It is nearly a year ago now that Extra Cover started a new adventure: the acquisition of a property that will not only become a “home” for the charity and a hub for the volunteers, it will also be used as an amazing vocational training centre for young adults with disabilities. The property is called Suhada in the native language, which is translated as ”kind hearted”: a perfect reflection on what is happening there!
In addition to teaching sewing, wood crafts and other skills, there is also space on the 1.5 acres of land to grow tea, pepper, cinnamon, fruit and vegetables. The students will learn how to plant, tend and grow the crops, as well as how to prepare, sell and cook all the produce
There will be three rooms available for people to stay at this unique place. It is milesfrom anywhere so when you wake up all you can hear is birdsong, peacocks and sometimes rowdy monkeys!
Newton, who runs the Charity in Sri Lanka for Extra Cover, lives at Suhada. He has spotted over 45 species of bird around the property and recently proudly showed me the incredibly rare ‘hanging parrot’ that pops in to a specific tree every morning at dawn! The property is also a place that will welcome many who just want to see and feel the serendipity that Suhada offers.
Suhada is the 2nd Vocational Training Centre that Extra Cover has started; the other has been helping 20 wonderful disadvantaged young people not only gain skills that may well help them earn a living, but has also given them valuable life skills. These young adults have all manner of disabilities and in the past had often been hidden away or just been kept out of society. With the help of Extra Cover, they are now gaining social skills that are vital to help them become part of that society and, irrespective of whether or not they become employable, their lives will be enriched by making friends and understanding the joy that brings.
Extra Cover also runs three Special Education Schools for children with disabilities, six pre-schools and provides a large number of extremely remote village schools with the basics of food, clean water and toilets. It also provides text books and, as funds allow, renovates classrooms, installs playground equipment, runs tea and cinnamon-growing cooperatives and provides extra food for those in dire need. But there is always more we can do to help!