Visitors since January 2005: 927062

Phase 42: January to March 2010

Well, actually Michael Kreitmeir had expected a little New Year’s Eve celebration at the new school. But then, to Lokuthatha’s surprise, Laxmi puts a Santa’s hat on his head – just a few hours before the New Year starts.
Children and staff had come up with a special surprise. For the first time in five years Michael Kreitmeir was not in Sri Lanka over Christmas, and therefore, the Christmas party has simply been postponed to New Year’s Eve. Thus there were two good reasons for a small celebration at the Children’s Village.
The rain came late, almost too late for the plantations of Little Smile in Koslanda, Dikkapitia and Buttala. But then finally it rained and three heavy thunderstorms were enough to fill the water reservoirs in Buttala. Now “the desert can blossom again”.
It was a long, and often very hard road that Little Smile and Pharmacists without borders had decided to take together to establish something long-lasting in Kalmunai. On January 13th, almost five years after the decision had been taken to build a medicine store at the city on the east coast, which had been worst hit by the Tsunami, the three-story building could be handed over to the responsible persons of the Ashraff Memorial hospital.
On January 14th Thai Pongal, the tamil New Year’s Celebration, on which people honor the sun that enables all life, is held. This year – only one day after the opening of the Kalmunai hospital – Uli Brunner and Jochen Schreek from the organization Pharmacists without borders celebrated this traditional festival together with the Little Smile family.
The two German pharmacists were particularly impressed by Saradhas herbal pharmacy. More than 10 years ago the former director, Mr. Bandula, had planted the first medicinal herbs. Today you’ll find more than 600 different kinds of medicinal plants at the children’s village, which are used to produce all kinds of traditional Ayurvedic ointments and oils.
An unknown disease has afflicted the mango plantation in Buttala. After lots of futile attempts to save the mango trees, the only remaining option is to cut and burn them. With this radical measure which cost 41 trees – some of them more than 50 years old – their lives, Michael Kreitmeir hopes to prevent the remaining 200 healthy trees from being infected.
Here they are! The first students who completed the course in natural medicine get their diplomas and proudly line up in front of the training hospital in Little Smile Aloka. In the future the preservation and teaching of the Ayurvedic doctor’s traditional knowledge should be continued here.
Ragu still cannot speak and in many more aspects the 3-year old boy is way behind his Little Smile brothers and sisters of the same age. However, the first 6 months at the children’s village have helped the little boy to get over his fear. Ragu has learned to walk, he is now able to express his needs and sometimes he even shows a little smile. But nonetheless he is still far from living a normal childhood.
Saroja, Pria, Anoma and Kaushalia – the four 7-year old girls do smiling competitions with their tooth gaps. For these girls Little Smile has long become their home and it doesn’t matter to them who is Tamil and who is Singhalese – here they are all brothers and sisters.
School is over and now the serious side of life begins for our trainees, although this won’t be too serious, because the three will get their formation at Little Smile.
Bawani proudly presents the new learners: from the left – Darshani, who has been living at Little Smile for 8 years now, wants to become a child care worker, Divia, who has been here for 5 years, will be trained at the kitchen and Geetangeli, who has been here for 6 years, wishes to become a tailor.