Recently, former Sri Lanka captain and Emirates Elite Panel ICC Match Referee, Roshan Mahanama, opened the Piyawara community pre-school in Veheratanna, Sri Lanka, which he has personally funded.
“The school represents a fresh start in life for these people and it will provide hope for future generations as they continue to re-establish the village of Veheratanna. It has been a great privilege to commit to this project,” said Mr Mahanama.
A total of 136 children will benefit from the Piyawara community pre-school by 2015, with children from the neighbouring villages of Kohombagaswewa, Konwewa, Veherawewa and Kambiliwewa also attending the pre-school.
Mr Mahanama launched the project after he became aware of the lack of education facilities in remote Veheratanna through a close friend. To complete the project as envisaged, he joined forces with Hemas Outreach Foundation, of which he is now an honorary Brand Ambassador, and the 62nd Division of the Sri Lanka Army, which provided the manpower free of charge, to construct the school.
On 16 November 2013, the foundation stone for the pre-school was laid and in attendance were more than 200 locals from the community along with Mr Mahanama, before the pre-school was officially opened on 14 March this year.
Reflecting on his involvement in the project, Mr Mahanama said: “It is one of the best things I have ever done in my life. I really wanted to give something back to the community as well as to the country that has given me so much. It gives me and my family enormous spiritual satisfaction to know that more than 130 children will use the school by 2015 and with a sound education have the best chance to thrive.”