|Shanghai American School Volunteer Build|
Time is of essence these days. It is valued and cherished by everyone. And sometimes time is all we need to show others how much we care for them. 20 students and teachers from Shanghai American School took time off their busy daily lives to visit a small village in the interiors of Sri Lanka for one week from the 30th September to 5th October 2010, and build houses for 4 families in that village. This act of theirs has made a lasting impact in those lives they changed that week.
Located in the hilly Central province of Sri Lanka, Walimityawa is the village where 4 families who have received loans from Habitat to complete their houses, reside. These families had been living in half-built and incomplete homes, and were given the loans by Habitat in order to give them a ‘hand-up’ in their efforts to having a decent home to call their own. All these families are involved in farming as ways of livelihood, and have been struggling without safe and secure living areas, and with no place to store their produce. The loans given to them under the small loans scheme of Habitat have enabled them to take control of their condition, and ensure they do something constructive to come out of their current situation.
The Global Volunteer Team from Shanghai American School was one of the first teams to visit the country through Habitat after the end of the war. This team plastered and painted walls, made floors, doors and windows and worked side by side with members of the families they were helping, in order to give them a safer and happier environment to live in. The team also got involved in a Sharamadana at the local school on World Habitat Day, which fell on the 4th of October this year, and helped clear out the area of debris, which had made the school children more susceptible to Dengue. At the end of the week, the villagers had made friends whom they would treasure, and the volunteer team had memories that would last a lifetime!