For years, the Sri Lanka Working Group of the Gymnasium Isernhagen (SLAGI) has been collecting donations for the poor country. But just transfer the funds? That's not the way the Isernhagen people do it – and thus the donations are taken there in person.
One share of the earnings of this year's fundraising run at the Gymnasium has now been transformed into bikes and shoes during a stay in the island nation taking several weeks. "We got a request from the former war areas in the Northeast of Sri Lanka," Manfred Möller, head of SLAGI, says. Most of all bikes and shoes were needed. "We then had the things bought on location." 150 pairs of white sports shoes – fitting for the school uniform in Sri Lanka – and 45 bikes were finally given to the children in a festive ceremony. "It was really moving for us all," Möller says.
The hosts had done everything to accommodate the visitors from Germany: The Army had organized a big reception for the guests from Isernhagen, had cooked for them and taken them to the remote village. "We didn't feel in danger, as the war is over," Möller emphasizes, „but the Army wanted to be hundred percent sure that nothing would happen to us." After the arrival at the decorated hall, numerous speeches followed for the guests from Isernhagen. They all were allowed to sit on the stage in front of a big audience. "You won't believe it, but the people in Sri Lanka can hold longer speeches than the Germany," Möller says.
After two-and-a-half hours, all 13 guests from Isernhagen, among them parents and teachers, gave many donations to the children. "It is really different if you donate something and then see where it goes," the head of SLAGI says about the special moment.
For the second time Möller had been travelling to Sri Lanka with parents. For two weeks he visited several projects of the working group with the delegation, like the home for handicapped children in Weliweriya. The five students, who had also been travelling to Sri Lanka with Möller in the end of July, stayed for another week. The return visit from Sri Lanka is expected soon.
Source: HAZ, Isernhagen, 9th August 2013
The project of SLAGI (Sri Lanka Arbeitsgemeinschaft Isernhagen) was organised on the Sri Lankan side by the Rotary Club Wattala.