Date: 20 Jan 2016
Overall, the visit to SWO Office and Thillagawathiyar GH, Batticaloa has been fruitful. We are glad that we went to Batticaloa and were able to see in person the functioning of the SWO office and the Girls Home.
I reached Puttukudiyiruppu around 1:30 pm. We had a general chat with the staff in the office – Mr. Thiru, Vicki, Sasikala and Prathees. I was able to understanding as best as I could how the office was operating and the interaction of the various centres e.g. Computer centre, Sewing Centre etc.
They served us a generous home cooked lunch after which we visited Computer Centre and the sewing centre and were able to interact with the staff and students. Overall, the staff are doing the best they can and appear to be motivated with a sense of purpose. The students also appear to be well disciplined. The office premises looked very tidy and gave the impression that the place is well organised. We gathered that there is a need for additional sewing machines that would assist the students to do sewing outside the class and make a living. The Co-ordinator (Vicki) suggested at the gathering that a sewing machine for a group of students say 5 would be very practical and the machine will be put to good use instead of having individual machine for each student. Furthermore funding for the purchasing of individual machine also will become an issue.
Then we went to Palugamam and on the way we saw from a distance the proposed new accommodation for the students. The new accommodation when operating should alleviate the cramped space that exists at the present facilities. The students all seemed quite happy and content. We are pleased that they are growing up in a safe and secure environment. I saw the two students that I sponsor. They were quite happy to see us both as they had not seen our photos previously. I also saw some students practising “Villu Pattu”.
Finally I wish to sincerely thank the staff at SWO and at Pallugamam who made us feel welcome and showed their unconditional hospitality. Please convey our regards to all of them. By the way, the accommodation that you suggested at “East Lagoon” was good.
After our visit, we have considered gifting two sewing machines to the students of the Sewing Centre and I hope that may assist them in the immediate future. As I understand it the cost of each machine is around Rs 25,000. I will be in touch with you within the next few days. Please confirm whether my understanding of the cost of the sewing machine is correct.