Dickwella North School
Matara, Sri Lanka
|Project Leader :||Sarath Matararaachchi|
|Client :||North Dickwella Maha Vidyalaya|
|Current Status :||Stage 1 of building completed, Stage 2 Masterplan and Performing Arts Centre now in sketch design phase|
After the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, AWF and the City of Melbourne coordinated a team of volunteers to fly to Sri Lanka to assess how best to use money donated by to the City of Melbourne to assist in the recovery and rebuilding process.
North Dickwella School is located in a village off the coast of Sri Lanka. It was not hit by the tsunami, but became a regional centre for students whose schools had been devastated by it. The school was already under-resourced and run down, barely meeting the needs of the existing 420 students. In order to accommodate students from nearby tsunami-affected schools the school needed more buildings and facilities including basic infrastructure. AWF organised a consultative workshop led by the Project Director and a local Urban Development Authority Planner. Sectional Head Teachers, the Principal, student leaders and parent representatives also participated in the workshop. The workshop generated a ‘wish list’ and an Educational Development Foundation was formed to drive the project, consisting of parents, teachers, students, and the village community as well as representatives from the City of Melbourne and AWF. Whilst facilitating the physical needs of the students and community, there were underlying goals that considered the role of the school within the broader community, recognising the importance of founding long-term sustainable programs that provide ongoing support to students to assist in achieving their educational and vocational objectives beyond the confines of school.
Sarath Matararaachchi traveled to Sri Lanka in January of 2011 with two AWF volunteer team members.
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