News

Sweet ending to Shakthi Eurasia Exchange’s 5 Years of Impact

Dec 19, 2018

Since its inception in 2013, WYSE Travel Confederation member Shakthi Eurasia Exchange has been tirelessly hosting volunteering projects in the coastal town of Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka. Founder Ashika Senevirathna has welcomed over 3,400 international volunteers and students in five years and his programme continues to grow. The organisation’s goal is to engage international student-based travel programmes, while continually acting as a leading force in community development and wildlife conservation projects.

The full-time team collaborates closely with several Buddhist temples and organisations in the local area, often contributing to much needed renovation work on temples, buildings and the village hospital and schools. Having celebrated 5 Years of Impact this year, Shakthi Eurasia Exchange was proud to assist in building the first eye clinic for the local community of 200,000 inhabitants.

“Volunteers don’t need to have any previous construction or renovation experience, just bags of energy and the willingness to help,” explained Ashika.

The organisation’s most recent achievement has brought joy to a school of 80 students, 20 of which require specific special needs attention. After learning about the need for a new playground from a volunteer staff member, Shakthi Eurasia Exchange and a small but passionate student group from the UK set out to make a difference. The team, under the watchful eyes of the 80 pupils, completely transformed the overgrown outside area of the school into a safe, fun and interactive playground.

Ashika recalls the children’s excitement during the build.

“Every day they were surrounding us whenever they got a break in classes. They were like supervisors as they were really eager for us to complete the project as soon as possible,” he said.

The effect was also felt amongst the volunteers who were overcome with emotion once they stepped back and saw the result of their combined effort and hard work.

The effect was also felt amongst the volunteers who were overcome with emotion once they stepped back and saw the result of their combined effort and hard work.

The volunteer group went one step further by planting 150 pineapple trees on the compound, giving the school its first carbon-free organic pineapple farm. Both the playground and the pineapple farm will provide enjoyment and learning opportunities for children for years to come.

The playground renovation and pineapple farm will help the programme to contribute to 7 out of 17 Sustainable Development Goals, including:

1 – No Poverty
2 – Zero Hunger
3 – Good Health and Well Being
4 – Quality Education
6 – Clean Water and Sanitation
14 – Life Below Water
15 – Life on Land

Learn more about Shakthi Eurasia Exchange here.

Shakthi Eurasia Exchange is a member of WYSE Travel Confederation.