It was 7.45 AM on a Saturday morning, We gathered at the highway bus station at Makumbura to catch the bus to Galle for one of our biggest community service projects of the year. We started the journey around 8AM and reached Galle in about an hour’s time. Rtr. Thaha was already waiting for us at the bus stop. We had ordered refreshments for the students who will be participating in the awareness program so our first stop was at the bakery to get the Fishbuns, Rolls and the milk packets we had ordered. Then we went to the Navinna Muslim Maha Vidyalaya, the school in which we conducted the awareness session. We met the principal and the enthusiastic students who were to participate in the awareness program who had already arranged the classroom to carry out the session. Around 30 boys who were having their lunch break in between extra weekend lessons settled down into the small classroom by 11 am. The principal then gave a brief introduction about the school and told the children how working together with each other is important. Then we moved on to our first speaker Rev. Father Ramesh, who gave a small introduction about Christianity in Tamil. Our second speaker, Rev. Father Tharaka referred to the Easter Sunday attacks and spoke about how working together in harmony can be very important towards preventing such situations and can help people live a happy and peaceful life. Then we moved onto a question and answer session where a few questions were raised by the audience. Then we moved onto our third speaker Ven. Kongahadeniye Palitha Thero. The kids were given a little introduction to Buddhism. He spoke about the current situation of the country and spoke about how we are all Sri Lankans and that we should not be divided due to religions as we are one nation. This session was also followed by a question answering session in which the boys of the school also raised questions. It was finally the time for the boys to get back to their classes, which meant that it was time for us to wrap things up. Rtr Hasitha ended the session with a thank you speech and distributed the refreshments to the students and helped them rearrange the classroom while mingling with them. The principal and the students were really happy with the session and said that the program was very valuable to them. Then they went back to their respective classes to carry out the rest of their academic work.
The day ended on a high note for us as Rtr. Thaha then took us to his house for lunch and overloaded us with food. We stayed at his place for a while after lunch and then in the evening he took us to Galle fort and Rumassala. We all had fun and took the highway bus to Colombo marking the end of the First day of Ekamuthuwa- Phase 1.
Day 2 began a little earlier than day one as we met at the Makumbura highway bus station around 6.45 to go to Matara, we reached Matara in about an hour and a half. Once we got there we got off the bus and walked to a shop named “Theentha gedara” as it was known to be a place in the area to buy goods needed for painting for a low price. We bought the items that we needed and got into a truck to take the paint to the temple, it was a new experience traveling in the back of a truck holding the paint steadily. On our way, we bought 8 bags of cement and we finally reached the temple which is newly constructing. Then we met the head priest of the Pabbataramaya temple, Ven. Kongahadeniya Palitha Thero. The Thero mentioned that he was very happy about the fact that a young crowd was organizing events of this nature and mentioned that he was very happy about the session we had the previous day and also thanked us for the paint and cement which we took that day. The prist then chanted some pirith to bless us. Thereafter we left Matara and came back to Galle for a temple visit at the Sri Sudarmalaya temple at Galle and came back to Colombo marking a successful ending to Phase 1 of Ekamuthuwa.
Rtr. Nuwanthi Mannapperuma