Multiple CandleAid maths labs to benefit rural schools

Saturday, 10 December 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Mathematics is an essential part of life. This is why CandleAid, a dedicated charity organisation in Sri Lanka, is seeking assistance to donate maths labs to rural schools countrywide for the benefit of thousands of students.

The cost of a maths lab is Rs. 52,000 and will serve children from Grade One right up to Advanced Level classes. CandleAid Lanka, formerly AFLAC International, is a Sri Lankan organization registered under the Ministry of Social Services in Sri Lanka as a non-governmental organisation engaged in charitable work. In 2001 CandleAid became an approved charity in Sri Lanka.

So far CandleAid has donated 120 libraries out of which 34 are in the north and east. There are seven maths labs countrywide and two exclusive English libraries at the moment.

With others to be opened in Kadalana, Nuwara Eliya and Habarana, a tsunami affected school in the south, four in the north and east in Mankulam, Point Pedro, Selvanayagampuram and China Bay, one in the Panagoda Army Camp for disabled soldiers and another for children of the golf caddies in the Victoria Range in Kandy in memory of an avid golfer.

Through its network of dedicated volunteers CandleAid attempts to alleviate poverty through five main areas of work; education, health, shelter, food and clothing. An important aspect of CandleAid is that all donations from individuals and organisations are channelled directly to recipients without any expense for administrative costs.

Pioneered by Captain Elmo Jayawardena the organisation has expanded since its humble but dedicated roots in 1995 to become a valued support system for under resourced schools around the country.

Realising that learning mathematics needs to be encouraged with teaching tools that engage students, the organisation began partnering with private sector organisations and individuals to introduce math labs to underprivileged schools.  

A maths lab is exactly what the words say – a room that provides interactive ways to learn mathematics through usage of child-friendly techniques and equipment.

“Since 1998 we have partnered with many people to donate libraries to schools. However there is a growing need among education institutions to concentrate on maths as more and more students are performing weaker at maths. Our libraries can effectively help these students for a moderate cost,” said CandleAid Director, Rajitha Fernando.

There has been increased opportunity for donating libraries and maths labs by linking with companies such as Nation’s Trust Bank, which donates a library or maths lab with every branch opened by the bank. Its most recent funding was for schools in Anuradhapura, Piliyandala, Malabe and Nuwara Eliya.

Finding synergies between business and good causes creates a beneficial situation for everyone. Speedmark Transportation is another organisation that has sponsored six libraries and committed to three more in 2012.

Interested parties have to make a donation of Rs. 50,000 and select a school of their choice to make these numbers grow. CandleAid selects schools based on recommendations given by the Education Ministry but also allows for personal preferences provided that it is a school in dire need.

The equipment for the maths labs are internationally approved as competent teaching tools and are used extensively in developed countries as well as  in neighbouring India. Prospective donors can contact CandleAid Director Rajitha Fernando on 0777874611 or for more details log onto