» 12/24/2009 12:57 SRI LANKA Sri Lanka: Sisters of the Good Shepherd celebrate Christmas with the poorest children by Melani Manel Perera In the villages of Wewala, Weligampitiya and Kalaeliya near Jael, the nuns gave birth to a free afternoon school for poor and sick children. On 22 December they celebrated Christmas with gift to all 52 of them school uniforms and books.
Jael (AsiaNews) - The Sisters of the Good Shepherd held a Christmas party for poor children of the community of three villages near Jael, 25 km from Colombo.
On the afternoon of December 22 nuns invited 52 children from Wewala, Weligampitiya and Kalaeliya (photo) to the hall adjacent to their convent for a party of two hours with songs and dances, the representation of Jesus' birth and the delivery of gifts.
The children are students of the afternoon school organized by the sisters. Sister Lusine, superior of the convent, tells AsiaNews that she has identified her young students on visits to two parishes in the villages. With her sisters and 12 teachers she allows poor and sick children to attend school despite the economic difficulties of their families or health problems.
"The classes are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4 pm up to 5.30 - says Sr. Lusine - and we teach children Sinhala, English and mathematics. The educational work of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd offers classes for children in primary schools, from 3rd to 9th grade”.
The celebration was an opportunity to "share the joy of Christmas with children and their families" and small students received the gift of school supplies. On mother tells: "Our children received a present of a uniform and exercise books for the lessons which they will use next year."
The children described the festival as "a memorable day." Erandhi, one of them says: "We had never received gifts from our schools and we are full of gratitude for the gifts and for the help they give us by allowing us to attend a school for free."