It is no wonder that Johnny Morris and his new wife Kirrily chose to honeymoon in the beautiful island of Sri Lanka with its majestic palm-fringed coastlines, or venture inland to the Ratnapura province, home to tea plantations and high quality gems, including the world-famous Ceylon Sapphires.
Famed for its gem mining and tea plantations, it is also home to the breathtaking Sinharaja Forest Reserve and Uda Walawe National Park.
However, it was not only the landscape that drew them to Sri Lanka; in lieu of wedding presents the couple had requested donations to the Rahula Trust, an educational charity that sponsors children in Sri Lanka (among other countries). On their trip Johnny and Kirrily were able to visit the school in Ranchamanda that was to benefit from their donation.
Although education is both compulsory and free in Sri Lanka, for children from poorer backgrounds especially those in remote areas, getting a good education can still remain a dream. Young children may have to walk long distances to reach their school (which may not even be possible during the monsoon season) and once at school, they are further hampered by poor buildings and lack of teaching staff and equipment, or their family may struggle with the costs of books and uniforms. Other children may not attend school at all, staying home to help their parents in the fields.
The Rahula Trust helps these children through sponsorship of individual children, where a small monthly sum goes directly to the child's parents, and through specific projects such as the one in Ranchamadama. Do help if you can.
Back home in the UK Johnny decided he wanted to do more to help The Rahula Trust and talked to people he knew and soon Project Colombo was born. Project Colombo is an initiative to collate unused PCs which are then wiped clean/reformatted, loaded with Microsoft software (thanks to Microsoft's endorsement) and sent to Sri Lanka where they are put into good use by the Rahula Trust.
Have you got an old PC or a Mac kicking around? Why not give it a new lease of life? Just post, courier or if you're in that part of the UK, drop it off at Exigo in Dorset who will securely wipe the hard drive (as they do for banks), load it with the new software and your computer will be in the next shipment to Sri Lanka. This time next month that old machine of yours which was gathering dust will be helping changing lives instead.
We think Project Colombo is a great initiative and we have found a cost effective way to courier. So you don't even have to pay to send your machine, we will make sure it gets there safely and cover the cost of the courier. All you have to do is put it in a box and email us with an address and which day to collect (it is not possible to collect by time, but it is by day, home, office or other address is fine).
And if this article has whetted your appetite on visiting Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Uda Walawe National Park or tea country, have a look at our wildlife holiday in Sri Lanka.