"Pastor Sam" brings news from Manipay to Altusried

by Stefanie Huisgen,  2011/11/04

More than five years have passed since the last visit of the Sri Lankan Pastor Sam Rajasuriar at the primary and intermediate school of Altusried. Last Friday it was time for meeting again. Together with humedica CEO Wolfgang Groß, Pastor Rajasuriar visited the school in Altusried in order to tell the 476 students about the current situation at the International School Manipay.

The students in Altusried are listening to a presentation about the humedica school in Sri Lanka. Photo: humedica/Stefanie Huisgen

The time for this visit could not have been more appropriate, as only one week before the visit, the school had organised a donation race. The children of the primary and intermediate school had run as many rounds as they felt fit to do.

Before the sports event, the young racers had chosen "sponsors" among their friends and relatives, who were willing to pay a certain amount for every finished round. In this way the school had collected the substantial amount of 3,000 euros.

The primary and intermediate school Altusried intends to support three social projects with the collected donations. One third of the donation sum is invested in the school's social fund, which is e.g. used to help socially weaker families to finance a class trip or a school expedition. Another 1,000 euros will be donated for a street children project in the Ukraine, which the school has been supporting since 2010.

Headmaster Hermann Danner took advantage of the visit of Pastor Rajasuriar and Wolfgang Groß to present a cheque of 1,000 euros to humedica. The remaining third of the money collected during the donation race is intended to be used for supporting the International School Manipay.

Wolfgang Groß and Pastor Sam Rajasuriar tell about the International School Manipay. Photo: humedica/Stefanie Huisgen

For 30 years, the primary and intermediate school Altusried has been organising events to support humedica. Headmaster Hermann Danner and his deputy Johannes Breitfeld would be pleased to keep up this longstanding tradition.

In order to give the students an impression of what the donations they collected during their race will be used for, humedica CEO Wolfgang Groß and Pastor Rajasuriar, the head of the humedica subsidiary humedica International Lanka that was founded in 1994, travelled to Altusried.

After being welcomed by headmaster Hermann Danner, Wolfgang Groß presented the humedica school project in Manipay. Manipay is a suburb of Jaffna, the capital of a province on the northern peninsula of Sri Lanka.

In the framework of a short presentation, Wolfgang Groß at first told the pupils of primary school of the humedica school in Manipay and he had brought a lot of pictures for his very young audience. Afterwards, a separate presentation was held for the pupils of intermediate school regarding the latest developments at the school in Sri Lanka.

Enquiries: two girls talking to Wolfgang Groß and Pastor Sam. Photo: humedica/Stefanie Huisgen

For example, the young audience was told that the International School Manipay was built within only four months and half and was opened on January 5, 2006. What amazed the students most was the fact that, at the school in Sri Lanka, lessons are taught exclusively in English.

Following an enquiry by the children, Pastor Rajasuriar explained that nowadays, being able to speak English was one of the best preconditions for being accepted at an international university. "Thanks to attending lessons in English, the students of the International School Manipay receive a high-quality education and have a realistic perspective of being able to study abroad someday."

Currently, about 600 boys and also girls - for girls in Sri Lanka being allowed to attend school is not a matter of fact - are taught by 55 teachers. Classes consist of 20 to 25 students, which is relatively few in comparison to the prevailing conditions in the rest of the country. Starting from next year, there will also be an A-level class and the students of this course will be able to leave school with the renowned Cambridge graduation.

For those children who have to travel a long way to school, there is the possibility of being accommodated at the residential home run by the school, or of taking a school bus. In the meantime, there are four school buses that take the children to school in the morning and home again in the afternoon.

"Are there any questions?" Wolfgang Groß and Pastor Sam are pleased to answer any questions posed by the students. Photo: humedica/Stefanie Huisgen

In order for the children to be a little more independent, Pastor Rajasuriar would like to provide them with bicycles. Then, the students would not longer be so dependent on the school buses, which go only twice a day.

In order to realise this plan as well as for financing school uniforms, further donations are urgently needed. "School attendance is free, but school uniforms and material needs to be paid for by the children's parents themselves", reports Pastor Rajasuriar.

"Furthermore, we need about 300,000 euros for buying grounds and building our own preschool. For three years now, we have been renting a building for our preschool. Now we would like to build a four-storey building and establish our preschool there", explains the pastor from Sri Lanka. Right now, our preschool is attended by 75 children and they are taught by six teachers.

After Wolfgang Groß and Pastor Rajasuriar had finished their presentations, there was a question time for the young audience, during which Wolfgang Groß acted as an interpreter - as the guest from Sri Lanka spoke only English.

"Can you please say something in your mother tongue?", asked one of the pupils of primary school and "Pastor Sam" - as the children were allowed to call him for convenience - said a few words in Tamil.

Pastor Sam Rajasuriar talking about new ideas for the humedica school in Manipay with Johannes Breitfeld. Photo: humedica/Stefanie Huisgen

A student of intermediate school wanted to know: "Do you have clean water in Sri Lanka?" "Pastor Sam" answered that in Sri Lanka, people had to clean their drinking water before using it.

Another student seemed to be particularly interested in the school project and asked: "How many more schools are you intending to build?" "Pastor Sam" explained to him that, for the time being, the preschool construction project was the largest project they were planning to implement.

After the presentation for the students, Wolfgang Groß and his friend from Sri Lanka were taken on a tour around the school building in Altusried by deputy headmaster Johannes Breitfeld.

Pastor Rajasuriar was very impressed by the school's high-quality equipment. In particular, he admired the new boards. Now he is going to pray for such modern school utensils also to be introduced soon at the International School Manipay.

Please support our work in Manipay by means of a targeted donation and help us to help! Thank you very much!

      humedica e.V.
      Donation reference “Sri Lanka
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren

You can achieve great things by means of a little text message: send the reference DOC to 8 11 90 and you will make a donation of 5 euros, with 4.83 euros of this amount being directly channelled into the humedica disaster relief projects.

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