Project information

Community English Programme

Main diploma students, 80% on less than $1 a day, study for free and in turn educate children of tea plantation communities for free. Children benefit by free education and student-teachers by improving their status and emotional health. Sustainable in 2 yrs, Creates role models 1,200 children a yr

January 2013 - December 2014

Charity information: The Tea Leaf Trust

The Tea Leaf Trust logo
  • Need


    Sri Lanka tea communities are oppressed in order to preserve an uneducated and dependent workforce. Educational provision is terrible and level of English, crucial for future employment, almost non-existent.

    Children with no English are doomed to a life of manual labour on the estates facing significant problems (85% male alcoholism, 83% domestic violence and high levels of self-harm/ suicide). Even if they had enough money the remoteness of the estates makes it impossible for them to develop


    This project brings hope through free, quality education that is accessible being conducted in their community schools. By educating 18 - 24 yr olds from these communities we capacity build for future generations, instilling the concept of service and creating change agents. Once they have run their classes during their main diploma year many continue classes in their communities. Education of the youth and their education of the children creates aspiration, boosts self-esteem and frees the mind

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Provide quality, crucial education to children living in remote, deprived and oppressed tea estates.


    » By the provision of free classes every week in their area that are of a high standard, run by members of their own communities who understand the need

    What success will look like

    Success will be through the number of children who complete the homework assignments, attend above a certain % of lessons and pass a spoken and written exam to gain a certificate

    Aim 2

    To provide local, skilled role models to children surrounded by negative behaviours and hopelessness


    » By training main diploma students aged 18-24 to teach in a kind and organised way using relevant games and encouragement rather than harsh punishment

    What success will look like

    Success will be the student-teachers giving their time to educate the children to a high standard in a caring and professional way. The behaviour and service will be inspirational

    Aim 3

    To boost emotional health of main diploma students by enabling them to teach and so change futures


    » We train the students in teaching techniques, curriculum and monitor their classes to ensure quality. By teaching the kids they gain community respect

    What success will look like

    Success will be judged by an emotional health survey carried out before and after the project that is expected to show a dramatic improvement and through individual case studies

  • Impact


    Many student-teachers expected to continue classes in own communities after completion of the project. Monitored through Community Mobilisers and recorded accurately. Children's English level and confidence in both spoken and written forms will improve and this will be demonstrated by the reports and testimonies provided by their government schools. The emotional health of the students will be stabilised due to the status they achieve in a very traditional communities who value teachers highly


    Some parents need children to collect firewood after school, this is simple awareness raising through school parent meetings.

    A few Principals may protect expensive private classes run by their teachers (to a poor standard) by blocking the programme in their schools. The solution is that we have spoken directly to the government zonal education minister who supports the project and will instruct Principals to support it. We will then build strong relationships with schools to maintain project


    We will provide a training report after term one training is completed and then a final report at the end of each year. Photos will be included and a breakdown of student-teachers, schools and children. We will also be happy to provide a copy of the lessons and course book if requested

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £4,200

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £2,000 Project Coordinator Ethical salary for two years to make the project sustainable
      £700 Bus fare Provision of 2 years bus fare for students who travel off normal route to teach classes
      £1,180 Coursebooks Print initial 2,000 coursebooks to be sold for a small profit (80p for 6 mth) for sustainability
      £320 Photocopies and Transport To ensure quality of teaching through provision of lesson plans and monitoring/ meetings
  • Background


    24 government schools located in the remote tea estate communities of Sri Lanka. The main town in the area is Maskeliya where our main project is situated. From this base, where we run a free, one-year main diploma we will send student-teachers from 30 different tea picking communities to teach children in their local schools.


    80% of our students live off less than $1 a day, 95% off less than $2. Theses communities are in bonded servitude living in poor housing and having multi-layered social issues. Government teachers are badly trained and have no English, many refuse to teach lessons or sleep at desks but the children must have Grade C English in order to avoid continuing the cycle of manual labour and poverty. The remote nature of these communities means access to English classes is impossible without this program

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    We are the only NGO specialising in education of the tea estate communities in this area. We have developed a strong relationship with the government education ministry and have developed a curriculum that is culturally appropriate and specific to the local level of education.

    We run this through our main diploma students who are from these communities so we can engage a high number of children through our 155 students teaching at a ration of 1:10. We know these communities and they trust us

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Mr T. M. Pare

    Founder and Programme Director of Tea Leaf Trust, living in Sri Lanka and originator of project. MSc in Poverty Reduction and Development Management

    Mr Anojan Sudarshana

    Area Development Programme Manager of World Vision Lanka and partner of Tea Leaf Trust. Has 20 Community Mobilisers to support project

    Mr Indika Yapa

    External Project Coordinator at Tea Leaf Trust who knows all of the Principals in the area and has gained their trust and support.

    Mr Rengaraj

    Zonal Education Director who has promised full support of the programme and manages all 24 of the target schools

An introduction as to how the charity was formed


pays for 20 children to get 40 hrs of free classes

“As English is the window of the world, Tea Leaf Vision is the window of my life” Julian

Julian - Honesty Class 2011 Batch