CHICHESTER Rotarians were well represented at the opening of a new headquarters in Sri Lanka, as part of an ongoing project to help young people.
Tea Leaf Vision launched its new base in the town of Maskeliya, in the central highlands of the country.
The project aims to develop the potential of young people aged 18 to 24 who are the children of tea plantation workers in remote areas of Sri Lanka.
Rotarian Peter Fuller, from Chichester Priory Rotary Club, said: “This is an important and ongoing project in Sri Lanka that is being supported by the three Rotary Clubs of Chichester.
“Chichester Rotarians want to ensure success for needy children in Sri Lanka. By teaching them English and focusing on training, personal development and employability, it gives the young people an opportunity to break out of a life of poverty, which is engineered by owners who wish to keep them as part of a dependent workforce.”
Initially, less than ten per cent of the students had any knowledge of English but by the end of the first year, they were able to conduct intelligent conversation in the English language.
The students must be unmarried and unemployed and the courses are full-time and free. During the seven years that the project has been running, it has helped more than 40,000 young people.
Chichester Priory Rotary Club has been a significant supporter of the project for several years, with additional contributions coming from Chichester Rotary Club and Chichester Harbour Rotary Club.
Last year, the project received a large Sri Lankan grant, which enabled it to purchase the new premises.
Rotary, and other charities, have helped to finance the renovation and extension of the building, which was officially opened by the senior government minister for the region.
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