During my travels through Sri Lanka, I was made aware of a school in Kokilai, a fishing village in the Mullaitivu District. This region was greatly damaged during the war, and community was in the process of slowly rebuilding the school. For the school library, the students were using a small sheltered patio with a coconut-leaf thatched roof and plastic tarps for walls.
Last June, during my summer camp program I offer in Chicago, I mentioned this library to my students and told them that even under adverse conditions students are determined to receive their education in Sri Lanka. One of my students, named Nimalan was inspired to help these children on the other side of the world; he organized a volleyball tournament to raise funds to build a proper library for the Kokilai School. Nimalan’s effort succeeded!
In April of 2014, we visited the school and my mother ceremoniously opened the new library building. The students and teachers were so happy and appreciative to have their new library! Our sincere thanks to Manitha Neyam Trust for coordinating the building of this new library. And special thanks to Nirmalan and family for this effort.