In January 2008, Methkekulu Preschool was established in Paadipanchawa , a village situated along the edge of the forest reservations by the Siyambalangamuwe tank in Galgamuwa, to provide a free education to the most impoverished children of the area and also to encourage the children of the gypsy community in the nearby village to start schooling. The children are under the loving care of two dedicated teachers qualified according to the government standards. All expenses are financed by Methwela Foundation.
The result of four years of selfless hard work and commitment of the two teachers Ms. Manju and Ms. Renu and our Co-ordinator in the village- Mr Krishantha ,is a model school, one of the most popular in the area and the pride of the village. All the children who graduated from the school are doing well in the village primary school and the children from the gypsy community are now schooling .
The day starts with a cup of milk and biscuits as most of the children are malnourished. A meal of Samaposha is given twice a week
The parents assist the school by way of manpower. They are rostered to clean and main tain the building, toilets and grounds and to prepare and serve the meals for the children on a daily basis.
During the year special events are organized for the children apart from their normal curriculum of study and play. The annual trip to Colombo for their first sight of the sea and a visit to the zoo is a favourite event in the school calendar
Every term a “Singithi pola’ is organized , where the little ones dressed in their little cloths and jackets and sarongs & banians sell the stuff they bring from home , related to their parents livelihood.ie farming ,fishing and the gypsy trade of selling trinkets.
Each child is provided with a till at the beginning of the year and their collections are put into their tills ,and the money is utilized for their educational trips and the costumes for the year end concert.
The year end concert
The year end concert, one of the most looked forward to events of the year provides a great opportunity for these children to showcase their talents developed at the school.
It is heartwarming to see the little ones, some of them quite malnourished and primitive at the beginning of their school career , now very healthy, active and lively kids performing with great self confidence at the concert with incredible talent. Another popular event is the Sinhala and Tamil New Year Celebrations where all traditional customs are observed and the children take part in various games
To encourage creativity a Handicraft Exhibition is held annually to display the childrens’ work.