School counselors take on a tough load

Since the start of the year, life has changed for most people in Sri Lanka: corruption, government inaction and mismanagement are driving the island state to economic ruin. Those in power – mostly from the same family – cling to their posts, protests are suppressed by the military. Food has become extremely scarce and increased tenfold. The same goes for oil and gas, which cripples traffic, deprives fishermen of their livelihoods, forces schools to close and, above all, leaves the economically weakest hungry.

Families in which a child is sponsored by the Friends of Neuwied-Matara e. V. is supported by a monthly grant. At Anura College in Matara, on the south coast of Sri Lanka, there are about 40 of these children, who come from particularly needy families and are supported in their school career. They all bring with them an intellectual potential which, however, could hardly be realized due to the poverty of the family. They have benefited from this support from the Neuwieder region for many years; some have already graduated (A-Levels) and are studying, others are about to do so and most are still in primary and secondary education. The monthly scholarship allows them to participate in support courses, additional learning materials and gives them opportunities they would never have had without this help from Germany.

But z. Right now, everything is completely different. When the school buses can’t run, when the teachers can’t come to school, when there’s almost no food left to feed the family… then the little help from the sponsors (25 euros per month) is similar to life insurance. Fortunately, transfers can be processed via a private bank in Neuwied in Sri Lanka, because with a government bank the circle of friends would have to worry that the foreign currency has long since been confiscated.

Despite all these daily grievances and difficulties, the school tries to maintain a bit of normalcy. School representatives (= prefects) have also been appointed for the new school year, an important position for young people, through which they maintain order, cleanliness and a regular school day and want to be a good role model for their fellow students class – not easy in these difficult times.

Many of the association’s sponsored children have been appointed for this responsible cause and take their task very seriously. Your position now also allows you to act as a mediator between the school, the godchildren and the German sponsors, perhaps to make proposals for new admissions, to encourage the godchildren to get in touch with the German sponsors and to raise awareness of the great opportunity available to you being given to them in this way. What they cannot change is the dramatic political and economic misery gripping the country. Friends of Neuwied-Matara e. V. will continue to try to keep an eye on the children’s schooling so that the possibility of training or studies is maintained. Membership of the Circle of Friends (only two euros per month) allows many to help a group of young people from the southern coast of Sri Lanka to make their lives more promising and worth living through education.

More info at or Facebook “Freundeskreis Neuwied-Matara e. V.” Donation Account IBAN: DE58 574501200030041800).

Press release

Friends of Neuwied-Matara

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