Giving Project 1

One of my goals was to give to the kids who needs help in getting an education, as I believe education is key to a poverty free world….  here are some pictures from our first project at a very rural school in Sri Lanka.  Arawatta school in Mahiyangana, Sri Lanka.

We were able to give all 155 children in this school books, pens, pencils, ant other stationary and class room essentials as well as some food items.  The wonderful principal and teacher team here does an amazing job!!!

The kids and the teachers were very thank full, and we will continue to support this school in the future.

Help A Charity Project In Sri Lanka: Educate The Children & Break The Poverty Cycle

My next long term travel destination is Sri Lanka,  my birth country!  I have booked tickets to head over in November.   I cant wait to take my kids there and  show  them a different part of world.  The plan is to live there with my kids for 6 months.  It will be me and my two kids, my husband can’t take time off this time round to go with us, but I have all my extended family there which gives me strength.

I cant help but feel the strong need to do something good when I am Si Lanka…. I have already begun collecting money for my charity project with a 30% off sale on my handmade online jewelry Etsy shop  Kookki Designs.  Please pop over to my Facebook page to share this sale with your online friends and family, I can guarantee that the money collected from now till November will be put into a good cause!

In Sri Lanka poverty is at 6.4%.  When you consider the population of 20 million, this number is quite significant.  According to and article on Sunday Times it is possible to have a poverty free Sri Lanka with a bit of help.  I know there are large charity organizations doing a lot of work, but a lot more giving and help is needed to overcome such a massive issue.  Most people who live in poverty are in villages and rural areas.  So I would like to visit these places, talk to the people, see the schools and get to the source of the problem which is education!

I have always wanted to be able to make a difference in the world in some small way I can.  One time, before kids, I went over to Sri Lanka on a short holiday with an idea to  set up a charity, I went to a village school where I encountered the saddest faces I have seen in my life.  It was heart wrenching to even see young kids feeling the weight of life, most kids didn’t even have anything to eat, and their faces told me stories that I knew if asked I would have been reduced down to tears.  So that time I walked away with setting up three bank accounts for three kids where they will get a $8 (Australian) per month each, yes that was all they needed to get what they needed to make it through school.  Can you believe it, You can change someone’s life with the cost of 2 coffees per month!!!!

The letters I get from my sponsored kids and seeing how well they are doing in school makes me really happy as if I am fulfilling a purpose in my life:)

I am writing this post with the intention of growing what I did by my self in a very small scale.  I want to be able to help many more kids that are in dire need and collectively make this world place that is better for everyone.  I feel quite passionate about setting up a charity so more people can help kids who are born into poverty.  And I know there are a lot of people that would like to help in someway!

This $8 a month per child sponsoring program should be affordable for many of us living a comfortable life in the developed countries.   How I set my little program was by setting up a committee in a school with a lot of children in need.  This committee consists of school principal and teachers who will act as the children’s guardians.  A bank account is then opened under each child that will be sponsored, but to access money for the  childrens’ needs the committee will have to act as their guardians till they turn 18.  The reason for a committee and not the parents acting as guardians is to protect the kids and their bank accounts as in most cases the very reason these kids are in poverty are the lack of education and planing skills of their parents who are addicted to alcohol and a poor way of life.   The aim of this sponsorship program is to break that poverty cycle by educating these kids.

This sponsorship program may come to fruition by setting up a website with profiles of the children needing help with a Paypal payment facility where the money can be transferred to the students bank account.  Or working with another established Charity organisation ( please let me know if you know of one that I can work with).  I have not yet figured out the nitty gritty, It will be a bit of work but I would love to see this project up and running next year.  Again any helpful ideas on this matter will be much appreciated!   I will keep you posted on my progress on this matter on this blog, Instagram and facebookpage.

This time when I go, I will have over 6 months to really work on a project or a few projects to make a difference while enjoying this beautiful part of the world.

These are some of my ideas, I need to research a lot more and with some more help and my Etsy shop money I hope to find ways to make these ideas a reality…

  1. A $8 a month sponsorship program for kids in extreme poverty, where the sponsors money goes straight to the child’s bank account and the sponsor gets correspondence from the child.
  2. Send money to buy and distribute basic school items like pens, pencils, books, rubbers, colour pencils directly to village schools
  3. Send our used clothes (summer clothes), shoes and bags to Sri Lanka and distribute them to poor village schools, orphanages and charity foundations in Sri Lanka
  4. Run a lunch program in very poor village schools to provide at least one meal for kids that go with nothing to eat (In Sri Lanka a simple lunch item will cost under a $1 per person).
  5. Set up a work space for women struggling to find work to support themselves and their families and let them manage and run it as a small business.

I would welcome any comments, suggestions or ideas on this topic.  Please feel free to let me know how and what ways you may be able to join or give me helpful ideas to make a difference in Sri Lanka!

Melbourne Museum with kids

Museums can be fun when you go to see something your kids are interested in.

A couple of weeks ago when I asked my kids if we should go to the museum, my 5 year old daughter was very excited, and she said she had always wanted to go (which was the first time I’d heard her say, but any way… that’s kids for you! ).  My 3 year old son was not so thrilled and watching his sister’s excitement intently not quite sure whether to copy her or not but as we spoke to him more about the things he might see at the museum such as lions, dinosaurs and bones he progressively got exited.  I knew he might get a bit bored at his age especially being a typical boy looking at things without having to run around can bore him quickly, so I was sure to make a mental note to take the stroller with me.

So we wanted to go to the Melbourne Museum which is on Nicholson Street on the city fringe.  Now if you are driving there is 4hour parking on the Nicholson Street ($3.70 per hour) Or Museum underground parking ($20 for 2 hours+ check their rates for current pricing).  Callum my 3 year old, kept on asking if he will see animals, and I explained to him the animals we see at the museum are not alive, the live ones are only at the Zoo.  But it was puzzling him how can he see animals that won’t move.  So this was an interesting concept for him and was looking forward to finding out the answers to all his questions once he gets there.

We chose to go on a Wednesday around 11.30am so it was nice and quiet for us and plenty of parking on the road.  A packed lunch only consisting with fruits and almonds (the whole packet of almonds were consumed by Callum:)).  Entry for kids under 12 were free, adults had to pay $12 each.  As we approached the ticketing area of the Museum, as soon as you entered through the sliding glass doors, we were greeted with a scene created from under the sea using real stuffed penguins and other sea creatures.  This was when both kids got very excited.

Under the sea
Under the sea

This undersea scene captured kids’ attention and helped them get a bit of a feel of whats in store inside the museum.  My daughter Anisha (5) pointed out how the school of little fish had formed a large shape of a fish, and that amazed me how she could see that (something even I didn’t pick up on).   Museums are a great place to discover and educate our children about many things.   For me I found it put me in that zone where you are ready to learn and the place felt like a large open book with pictures and real specimens you just walked through it reading and talking about things more in detail.

So once we got the tickets, we entered the animal section of the museum, which showcased a massive skeleton of a blue whale, a dinosaur walk, a under water walk and plenty of stuffed animals and insects from all parts of the world for us to wow at.  We got to know a lot of new facts about animals.  There were also a lot of “staring” at and taking things in moments with Callum especially when he saw a big stuffed Polar Bear and a Panda.  There was enough to see and do  we ended up spending more than 2 hours in this part section alone.

Blue Whale Skelaton
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Panda and other animals from Asia
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Anisha’s favourtie butterflies and other insects

So after the animals we had a little break at the Kid’s Zone where there were lots of fun activities for kids to do including a puppet theater, while parents could get a bit of a rest sitting down watching the kids play.  Then we enjoyed our fruity and nutty lunch at the end of a walk in the Museum forest.  After that we felt we were ready to leave the museum for the day, it was a lot of walking and taking in a lot of information for one day.  This time around we didn’t get to explore the other sections of the museum which covered the First People and Human Mind and Body.   Which means we have to go another time to cover these other sections and spend more time at the Kid’s Zone (as requested by my kids).

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Kid’s  Zone
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A puppet show for mum

It really is wonderful to watch your children learn new and exciting things.  What a great day out it turned out to be.