Visitors since January 2005: 927062

Phase 30 October to December 2006

The raining season starts in October for most parts of Sri Lanka. In the mountains of Koslanda it rains more and more. The flooding from above is beautiful here at the Diyaluma water fall, only three kilometers away from the children's village. Even though the lands needs the rain, to much is also not good. Flooding and mud slides in the mountains is the result. Many of the building projects from Little Smile also have to be put on hold.
Rain, rain, rain! Will the dams of Buttala hold? The three new reservoirs, which are 20 hectares big and which provide water for the fruit plantations in dry periods, are for the first time being tested under not so simple circumstances. For at least 10 years it has not rained so much and so hard.
Regardless of all the construction projects and help in the East and South, life in the children's village continues on. Already children who are new in Little Smile require a great deal of attention, patience and love. Dilshini had gotten nothing of that in the first 5 years of her life. Slowly this small girl develops trust through sharing her drawings. These pictures, mostly messages of violence and fear, are calls for help.
Sarah belongs also to the children who came in the last quarter of 2006 to the children's village. She came after her mother and father died. But Sarah is different from Dilshini since she is not afraid and makes contact with her new siblings and care takers. She also uses every chance to come nearer to her big, white Papa.
The rainy season also brings with it numerous colds and viruses. Therefore, the morning sports cannot hurt, especially for the seven big girls from the 11th grade who will do their graduation test at the end of the year. Sudarma, our best athlete, is kind of like our morning trainer.
Shopping in the province is not easy for even a 'normal' family since there are things that simply are not available. In order to provide for almost 100 people, shopping develops into an art form. In a factory near Colombo, we have just picked up school shoes since the new school year begins in January.
More and more of the clothes that we need here in the children's village are being produced in our sewing school. In this way, we not only have quality and price under our control, but the children can also take part in the styling and making of many pieces of their clothing. And so the girls from the Moon-Light House are proudly showing off their new night shirts, "Made in Little Smile".
In Sri Lanka a whole generation is growing up which looks down on the small farmer. And later, there will be no one to work in agriculture! And so many fields are lying fallow and rice and coconuts need to be planted. This, the raising, planting, nourishing and caring for the land making one happy, not having to use poison in order to have a successful harvest, this is what Bawani tries to teach the children of Little Smile. With lots of enthusiasm she leads the agricultural area of the children's village.
More and more Buddhist monks come to visit the children's village or other projects of Little Smile, want to speak and discuss with Michael Kreitmeir and see with their own eyes that it is possible to work together even though in times of war this often just talked about. Compromise and understanding instead of confrontation - Buddhism teaches tolerance and awareness as opposed to other ways of viewing the world and other religions.
Without control, exact calculations and planning, no organization can exist, and this is absolutely true for an organization like Little Smile which is responsible for so many projects and so many people and is dependent on the help of others. The heart of the administration is found in our main office in the children's village and Suramiya and Anton carry this not so easy responsibility. Three languages: English, Sinhalese, Tamil (and their three written forms), many companies and businesses (which do not always provide receipts), many workers who cannot write...and despite all this: more than 35,000 receipts have to be validated and cleared.
A container from Füssen which includes a complete doctor's office and a container from Apotheker ohne Grenzen (Pharmacists without Borders) arrive in Little Smile. Thank you to everyone who had helped, especially Uli Pickl and the company Schmidt Logistik who had paid for the transportation costs from Colombo to Little Smile.
Nothing is simple here. Even when one "hires" an architect and a building company, as was done for the International School, even when one makes contracts through lawyers, one is never secured from difficulties. In September after a series of disappointments and broken contracts, we had to fire the architect and building company and take the planning and building, like this building complex, into our own hands.
Despite all these problems and the especially heavy rainy season, we are sure we will be able to open the Little Smile school in April 2007.
To discuss with one another rather than quarrel or burn bridges! Michael Kreitmeir invites representatives from all business groups to the children's village. An especially beloved place to meet is the traditional lecture hall in Kandy style which is a wing of the Little Smile School.
The Indian Tamil in the tea plantations belong to the poorest people in Sri Lanka. For the people in charge of Little Smile they are by no means second class citizens - through Little Smile they get advice and help.
The Rotary Club from Füssen, Reute and Obersdorf, as well as other Bavarian cities, help by furnishing the schools. The partner club in Sri Lanka comes from Bandarawella. And therefore, Michael Kreitmeir is always invited again to their meetings there in order to give a report on how the work is coming along.
To everyone's surprise, Mr. Ganeshvalingam, an earlier mayor of Colombo and one of the most influential people in the country, died at the beginning of December. With his death, Little Smile loses a crusader and Michael Kreitmeir a competent and motivating contact.
The building of streets, wells, walls and sewers. Whether in Galle, Pilane, Kalmunai, Buttala, Dikkapitia or around Koslanda, in 2006 an infrastructure for the social projects had to be created more than any other thing.
Whether it is living quarters for an especially poor Buddhist cloister in which many young orphans live, or a kindergarten, school, houses for widows or tsunami victims - more than 20 building projects were completed in 2006. These additional difficulties and requirements brought the Little Smile team sometimes on its limits of endurance.
Mr. Suresh Asank coordinates the projects in Galle and in on South coast. The largest of these is the building of an educational center in Pilane, 6 kilometers from Galle. Housing and learning and training facilities for 7 different educational paths will be here.
House of Protection, "Sahana Nivasa." In the heart of Galle will be a place where older girls can live in security and can laugh and learn. Even when it is not easy to realize all of these building projects, thanks to all of the help from Germany, Little Smile is able to be in many places and provide continual and self-sustaining help. And the suffering caused by the tsunami was not just meaningless since it engaged many people in Germany and other places to help here in Sri Lanka.
And life goes on...on December 24 is Christmas Eve and also here in the children's village. At the beginning of December, everyone was busy rehearsing for the Christmas festivities.