FINDING STRENGTH IN UNSTABLE TIMES
Kosgoda, Sep 16, 2022
Sri Lanka is still reeling in the wake of the economic repercussions of the pandemic. In addition, following political unrest in the country, the security situation is tense. The school in Kosgoda supported by the WACKER Relief Fund is an anchor for children, young people and their families and gives them orientation in these hard times.
“It is a major challenge for students to continue to perform well under burdensome economic conditions and the worrying security situation,” notes Elfriede Süß, who manages the WACKER College in Kosgoda as head of the aid organization “Future for Children.” “The well-structured classes and a hot meal every day along with health tips, sport, and cultural activities nurture the children’s development and give them and their families support and orientation in their tough daily lives.” To help families and school staff cope in these hard times, the WACKER College initiated a coaching program for parents and teachers with tips on building resilience, concentrated learning, and living a healthy lifestyle.
The unstable political situation and surging inflation in Sri Lanka have led to price hikes for gas, electricity, food and other living costs. Despite the resultant transport difficulties, the children and their teachers come to school with undiminished enthusiasm. Besides providing school meals, the WACKER College supplies some 100 families with basic foods.
COVID-19 continues to impact schools and the lives of families in Sri Lanka. With strict hygienic measures and firm discipline, the school principal monk Sadu and his team have kept classes going. “Many of our students’ parents are day laborers who cannot work or have limited means of earning an income due to the pandemic and political unrest,” reports Elfriede Süß, who manages the WACKER College in Kosgoda as head of the aid organization “Future for Children.” “For the children of needy families such as these, our school is a launch pad to being able to earn a living.”
The WACKER College in Sri Lanka provides instruction for grades 1 through 11. The English skills the students acquire there give graduates good prospects for the future. Since its founding 16 years ago, the WACKER College in Sri Lanka has become established as a professional institution. During that time, Monk Sadu and his team have shepherded over 700 students along the road to a diploma.
The WACKER Relief Fund story began when a catastrophic tsunami hit Sri Lanka in December 2004 and devastated the lives of people in affected areas. Thousands lost their lives or livelihoods. WACKER promptly donated to aid projects and founded its relief fund.
A nonprofit foundation, the fund has been true to its motto of “Helping people to help themselves” ever since, giving victims of natural disasters the chance of a better life. Aid projects include the Kosgoda school. Opened in 2006, it has offered a curriculum through to high-school level since 2014.
The WACKER Relief Fund would not be able to finance the education of some 220 pupils at the school in Kosgoda without the help of the cent-donation program. It also supports more than 180 children in the adjacent kindergarten and an orphanage, and students at the vocational training center. “Thanks to every colleague who has helped to pave the way to a brighter future for the children of Kosgoda through education,” noted Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Mirko Kappelhoff. “By donating the few cents from rounding down their monthly paycheck, everyone who participates in the cent donation program can help make a big difference,” he added.
Roughly 4,600 employees participate in the WACKER Relief Fund’s cent-donation program. Their support is keeping the schools up and running. With minimal amounts, each employee in Germany can help the fund provide sustainable support in the years ahead. How does it work? Employees agree to have their monthly salaries rounded down to the nearest euro, the difference in cents is then donated to the WACKER Relief Fund.
If you’d like to help, please donate to the following WACKER Relief Fund account with Bayerische Landesbank München:
IBAN DE59 7005 0000 0003 3333 33
Please state your name and address on the payment transfer form (in Germany, your WACKER ID number is enough). The relief fund issues donation receipts to employees residing in Germany, as the donations are tax-deductible there. The WACKER Relief Fund says a big thank you for every donation. Receipts are sent out in the first quarter of the year.