations were fascinating, particularly from the people who had previous experience of other AidCamps projects, such a lovely mix of individuals.

We left the next day for our journey to base-camp in Moratuwa, stopping at the centre where we were going to be helping to build the next floor on an existing community centre, definitely no hard hats or safety goggles here! ... in fact very little in the way of tools either, but hey, what we lacked in equipment we made up for in invention and imagination.

I had arrived in Sri Lanka with no expectations whatsoever so I was quite impressed by the fact we had showers, flushing toilets and mosquito nets, our living quarters were basic but perfectly adequate as was the food we were given and the lovely Indrani who helped in the kitchen made sure there was always a meal ready for us when we returned from work each day.

The heat and humidity could be draining but we usually finished at about 12.30 so it never became unbearable and we had the afternoon to catch up on washing, shopping, reading etc. everyone worked hard and were desperate to complete the project in the time we had, somehow 3 weeks just didn't seem enough, some of the children would come to the site and even help with some of the smaller jobs, they were always happy to see us and made us feel very welcome.

In the evenings we entertained ourselves with quizzes, silly games and attended cultural talks on local government, Social work and Buddhism, at the weekends we were taken to see some of the amazing sights of Sri Lanka, the elephant orphanage, the Perahera, Tooth Temple in Kandy, the beautiful, spiritual caves in Dambulla, Ratnapura and Uda Walawe, it was also really interesting to visit another AidCamps project in Sevenagala, a centre where children can socialise and be educated, we received a very warm welcome from the children who were absolutely delightful, it spared us on to think that we could hopefully achieve something similar in Moratuwa.

We managed to finish the project in the morning and attend the opening ceremony in the afternoon, the sense of achievement was incredible, but more importantly was the appreciation we were shown by the benefactors, the children presented us with garlands, they danced and sang and praised our efforts, the people from Serve (our hosts) were extremely gracious and thanked us for the contribution we made in bringing this wonderful project to fruition.

Our final journey took us to Mount Lavinia where we all enjoyed a farewell meal together, we laughed, we sang, we danced and we reluctantly said our farewells, each going home with a full heart and a head full of memories, the project was so very rewarding and the friends that I made were fantastic, would I do it all over again? ... in a heartbeat!"


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