Newsletter Christmas 2021

Our December newsletter is out now with a summary of all our news for 2022.

Naomi Booth :: Friday 3rd December 2021 :: This Story

NewsletterOcean Stars continues to work during these challenging times, transforming lives and empowering children through education in Sri Lanka - we hope you enjoy reading our update.

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As December approaches and we at OST reflect on this past year, I find my thoughts centred, yet again, on the pandemic and its effects on the development of our work. Covid has presented us with many challenges in the past nineteen months. It has been a long haul for us all and especially so for those both near and far living in poor, disadvantaged situations.

As a charity which aims to promote equality of opportunity for all in Sri Lanka, our preschools are central to our work and at the heart of our education programme. As in the UK, they have been shut for long periods this year. Since many of our 26 schools are situated in remote, rural communities, this has been quite a challenge.

With hindsight, it is now evident that it was the provision of Tablets to improve communication with our communities that became the key to finding a way to deliver home schooling. Finance provided by Fonthill Foundation allowed us to purchase a Tablet for each preschool. Their funding also provided training on Tablet usage, so that the teachers could receive details of the themes and learning activities that should be taught to the children. This information was sent out at the beginning of each week and then communicated to parents by the teacher. A 'What's App' group was also set up so that the teachers could share good practice, support each other, and ensure regular communication with our OSL team was maintained.

The weekly contact between teachers and the parents also helped us address another of our main concerns at this time. Due to the effects of the pandemic so many more of our children and their families were now hungry and living with an increased level of poverty. Thanks to improved communication between teachers and the children's families we were able to identify those most in need and provide food parcels to help feed and support them.

Whilst the situation has improved and the preschools have now reopened, Covid continues to impact and affect the rollout of OST's work. We continue to respond as best we can to an ever-changing situation. There is always lots to do. However, we're delighted that thanks to the help and donations received from our supporters, we have been able this year to respond to appeals, bring aid to our communities and provide some schooling for our children.

So, this Christmas we celebrate all that's been achieved in these uncertain times and we thank you for all that YOU
have given to support and enable our work.
Merry Christmas everyone !!!
Maureen Johnston (Chair)