People with disabilities

Diri Daru Piyasa Weekend Camp

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

Other SCI experience

Written by Eva from Sri Lanka

August 2023

From the 30th of June to the 3rd of July, SCI Sri Lanka took part in a mini-workcamp in Diri Daru Piyasa, a day school and vocational training center for special needs children. Here is an overview of our experience there.


About the school

Located in a small village near Colombo, Diri Daru Piyasa was founded in 2003 and now welcomes about 70 students. Its aim is to provide education for differently able children, and especially for those who are coming from low income level families. Thus, food and educational material is free of charge for all the kids.

Volunteers standing in circle in front of the schoolThe institution was actually created because in Sri Lanka special needs children are often left apart from the society and people do not really care about them. Moreover, they face a very high risk of abandon as far as most of the families cannot afford to raise and support them. Indeed, because of the serious lack and the low quality of dedicated public institutions, expensive private structures often remain as the only conceivable option but it requires to have sufficient income, which is not the case of the majority of the families. This is why charity schools such as Diri Daru Piyasa are essentials and need our attention to keep existing and developing.


Our contribution

Volunteers working with plantsWe all arrived there on the Friday evening and started the camp by introducing ourselves to the others. In fact, the particularity of this week-end was that several organisations participated to it. Thus, in addition of SCI Sri Lanka volunteers, kids from Inspire Village and students from Sri Jayewardenepura University joined. Even some Diri Daru Piyasa residents helped us in the different tasks we had to accomplish. As a result, our group was really diverse, and we wished we had more time to better discover each others.

We started to work on Saturday morning. In order to be more efficient, we divided in three different groups accordingly to the missions we wanted to realise.

Thus, a first group cleaned a ground by cutting some bushes that were growing up wildly on the grass and removed the mold that was invading the staircase leading to classrooms. Another group was in charge of the fence, which needed to be repaired. Finally, a last group did some farming work as they planted some banana and coconut trees in the school’s garden. Therefore, we managed to finish all the manual work we had to do on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Our afternoons were dedicated to discussion. We used to gather after lunch to talk about what happened during the day and to share our feelings about the camp. We also had a very interesting study session about the treatment of disability in Sri Lanka.

As we were hosted in the school building, we spent all our evenings there, playing guitar and singing songs. On the last night, we even had the chance to attend a little show performed by some school students. In fact, as the teachers are mostly using dance and music to work with them, they shared the skills they developed with us.

On Monday morning, we finally all headed back home with those great memories and the will to organise some future follow-up projects with Diri Daru Piyasa.