Created By:
Carol Workun
Collecting for:
Volunteer Tea Pick
As many of you know I recently returned from a month long visit to Sri Lanka and Tea Leaf Vision where I volunteer. This is my fourth year volunteering at the school for young adults. As always I am impressed by the students. The students are keen and eager in their studies and come to school with a thirst to learn each day that cannot fail to impress.

Growing up on the tea estates in Sri Lanka is challenging. Young people from the tea estates lack opportunities, particularly around education and employment. Private tea companies take advantage of an intrinsic lack of education to cultivate a dependent workforce. This has resulted in complex multi-layered social problems including high rates of alcoholism and domestic violence. With a lack of both formal and informal support systems for youth, the incidence of deliberate self-harm and suicide is high.

At Tea Leaf Vision we provide a year of English that is essential in Sri Lanka for a professional job. We also provide business education, IT and emotional health classes. Most students will tell you at the start of the year they come to learn English, at the end of the year they speak good English but will also say that it was the emotional health classes that have really made a difference in their lives.

Studying at Tea Leaf Vision for all our students is free however being at school is still a challenge as during that time they could have been working and helping to support their families in an area where many are living on very little. Families support them in coming to Tea Leaf Vision with the promise of a better future but many of the students come with stories of hardships and difficulties that are heart wrenching to hear.

I worked a lot this year with the students in the Internship program. This programme further enhances students English skills with a second year of study but now the focus is on training them to become future teachers both within Tea Leaf Vision schools or elsewhere Sri Lanka. Others go on to other professional careers.

This internship program has good success but poses a significant challenge for families. These families have already sacrificed a year of income for their young people to study at the school. Another year of study means continued expenses (bus fare, food, clothing) and no income.

A common greeting at the school is "Did you eat?" and many do not.... its not uncommon for the students to come to school hungry. As one of the students said to me "there are many people here who struggle to find one meal a day".

I want to support these young students so that they do not need to study on an empty stomach, we cannot feed their minds when they are hungry. Also many travel a distance to school each day and the bus fare is a significant burden to families. Can you help me do this?

I want to ensure that each student in the internship program has a lunch each day they are at school and their bus fare to and from school is paid.

A common greeting in the school is "Did you eat?", lets make sure that the answer is YES and these amazing young people can focus on their studies.

Please help with whatever you can you manage, even a few $$'s helps.

Thank you

This picture is most of this years amazing and inspiring students of the Tea Leaf Vision Teacher Training Internship program



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