Children's Resource Centre AidCamp

Sri Lanka - July 2016

This was a three-week project which commenced on 30 July 2016. The project provided additional facilities at the SERVE Children's Resource Centre at Modera, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka.

The Centre caters for poor children living in an urban environment who are at serious risk from poverty and all that it brings - ill health, reduced life chances and potential exploitation.

The following review was written by Rachel, one of the volunteers on the project and is her personal view of the experience and what it meant to her and the people she met on her travels.

Memories of Moratuwa
"Multicoloured mosquito nets.....warm winds...sun hats...
Baby bananas and plump papayas......mouthwatering watermelons and scrumptious Sri Lankan curries..
A dip in the sea...under the swaying palm tree.....
Tuk tuks...and trains....honks and hoots.....
A treasure trove of sights and tastes and sounds.

We worked hard we played hard and got huge satisfaction at the end of our work days...we had fun learning new skills from the cheerful local workmen....through sign language and just trying to copy them! having toiled in 35 degree heat and humidity.....We watched the Centre become more complete as the days went by....and then went 'home' to our basic but comfortable have a cool shower a wee glass of Arak and wonderful meal cooked by Sujeewa waiting for us!

We heaved we dug....we sieved we lugged....
we plastered we sanded, we painted and tugged
We sweated...we ached...we got bruised and bitten...
But by the workmen and kiddies we really were smitten
The break-time fruit and hot tea from Divan
Was a fun bit of rest-time while chatting to Isam..
The kids played around us and just wanted fun
Even though their Centre was only half-done
At the end of the day we had reached our goal
Despite having fallen into the odd hole....
We all came together and worked as a team
Now we look back at where we have been.

We had special-treat weekends....jumped in a van for a long-winded adventure and sing song to far off places.....saw temples and elephants....dancing and fire juggling..... tasted tea and saw wonderful wildlife..We were blessed by Buddha, mingled with monks... lingered with the locals and we were warmly welcomed.

Such a well organised trip all a fantastic leader who had the perfect medium to keep us right and keep us safe but gave us our own time and space to explore or chill. It was nice to see how a group of strangers can become friends / work buddies / flat-mates so quickly!! There was a rota to share duties and talks by SERVE who are a great charity working hard on the ground and together with AidCamps work parties.

Gratification of having done something so worthwhile.....humbled by hard lives... touched by young shining smiles.

Such a rewarding experience in every way... if you are thinking about something like this....just do it!!"

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