In January of 2011, NikeTalk donated $20,000 to help Room to Read build a preschool in Sri Lanka.
I'm proud to announce that they've recently completed construction and I think you'll agree that the results have been well worth the wait.
Welcome to the Mullai preschool. This is what it looks like today.
And this is what it looked like before Room to Read stepped in:
For the 25 years spanning 1983 to 2009, a bitter civil war claimed over 100,000 lives throughout Sri Lanka.
Alankulam, where this preschool was built, lies about 230 miles north of the capital. The surrounding roads have been so badly damaged, however, that this journey takes about eight hours by car.
Even though the war has been over for several years now, repairing the country’s infrastructure may take decades. Alankulam’s residents rely on dug wells for drinking water. This preschool is one of few buildings with electric lights, as the entire village lacks an electricity supply.
Repeatedly displaced by the fighting, many residents suffered the loss of their homes, their possessions, and even their loved ones.
And yet, in spite of all these challenges, this community successfully raised 20% of the total project cost themselves - a sacrifice that, in relative terms, was far greater than ours.
The results speak for themselves:
The principal of the new preschool spoke at its opening ceremony, reminding those in attendance that,
“This village did not have a preschool, so the children had to walk nearly five kilometers to the nearest school. As it was difficult for the young ones to walk that far, we constructed a temporary shed to function as the preschool. However, the shed was far from adequate and lacked many basic facilities. We asked many organizations and the government to provide a permanent building for the children. We were lucky when Room to Read visited our village and understood the difficulties we faced. We thank Room to Read for supporting and guiding us to construct a permanent building with all facilities. We also wish to thank the donors who were generous in helping the village and in giving us hopes for a better future.”
It’s truly a privilege to be involved in this community’s effort to rebuild.
As Nelson Mandela once said, "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."
We can't wait to start raising money for our next Room to Read project.
This holiday season, Room to Read is seeking to build 1,000 new libraries around the world - and they'll need our help to do so.
If you like what you've see here, please consider donating.
Taken out of context, this just seems like such an ordinary picture. Children SHOULD be spending their days playing and learning. And that's sort of the point.
We're proud to play host to an amazing group of people here at NikeTalk. Many of you give generously of yourselves to teach children, to fight for equality, to raise awareness, to improve public policy, to help protect people and animals from harm. In every case, it's about realizing our ideals and making the extraordinary ordinary.
Normal IS the bar we're trying to raise. Let's do our best to make stories like these a common occurrence.