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Religious Youth Service

RYS Participants Help Provide Running Water for School

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Kandapola, Sri Lanka – This year Sri Lanka had a unique RYS program called the CELEBRATION OF LIFE. Orientation began early in the day and ended with the opening ceremony in the evening. Many distinguished invitees attended. There were many activities, including speeches, a video presentation, testimonies and some dancing and singing.

Early the next morning after the day's meditation, everybody proceeded to the work site in Kandapola. The Methodist College there, which consisted of about 1800 students, had no water supply except a badly maintained well without a covering. The project consisted of helping to provide a running water facility for the area, as well as upgrading the Primary section of the school. All participants and leaders were welcomed by the Head Principal and her staff. The participants started the day's program with a prayer and then worked in groups, each designated to certain areas and work.

As the project continued, the participants enjoyed interacting with the students from the school and distributing toys. Education programs were scheduled for the afternoons and evenings. In addition to all the work and educational activities, there was a hiking expedition in the Horton Plains and the Worlds End, a very beautiful part of the district. Later, they enjoyed a tour of a Tea Factory and also tasted a cup of unfermented tea.

Upon completion of the service project, a soccer tournament was organized with the assistance of the Ministry of Education and the Football Federation. Five school teams participated in this tournament. The teams came from Mannar (North/Tamil), two teams from Colombo (Western/Sinhalese and Muslim), Talawakele (Central) and Nuwara Eliya. The RYS participants enjoyed cheering for all teams regardless of race, religion or caste. The project reflection was held at the beautiful St. Andrew's Hotel. We were told that the school was so inspired that they did some more painting and upgrading with the help of the students soon after the RYS departed. 

Participants: 37 Staff Members: 5
Religions Represented: 7 Nations Represented: 4

August 27-September 3, 2006

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