Robin Handleman, an American lady, visited Sri Lanka twice, through our charity.
She stayed each time quite a few weeks and helped special needs school and primary schools. The children loved her, and she prepared very good lessons.
The last time she was there, she told me she wanted to set up two libraries in the schools where she had helped. I have to say I thought she would not pull this off. I thought it would be impossible with the customs, but Robin made it happen. Wow.
First, we had to wait quite a long time because of Corona but towards the end she told me she would be coming over at the same time as I would be there as well. That was great because it would be the first time, we would see each other in person.
There was some trouble on the way, and it was not easy for Robin. She worked very hard to get money from the Kiwanis (aid organization) and with this money she could then set up the libraries.
One day she phoned me as said that she could pick the books up. Robin could choose all the books herself. Then she had the difficult task to send them to Sri Lanka but she managed and found a Sri-Lankan man who asked her not too much money. In Sri Lanka the books were picked up by Saman who had to take lots of paperwork with him. It was not easy but with some to be paid at the customs the books were on their way to Kandy.
There were so many books that not one, but two schools could have their English library. We chose an unknown school and a school where Robin had taught before. Then the work started for Robin as I had my own projects. Sometimes Nishantha went with her as well. She bought chairs, tables, shelves, paint, mirror, carpet etc. The unknown school had a whole classroom which could be a library. They all worked very hard to finish it in time (ten days). The other school found it very hard to find a space and they did not work so hard. That was a pity and very frustrating.
There was a deadline as well, as Robin had to fly back to America … At that time course we also faced curfews and power cuts. Riots in the country. It was a not easy time … I had already flown back but Nishantha came to the opening of the libraries.
But the result is there and it looks fantastic.
Thank you so much Robin!