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Pictures of the Month

December 2018

As every year the pre-Christmas celebration of our Christian children were held together with the Franciscans in our small but nice tea plantation near Beragalla. This year at the beginning of December we had an additional special reason to celebrate: The unveiling of a statue of St. Francis at the entrance of the area that we made available to the Order for a limited period. Love for nature and for all creatures, free oneself from the constant "desire to possess", modesty – never have the teachings and the life of this saint been more appropriate, not only but also in Sri Lanka, at the end of 2018.

November 2018

Sri Lanka at the end of 2018: a torn country full of growing social gaps. Whereas skyscrapers are shooting out of the ground in the capital Colombo where they are dreaming of a second Singapore, there are more and more people without the most basic necessities. And while a big travel platform declares Sri Lanka to be the top tourist destination 2019, the queues of those seeking help – not only at our gate – are growing. The picture shows the year-end party of a small Tamil school in the tea plantations. Despite our support pupils from this school have practically no chance to participate a little in the growing prosperity of the country. Their dreams are really modest, to become a nurse or a teacher, but for these children they are nevertheless unachievable. There is no future for them, nor any way back.

July 2018

Done! On July 5th 16 young women, among them 14 from the children’s village, received their state diploma as dressmakers. Luxmi achieved the best results, and she could be particularly proud, because she already managed our sewing school before she started the course and there she always supported especially the weak and thus helped them to reach their goal and become a dressmaker. Michael Kreitmeir is also very proud of „his eldest“. Luxmi came to the children’s village on March 29 in 2003 and today it is impossible to imagine Mahagedara without her.

June 2018

The origin and deeper meaning of many of Sri Lanka’s traditions has been lost gradually. When, for example, the “big girl celebrations” become mere sessions of extensive drinking, something positive turns into something negative. In Little Smile, however, we want to live traditions understanding their spirit and meaning and provide our kids with knowledge and values hoping that they one day pass on to their kids what they have experienced in Little Smile. On the picture you see Dinu, Saradha’s son, writing his first letters. This first step into the world of knowledge will be accompanied apart from his parents as well from the person who is expected to hold a protecting hand over the child’s development.    

May 2018

"We are desperately waiting for the dry season. This spring we had more than enough rainfalls in the mountains of Sri Lanka. Almost every day we had tropical storms - mostly very heavy ones - which led to numerous landslides and foodings. Power cuts were common due to all the fallen trees, and the way to school became soaking wet adventure."

April 2018

Like years in the past we celebrate New Year twice in Sri Lanka. Many things are different here, and so  April 14, marks the beginning of the year 2562 which we celebrate traditionally in the kitchen where we boil milk until it evenly overflows. This year Bawani and the boys from Hill Top join us and so the two senior child minders, Bawani and Luxmi, are responsible for the first good omen of the new Buddhist year.

March 2018

Altogether these four young ladies have been living in Little Smile for 54 years – an impressively long period for Sri Lankan standards. Anoma and Niroshani (from left) were only two years old when they came to Little Smile where a new life started for the abandoned infants. Today they prepare for the final school examinations. When Luxmi and Dilhani finished school many many years ago, they decided to stay at Little Smile to help where they once received help. The children’s village is a home where kids are prepared for life outside Little Smile with love and patience and where they are respected, challenged and supported. That is what makes Little Smile different from public children’s homes, and the fact that our kids are happy here is a thorn in the flesh of some officials.

February 2018

Despite internet and smartphone, girls and women are still light years away from being on equal terms with men in Sri Lanka. This is precisely why it is so important for us to teach the girls and young women: learn something and be strong so that you are able to stand on your own feet one day – or on two wheels. What looks at first glance like an unnecessary luxury – although it’s a very old bike – is in fact a small revolution. It is not easy to overcome the fear of the unusual and unknown, to dare to do something new and gain confidence, especially in areas traditionally reserved to men. As the saying goes: even a long journey begins with a first step or a few meters on an old motor bike.

January 2018

With the new year, precisely January 2nd, the serious side of life – the school – officially begins for the last three kids in the children’s village “Mahagedara”, or rather was supposed to begin. The parents have already spent a lot of money for school fees and other things, because everything has to be new. But then … well then school has not started, instead there is a month-long sports festival taking place and the teachers have no time for the kids of the first class. However, Sudu and Sandu are happy anyway on their first school day. The reason for this undoubtedly is the fact that Sandamini, an autistic child who is supposed to go to a particular class, shares her favorite meal with the twins to honor the day. Yoghurt for three on the occasion of a failed school start.

December 2017

The word „extended family“, has its own dimension in Little Smile. For Michael Kreitmeir it is very important, that each individual child feels understood and accepted. A child in need is not a case that has to be solved, but has to be treated as a human being deserving respect and acceptance. For Little Smile, a children’s home is not just a safekeeping or supply station, but a real home with a family atmosphere where children can truly feel that they are at home, that they are in a place where love is living.