In collaboration with the dedicated school principals and their staff, Extra Cover provides essentials to needy schoolchildren.
Extra Cover pays for approximately 1,000 meals a day, mostly in the form of a breakfast bun, filled with fish or meat, for hungry children when they arrive at school.
Some of the poorest pupils (those with minimal or zero income) receive a monthly pack of “dry rations” comprising milk powder,processed cereal, lentils, dhal, toothpaste, sugar, beans, soap and a chocolate biscuit.
We are committed to ensuring all pupils have a regular supply of clean fresh water while they are at school. To that end we have paid for wells to be dug and water tanks to be repaired or erected.
We have also paid for the construction of a number of toilets, increasing the levels of hygiene.
A uniform (plus a tie or badge denoting ones school) makes a pupil feel special and Extra Cover works to ensure that every child looks the part.Annually we hand out hundreds of regular uniforms as well as shirts and shorts for Montessori “Pre Prep” schools
Children grow and shoes wear out quickly and, as needed, Extra Cover provides school shoes (white for girls, black for boys) plus socks and flip-flops (known as “slippers”).
These remote schools flourish when they have access to electricity, bringing light to dingy rooms, pumping water from the nearby wells and powering ceiling fans. Where cables and motors are broken or connection lost, Extra Cover steps in.
Please see our additional page – Gravity Light
Repairs have been made to several school buildings, broken stairs have been mended and fences erected (primarily to keep out wild animals), providing a safe space in which children can learn.
In one rural location we have built and furnished a brand new “Montessori” school, covering the salaries of its two teachers.
The charity works with the schools on a highly individual basis, discussing with the staff what their particular institution’s most pressing educational needs are. Sometimes it’s stationery or sample examination papers, sometimes it’s just a table.
We have painted and resourced several classrooms.
Children need to play and Extra Cover has built/repaired several playgrounds
We all remember our first nervous day at school. We provide “starter packs”, including such items as a new school bag containing pens and pencils, for those beginning Year One.
We are pleased to have been able to fund one-day cultural visits, in which a school takes a coach trip to places of national and / or religious significance. Over the years schoolchildren have visited Colombo and various Buddhist shrines.
Tea and Cinnamon
With Extra Cover’s help, parents of two Extra Cover schools have been growing tea, with a percentage of their income from their small plantations being pumped back into the schools their children attend. Cinnamon is also being grown at one cooperative. See the page on “Extra Cover Tea” for more details.
With vocational skills such as sewing, broom-making and mobile phone and tuk-tuk repair, those who have left formal schooling can find work and a new lease of life. Extra Cover funds the basic resources (material and teaching) for a vocational school.
A Special Needs School
We are in the advance stages of creating a school exclusively for children with learning and physical difficulties. Many children with special needs in the region do not attend school, and Extra Cover has identified a site and a dozen potential pupils, and has received the backing of the Sri Lankan government for what is something of a pioneering educational programme.
See our page – “Disability Project”
Occasionally we encounter desperate need, and simply cannot turn our backs on it. A crumbling hovel (see the page on “Hiruni’s House”) and a destitute inspirational couple (see “Lakshman’s tin leg”) are two recent examples.