Galpottegama Vidyalaya is a small village school in a remote area in rural Anuradhapura. There were only 23 students left in the school- because of a lack of facilities and improper maintenance. Gammadda identified the school and earmarked it for development. Village schools in rural Sri Lanka play a crucial role in fostering community development and empowerment, embodying the proverbial saying "it takes a village." These schools serve as centers of education, socialization, and collaboration, bringing together students, teachers, parents, and community members to create a supportive learning environment. Village schools provide access to education for children who may not have the means to travel to schools that are out of reach, ensuring that education is accessible to all, regardless of their location. They also promote cultural preservation by incorporating local customs, traditions, and languages into the curriculum, helping to maintain and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of rural communities.
In addition to formal education, village schools often serve as community hubs, hosting events, workshops, and activities that promote community engagement and social cohesion. They foster a sense of belonging and pride within the community, creating a space for collective decision-making and involvement in the educational process.
In April 2022 Gammadda started off this ambitious project by by providing a complete set of books for the 2022 academic year for each child. Gammadda then helped transform a cattle ground into a beautiful playground. The playground and school was a place where cows roamed free and left cow dung everywhere. This was achieved by first installing a high quality fence around the school to prevent the cows from encroaching. The playground was then mowed and cleaned through a shramadana effort with the parents. Then Gammadda then renovated the existing playground equipment for the smaller children and provided sports equipment for the older children so they can Learn, Play and Thrive. After completing this venture in August 2022- Gammadda then set out to renovate the computer lab and develop the sanitary facilities for the children.
The provision of gender-segregated toilets and access to proper sanitary facilities is crucial for achieving sustainable development goals in Sri Lanka. It is imperative to ensure that all individuals, regardless of their gender, have access to safe, hygienic, and private sanitation facilities. Access to proper sanitary facilities promotes good hygiene practices, reduces the risk of diseases and infections, and safeguards the dignity and safety of individuals.
Proper sanitary facilities are not only a basic human right, but also a critical element for achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals, particularly Goal 6, which aims to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
Access to computer labs in schools in rural parts of Sri Lanka is often limited due to various challenges. Many rural schools lack the necessary infrastructure, such as electricity and internet connectivity, to support computer labs. As a result, students in rural areas may not have the same opportunities to develop digital literacy skills as their counterparts in urban areas, which can affect their future educational and career prospects. Gammadda continued its efforts to improve access to computer labs in rural schools, and bridge the digital divide in Sri Lanka.
Gammadda continued its efforts to improve access to facilities and infrastructure in rural schools to bridge the digital and sometimes physical divide in Sri Lanka. Currently there are 72 students attending Galpottegama Vidyalaya, up from a paltry 23. Parents feel more comfortable with their children attending the village school- resulting in a more than 200% increase in enrollment rates. There are also now more than 10 new teachers to cater to the needs of the children.