Just the facts....
Status: Complete

School: Karusal Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School

Country: Sri Lanka

Province: Mannar

Village: Karusal

Matching Donor: The Blom Family

Partner: Room to Read

Year: 2011

Grades: 1-10

Students: 340 Students

Karusal School opened August, 2011


Karusal Community Profile

The village of Karusal is located in Mannar District, 350 kilometers north of Colombo. This region was greatly affected by the recent civil war, and as a result many of the roads are in poor condition. Due to the neglected condition of the roads, it takes about 9 hours to reach the village from Colombo.

The Mannar district, one of five administrative districts in the Northern Province, is located in northwestern Sri Lanka. It covers 2,002 square kilometers, approximately 3% of the total land area of Sri Lanka. Geographically, the bulk of Mannar lies on the mainland within the arid and dry zone. High temperatures and low rainfall characterize the climate. The monthly temperatures range between 26.5°C and 30.0°C, with highs normally recorded between May and August. Mannar receives nearly 60% of its rainfall during the northeast monsoon, which lasts from October through December. The land area is relatively flat and sits at low elevations. Across the region's gently undulating terrain, rainwater is stored in tanks and used for irrigation of arable land. Crop cultivation (primarily paddy), fisheries and animal husbandry support most people in Mannar. Employment opportunities in the district are highly seasonal, and there are no institutional facilities for tertiary education. The district is inhabited by members of various communities, though the Tamil-speaking community is the most prevalent.

The last thirty years of conflict in the region have resulted in the displacement and destruction of large segments of the area's population. War has destroyed the region's infrastructure, displacement has left communities without homes, and the jungle has swallowed formerly populated areas. The residents of Karusal are very poor due to the decades-long war. Displaced on multiple occasions, these villagers have lost their houses, their belongings, and many of their loved ones as well. The shelters consist of semi-permanent houses built by the government or INGOs. The villagers are dependent on fishing as their main source of income and many of them work for daily wages. Drinking water is obtained from dug wells. Presently the government is involved in rebuilding the village infrastructure.

Why a new school

This school serves students in grades one through twelve. Presently, there are three buildings in which the classes are conducted. The classes are overcrowded and therefore lack light and ventilation. Due to a lack of space, some classes are conducted under the trees. Because of the poor infrastructure, some parents do not send their children to school. As part of the resettlement program, the government of Sri Lanka asked for Room to Read's support in constructing a new school building in this village.


Students in the new school with new textbooks!

The new School Block

The new primary school building is approximately 2,500 square feet. It is a spacious building, with plenty of light and good ventilation, and it is an attractive addition to the community. The exterior of the building is painted to match the existing buildings at the school. The single story building has five classrooms, as well as storage facilities. There are built-in concrete wall cupboards, which the teachers use for displaying various educational materials donated by Room to Read. Room to Read has provided 20 tables and 40 chairs for primary students,160 desks and chairs for secondary students, and 5 sets of tables and chairs for the teachers.

The school under construction


The school was donated by the Blom family, an OFA Donor Partner