Meet up in Batticaloa

Teach Sri Lanka and Ocean Stars UK meet up in Batticaloa with Ocean Stars Lanka

Naomi Booth :: Tuesday 29th January 2019 :: This Story

Picture: /files/latest-news/331/w288/img-3000.jpgDimithri from Teach Sri Lanka arrived in Batticaloa from the UK today and met up with Dilanee and the Ocean Stars Lanka team.

Dimithri will be visiting the preschool that Teach Sri Lanka sponsors in Naripulthotam Eastern Sri Lanka. Pooja, Chitra, Shalini and Dharshan from Ocean Stars Lanka met Dimithri at the Riviera hotel, Batticaloa with the traditional welcome garland.

Dimithri reflects on his first few hours with the Ocean Stars Team in Batti and comments on how impressed he is with the team's effort in managing 16 schools in the Batti district.

The Ocean Stars team and Teach Sri Lanka wrap the night up with dinner and ice cream  at the local restaurant ready for an eventful day tomorrow.

Starting pre-school

New school bags and uniforms

Naomi Booth :: Tuesday 22nd January 2019 :: This Story

40 students start their journey in education at Vellaimanal preschool. They were delighted to receive their new school bags and uniforms. 40 students start their journey in education at Vellaimanal preschool, Sri Lanka.

They were delighted to receive their new school bags and uniforms .

Pre-school Visits

It's the start of the new school year!

Naomi Booth :: Monday 21st January 2019 :: This Story

Ocean Stars Lanka team and Dilanee about to set off to visit preschools as they begin the start of the new school year.Ocean Stars Lanka team and Dilanee about to set off to visit preschools

Student thoughts

Calthorpe Park School Trip weekly meetings have begun - see what the students are thinking

Naomi Booth :: Wednesday 9th January 2019 :: This Story

Meeting 1 - 8th November

"We had the first meeting today and I'm so excited to go! We watched a video in the assembly and I was trying to hold back tears as it made me realise who lucky and privileged I am to be able to go on this trip."
CPS Meeting 1

"After seeing all the memories that the Sri Lanka 2018 team have made I can't wait to make my own. I'm even more excited than I was before!"

"I am really excited about the trip next year! The information evening was very interesting and I'm especially excited about visiting the schools and meeting the children."

CPS Meeting 1 in classroom"After hearing about all the things, we will be doing in Sri Lanka I am really excited. I can't wait to spend a week there learning about the culture. I'm really happy that I'm going on this trip with some of my best friends, but I'm quite anxious about fulfilling the fundraising goal! I really hope I can make a difference."

"We met the 2018 team and got to talk to them about their experience. It looked amazing, I can't wait to go on this once in a lifetime The 2018 team looked like they made so many unforgettable memories. I am so lucky to have this brilliant experience."

 

"I am really looking forward to the challenge of setting a new record. The thought that our journey starts now is a little daunting, but I know that no matter what happens, I will enjoy spending time with my friends, fundraising and meeting new people. Although I am worrying already about the food and the flights without my parents, I can't wait to get started!"

"Today marks the start of our journey. I am excited for this opportunity and can't wait for 2019."

CPS Meeting 1Ready to go"Just when I thought I was excited it's increased ten times. I'm so happy to be chosen and I feel so grateful."

"After hearing what everyone had to say I can't wait for next year and I wish it would come sooner. I can't wait to experience the culture and help out. As well as being super excited for the actual trip I am very nervous for both going to Sri Lanka and the preparation and fundraising over the next year. I hope we can make a difference to lives. I am still shocked and delighted to have been accepted on this trip and to have been given this opportunity."

"I am really excited about meeting all the school children!"

"I am really looking forward to start fundraising!"CPS Meeting 1 Fundraising


Meeting 2 - 29th November

"I can't wait to go!"

"I am really excited for this trip! Going to these schools and working with deaf people is going to be a very interesting, unique experience."
CPS Team

"We talked more in depth about what we will be doing in Sri Lanka. We sorted out our clothing sizes and thought a little bit about fundraising ideas and what we will do with the children. I'm very excited now."

"I am so excited, but I am nervous at the same time. We have already started raising money by selling raffle tickets to win a chance to go to the capital jingle bell ball."

"I wish I could be there already!"

"I can't wait to start planning activities, lessons and fundraising events!"

"I can't wait to start Friday Fundraising after Christmas!"

"It will be amazing to see how we can help the students and what the money we raise will go towards. I cannot wait!"

"I get more excited with each meeting! We got our fundraising pot and have started raising money. The trip is just starting to come alive!"

"I am really excited about the trip and this year leading up to it."

"I am optimistic about the trip and ready to face the challenge."

CPS team in for meeting


 

Meeting 3 - 9th January

"We got our t-shirts today! I can't wait and is strange to think we are going this year! I can't wait!"

"Everyone is getting excited and planning activities to do in the schools."

"We learned about what things we should pack, medical issues etc and we got our T-shirts today. I am eager to begin planning some fundraising events with my group."

"I have started planning how I can raise money. We received our official fundraising t-shirts at the meeting and am even more excited than before."

"Learning about preparations today only made it more real. We can tell it will be really fun."

"I have currently raised £108.30! I cannot wait to do more fundraising."

"I am looking forward to going to the elephant orphanage!"

"Now that we have been given our Ocean Stars t-shirts and taken the first group photo I feel like the journey has really begun. I cannot wait for the year ahead and the fundraising and planning before we finally go on the trip. I am excited to see how much money we can make to help out in Sri Lanka."

 












Merry Christmas

Ocean Stars office staff celebrated the end of another Ocean Stars year!

Naomi Booth :: Friday 21st December 2018 :: This Story

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Ocean Stars office staff celebrated the end of another Ocean Stars year with their Christmas lunch party ????.

We would like to wish all our supporters a Happy Christmas.

Exciting opportunity!

Do you have experience of helping small organisations grow, knowledge of Sri Lanka/international development, experience of governance structures and leadership or finance/accounting experience? OST would love to hear from you...

Naomi Booth :: Friday 7th December 2018 :: This Story

Picture: /files/latest-news/326/w288/ost-logo.pngPicture: /files/latest-news/326/w288/our-impact.png

Trustee Recruitment - Introduction

The mission of The Ocean Stars Trust is to identify and overcome the barriers to equal opportunity for children in Sri Lanka through education and social enrichment, sharing friendship, hope and joy.

Since being established in 2005 following the boxing day tsunami, OST now works directly with a Sri Lankan team, providing education to over 750 pre-school children every day. OST prides itself in the close support that it provides to beneficiaries and ensuring that the desired benefits have been achieved.

OST supports a wide range of projects across Sri Lanka but has a special interest in child education especially that of  pre-school children where there is little government support in the country.

Trustees

As the organisation grows and evolves, we are looking for committed individuals to expand our range of Trustee skills. We expect Trustees to contribute actively to the Board by giving strategic direction; defining goals and setting targets; evaluating performance; ensuring the charity's effective and efficient administration and financial stability. Overall we are looking for people who share our passion for the work we do.

We are particularly looking for people who can support the board with any of the following skills:

  • Knowledge of Sri Lanka, or experience of international development in a similar context
  • Experience of helping small organisations grow
  • Governance structures and leadership
  • Finance / accounting

NB if you feel you have other skills to offer, we would still be keen to hear from you.

Trustees are expected to

  • attend up to six meetings a year (usually Thursday evenings in Fleet, Hants) and an annual away day;
  • act as board support on a particular operational area (supporting the operations manager as required);
  • contribute advice and support on an ad hoc basis; and
  • attend fundraising events as required.

Trustees are expected to stay in post for a minimum of two years.

Process

We are hoping to recruit two new trustees in 2019. If you are interested, please send a CV with a covering letter as to why you'd like to join the team to oceanstarstrust@gmail.com by January 15th.

More information

Further information about our work, including our theory of change and current programmes can be found online oceanstars.org.uk.

More information about the role of a charity trustee can be found here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-essential-trustee-what-you-need-to-know-cc3  

If you would like to speak to someone about this opportunity please contact Maureen Johnson (chair of trustees) mauz_johnston@hotmail.com, or Dilanee Bunter (operations manager) dilanee@ntlworld.com

We look forward to hearing from you.

December 2018 Newsletter

Because of you our work in Sri Lanka continues to grow and develop in new and exciting ways. Thank you for your generosity of time and money and for your ongoing commitment.

Naomi Booth :: Thursday 29th November 2018 :: This Story

 

Welcome to this latest edition of the Ocean Stars Trust Newsletter.

This year I have had the privilege of making two visits to Sri Lanka. I've seen at first hand how your
money is being spent and the impact that Ocean Stars continues to have on so many lives across the
island. There are so many highlights from this last year, but here are just a few:

  • The opening of a new preschool in Kilinochchi in July.
  • The development of a comprehensive socio-economic study helping us really understand the communities we are working amongst in Sri Lanka. Plans laid for a pilot
    study to monitor the development of children in their time in OST preschools.
  • A new replacement preschool building in Chenkalady opened in October.
  • The first gathering of teachers from all our preschools across the island for teacher
    training in October. One teacher gave thanks for this opportunity as the first training
    she had received in 32 years of teaching.
  • More sewing projects set up alongside several preschools, empowering communities.
  • New links continue to be made – the first visit of Avonbourne School in July, and new
    partnerships built between UK and Sri Lankan Preschools and Churches.

This year the focus of Ocean Stars has been and continues to be on ensuring we have the ongoing capacity to support all the good work that has been started down the years. We are proud to be working in communities across
Sri Lanka as we continue to journey towards becoming an all-island NGO.

We can only do this by relying on your generous gifts and by depending heavily on our wonderful team of staff in Sri Lanka. Together we are making a huge difference to so many lives and communities.


As we thank you for your support for Ocean Stars Trust may we also take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy Christmas with every Blessing for the New Year ahead.

Download Full Newsletter

Newsletter 2018

Dec 2018 Newsletter



Driving digital literary in Sri Lanka

by Jo Webber Social Media Director and Marketing Director

Naomi Booth :: Tuesday 20th November 2018 :: This Story

 

Combining Jo's love of travelling with her passion for digital media, this time her journey took her to the "Noble Island" of Sri Lanka. Inspired by a previous trip to Ghana, Africa in 2011 where she had taught secondary school children in Keta, as part of the Kutu Project. This goal was to drive digital literacy in schools.


Thus, she knew that when she booked my tour of Sri Lanka that having the opportunity to educate school children on the same subject would be a top priority. She had the opportunity to meet Ocean Stars Trust Founder Dilanee Bunter on Facebook (of course!) She liaised with her team mate Janabdeen at the (full name of the school) in Trincomalee, in the North Eastern Province, an area badly affected by the recent tsunami. This was a community keen to rebuild itself, and driven by Sri Lanka's national pride in education and driving all-round intellectual achievement. 

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Arriving at the school in the morning, Jo met Janabdeen and the school principal. The children seemed excited and motivated to see a fresh face. From there, they went into the classroom to complete introductions in a mixture of English and local language Tamil.

From there, Jo ran through a presentation explaining more of her background in digital media (13 years now, having completed a 4 plus year tenure at Google whilst working in London). Subsequently, they ran through statistics on digital adoption in Sri Lanka and the types of social media platforms actively engaged with plus and the most popular websites in the country.

Finally, it was time to complete an activity. The classroom of 30 children was divided into groups of five. Next, confronted with questions they hadn't been asked before, but were super motivated to brainstorm:

  • What type of business would you like to build, and why?
  • Which members of your teams will hold which function?
  • How do you plan to market to your customers i.e seasonal discounts?
  • What are your core objectives?

A cacophony of furtive noise ensued. The ideation scribbles on pieces of paper. The sense that they could achieve something collectively where shared knowledge was applied. Janabdeen and Jo mentored the children in their groups and then it was time for presentations. This was clearly far outside the comfort zones, but finally, two group winners were announced. One male and one female group discussing their business ideas around a seashell business, and an online marketplace business.

Jo had bought several computer and mobile phone gifts from Germany, where she is currently living (though originally from London).


Whilst an all-around educational curriculum is an important cornerstone for many children in this region, and in all the schools we work with, it is imperative for those children wishing to pursue a business (in various industries) to have a sense of how the internet works, how to generate sales and, crucially, stand up and be counted in today's digital era. This was a welcome step in the right direction.

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Jo Webber November 2018

 If you are interested in volunteering in Sri Lanka,

Contact Dilanee


Training Day Success

Over 80 teachers attended an all island teacher training for Ocean Stars Preschool staff held in Batticaloa on Friday 26 October.

Naomi Booth :: Thursday 1st November 2018 :: This Story

Picture: /files/latest-news/323/w288/ost-training-day.jpgOne teacher who has been teaching for 32 years said that this is the first training session she has been to and thanked Ocean Stars for giving them this opportunity.

Volunteers Arrive

10 volunteers ready for their adventure in Sri Lanka

Naomi Booth :: Wednesday 17th October 2018 :: This Story

Picture: /files/latest-news/322/w288/ost-volunteers.jpgPicture: /files/latest-news/322/w288/ost-10-volunteers.jpg10 volunteers arrive safely in Sri Lanka. They will spend the next 12 days visiting Ocean Stars projects in Sri Lanka.