Sri Lanka

A large tropical island just twenty miles off the southern tip of India, Sri Lanka is home to 20 million people. The Island has had two major catastrophes in the past few years that have resulted in incredible hardships for the children who live there.

When the tsunami of December 26, 2004, swept over the Sri Lankan coast, it destroyed hundreds of schools, drastically disrupted the lives of thousands of young children, and escalated the islands' educational shortcomings into a state of emergency. A few days after the waves hit, Room to Read decided to expedite its expansion into Sri Lanka, which had been discussed for 2006 or 2007, and instead immediately launched operations in January 2005.

In the 1980s, all-out civil war erupted between the Tamil in the north and east and the Sinhalese majority, resulting in the deaths of more than 60,000 people. A ceasefire eased the violence in 2002. Room to Read is responding and has launched an all-out effort to rebuild a number of schools that were destroyed in the war-ravaged northern part of the country.

Education is highly regarded in Sri Lanka and adult literacy rates are among the highest in Asia, thanks to a free and compulsory primary and secondary education system. Those statistics only tell part of the story, however. A lack of quality infrastructure, unequal access, and a lack of quality materials have plagued the Sri Lankan education system for years—factors only exacerbated by civil conflict and the tsunami of 2004.

Opportunity for All is proud to partner with Room to Read in this effort. We are funding 10 schools since 2010, and 14 of four schools were matched by other donors resulting in 24 new schools in the war-ravaged parts of Sri Lanka.
For general information about Sri Lanka, please look at the following:

Wikipedia, Sri Lanka
U.S. Department of State, Sri Lanka
Unicef, Sri Lanka
CIA Factbook, Sri Lanka