On Sept. 27, 2014, Green Technologies Dubai, a USGBC Education Partner, carried the message of environmental protection to St. Anthony’s Maha Vidyalaya School, Allogaollewa, in rural Sri Lanka. The co-ed school, which was specially selected by the directors of Green Technologies and serves approximately 300 students from kindergarten to grade 11 was home to the first ever Green Apple Day of Service in Sri Lanka.
Sept. 27 was set aside for Green Apple Day of Service, a day to remember for the students, teachers and all who participated. The principal of the school, who is also the priest of the nearby parish church, enthusiastically took charge to make this event a success, both from a knowledge and awareness standpoint with added fun to make the event enjoyable.
The day’s agenda included many events, including a poster competition and an essay competition. Both were based on the theme of the day: energy, water savings and the protection of the environment.
The winners of the two competitions were selected by a representative from the Education Department as well as a principal of another school. Three winners were chosen from each of the eleven grades, for a total of 66 winners in all. Each winner was given a certificate as well as a cash prize. Two winners were chosen from higher grades, one girl and one boy, who were each presented with a bicycle. Each of the 22 teachers who taught the kids the special message were also presented with a gift and certificate in recognition of their hard work, which went into making the event a success.
There was more! A guest artist, Mr. Jayathilaka Bandara, was invited to bring the message of the day to perfect light with a musical show which was specially created with poems and songs carefully selected highlighting the theme of the day. Other events included songs and poems, plays, dances and awards, and food and drink. The smiles on the students’ young faces were enough evidence of the pleasure and happiness this day brought to everybody.
A further highlight of the day was the unveiling of a mural, drawn by a local architect and his wife, depicting the Chief of Seattle’s message: “We Do Not Inherit the Earth from Our Ancestors; We Borrow It from Our Children”. The principal of the school commissioned this mural to cover a prominent wall of the school by the roadside, to be seen by all passersby. This mural honors the first ever Green Apple Day of Service in Sri Lanka, and the only school in the country to have been chosen by Green Technologies to host this event.
One of the Green Technologies team members who hails from India gave a speech in Sinhala, one of the local languages in Sri Lanka. The presentation showed how kids can help clean the environment and keep the sickness-bearing mosquitoes away. Kids were encouraged to locate trees that grow easily in their area and plant fruit and flower trees in their home gardens.
The entire event was funded by a group of well-wishers from Green Technologies Dubai, who are committed to the message and the wellbeing of children in a developing environment. It is no wonder that one week after the event, the principal of the school received the Best Principal Award in the Kekirawa district, presented by the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka.