Just the facts....
Status: Complete

School: Suntharapuram Sarasvathy Vidiyalayam School

Country: Sri Lanka

Province: Vavuniya

Village: Suntharapuram

Matching Donor: The Al O'Connor and Anne Studabaker Foundation

Partner: Room to Read

Year: 2011

Grades: 1-11

Students: 652 Students

Suntharapuram Sarasvathy Vidiyalayam new school block opened in September 2011


The New School!

Suntharapuram Community Profile

The village of Suntharapuram is located in the district of Vavuniya, which is 350 kilometers north of Colombo. This region has been greatly affected by war and as a result many of the roads are in poor condition. Because of the poor road conditions, it takes about 9 hours to reach the school from Colombo.

Vavuniya District is located in the northern lowlands of Sri Lanka and covers an area of about 196,000 ha (1,960 sq km). The district falls within the dry zone of Sri Lanka, and the temperature is generally suitable for cultivation. The average temperature is 28 degrees Celsius and the average rainfall is about 1,310 mm. The reddish-brown earth of this district is highly fertile.

The village of Suntharapuram is situated in the northern part of Vavuniya District. Most are farmers who cultivate rice paddies, which they harvest twice a year, and during the off-season they search for daily-wage labor jobs in other villages. These villagers were displaced many times during the 30-year war, losing belongings and sometimes loved ones. The villagers have returned as part of a resettlement program and are currently living in temporary sheds and tents. There is an important need for water, sanitation and electricity, and the government is currently in the process of removing mines from the area and resettling the villagers.


The need for a new school block

This school serves students from grades 1 through 11. Presently, there are a few classes being conducted in a temporary shed built by the Ministry of Education. The roof leaks on rainy days, causing classes to be postponed. The lighting and ventilation systems are also in poor condition. As a result of these conditions, some parents are not sending their children to school.

The School Project

The completed School Room is a spacious, 2500-square-foot building with plenty of light and ventilation. The learning space is 2000 square feet and the corridor space is 500 square feet. This is a single-story building with five classrooms, all with built-in chalkboards, and a storage room. Opportunity for All and Room to Read provided 100 desks and 200 chairs for the children, and 5 tables and 5 chairs for the teachers. The new school building is painted to match the existing buildings at this school. It is an attractive addition to this community that draws a lot of positive attention.

Early construction of the school