A number of the girls from our children’s home in Wanathamulla go to St Anthony’s School in Madampitya. The school has around 1,000 children and is located in a poor area of Colombo. The school has a very enthusiastic head teacher, Sr Shanthana, who makes the most of the limited facilities.

Tony and Frances attended a regional school athletics competition in 2019 where they saw that the children from St Anthony's were competing with children from far more affluent schools. The St Anthony's children did not have the necessary equipment to give them the best chance in the competition, including no running shoes for many of them and no school track uniforms. The net result was that these children believed they were always second best to the children from the other schools.

The impact on ambitions and expectations when children are faced with such inequality is huge. We believe that for many children, being able to participate and successfully compete in sporting events, or perform in creative clubs, helps give them the drive and belief that they can succeed in other aspects of their life. 

At St Anthony's, to try to help give the students a better school experience, we have provided band equipment and uniforms, as well as athletics clothes and shoes for the athletics squad and cricket equipment to the cricket team. It was with great pride that Tony and Frances witnessed one of our girls from Wanathamulla winning the regional 100 metres title in February 2020. She has ambitions to be a lawyer now, something she hadn't considered before.

We are now planning to extend our support by offering scholarships to those children whose families can’t afford for them to study for their O levels and A levels.

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