Nursery Visits - Batticaloa

OceanStars :: Wednesday 27th October 2010 :: This Story

Thirukkovil Visit Featuring Carolyn, Chris, Kat and Danny!

After a fascinating and rather long journey over half made roads we were garlanded with sweet smelling jasmine presented by the children. The nursery itself was located in the grounds of a Methodist church. Danny fitted two fans which really transformed this spacious but extremely hot space to make a more comfortable area for the teachers and the children.

Although initially shy, the children did warm to us and thoroughly enjoyed the games and activities we had planned for them. It was so pleasant to see how happy the children were and what a fantastic job that the two lovely teachers were doing with virtually no equipment. The children were so well behaved and at ease in their company.

The collage was a great success because the children were able to work with materials that they would never normally have the opportunity to use. They also loved the fish hats which they had made and it was so touching to see them later on throughout the day still wearing their hats!

Ranchin and the two teachers kindly introduced us to some of the families of the children, who invited us into their homes. They have very little but were so welcoming, we were humbled by their hospitality.

Driving back we passed the projects which have replaced the devastation of the Tsunami which brought to mind the horror which the communities must have experienced at that time.


Mandoor 2 – Helena and Kate

This was the first time an Ocean Stars Team has visited Mandoor 2 so the poor teachers were unaware of what chaos would be caused. Our bags of supplies took up the vast majority of available floor space in two very small, hot rooms. Luckily only 22 of the 41 children turned up so we were able to carry out a few of our laboriously prepared activities.

Unfortunately the “5 Little Monkey” masks caused so much excitement that the song had to be abandoned after the first verse when 22 children grabbed for one mask. The rest of the morning was more successfully spent threading, colouring, sticking and eating ‘string hoppers’.

Hopefully Ocean Stars will be able to equip this new nursery with many exciting things for the children to do, as at the moment they literally have nothing. No paper, no pens, no storage space and no loo.

One of the teachers kindly escorted us to visit three of the children’s homes where we saw the families living in very poor conditions: families of 10 living in two rooms, and a family living in a mud walled shack on the flood plain of the lagoon. When it rains the waters from the lagoon flood into their house.

This brought home to us how much effort the parents must make to get their small children to the nursery looking beautifully truned out in their new Ocean Stars uniforms. It also showed how essential, for these families, is the support provided by EOST.


Kurumanvely – Maureen, Georgia, Suzi and Dilanee

“A day of puddles and plops”

It all began well, Sudha got us there on time and the children gave us beautiful jasmine garlands. At that point all our best laid plans went out of the window as we were suddenly presented with two groups of children who had to be taught in separate locations due to lack of space. As a result, Dilanee was roped in to teach, ruining her plans for a restful day! Despite the difficulties, our activities went to plan and the children enjoyed the “triangle fish”, collages and singing. After the break Dilanee and Georgia were given the Duplo to play with, and Dilanee found the Playdo that had been lost 3 days earlier – melted all over the Duplo, the floor and Dilanee’s trousers!!! (puddle no.1) Simultaneously, some poor little boy had an accident (plop) and Maureen and Suzi were melting in a puddle of perspiration!

The children went home smiling, armed with a teddy, their fish collage and a triangle fish.

Here’s hoping tomorrow is puddle/plop free!

Maureen, Georgia, Dilanee & Suzi x