Computer Literacy and English Proficiency for the youth of Audangawa

As the inauguration ceremony of the Computer and Language Center proceeds at the temple of Audangawa, all those who are gathered could only have one feeling at heart; Hope.

Passionate about enhancing the living standards of the underprivileged youth, the fourth and the newest Computer and Language Training Center of R.e.V (Reconstruire et Vivre) is inaugurated today, 19th January 2020 at Audangawa by His Excellency Mr. Eric Lavertu, the French Ambassador for Sri Lanka, and Mr. Michelle Salaün, the Chairman of Salaün Holidays, a leading tour operator in France and the main sponsor of the project together with the management of Connaissance de Ceylan and Theme Resorts & Spas. The inaugural ceremony is held in the presence of 20 journalists representing several prominent media enterprises of France and Belgium who are currently in Sri Lanka on a familiarization tour of the country.

Constructed on a land donated by the Buddhist temple of the village ‘Sri Dharmawardhanarama Purana Viharaya’, the Computer and Language Center will offer free-of-charge English language classes and computer classes to the youth of Audangawa, with the blessings of the chief monk of the temple, Ven. Eswatte Uditha Thero. The total investment being 5 Million LKR, the investment made by Mr. Michel Salaün on the project is 1O,OOO Euros (approx. 1.8 Million LKR) while the management of Connaissance de Ceylan and Theme Resorts & Spas invested 3.2 Million LKR.

Giving much thought to all aspects of the project, the classes will be scheduled from 2.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m. every day with the exception of weekend classes to prevent it from becoming any hindrance to school education of the children. The management of Connaissance de Ceylan and Theme Resorts & Spas being zealous advocates of local hiring, teachers to conduct computer and English classes are to be recruited from the respective region itself, making yet another effort to sustain the local community.

Why Audangawa?

Welcoming tourists from all over the world at this tiny village of Audangawa, which anyone had barely heard of, Aliya Resort & Spa was the first ever tourist resort to be established in the region. Managed by Theme Resorts and Spas, the resort opened its doors for guests in the year 2014. It only took a few years down the line for this beautiful countryside village to become an important cultural visit in tourist agendas, with many tourist resorts developed within a radius two and a half kilometres from the village.

Prioritizing local employment, more than 70% of Aliya Resort & Spa’s staff is hired from the same region and a majority of the resort’s day to day supply requirements are sourced locally, where preference is given to suppliers from the local area whenever possible. The resort also engages in a number of projects directly aimed at the upliftment of the local community’s livelihood and living standards through its environment and sustainability society.

Today, the hospitality industry is well-established in the region, with a huge number of employment opportunities created, and approximately 800 locals employed in the hotel and hospitality sector as well as many other tourism-related industries.

Why computer and English language?

However, it is no secret that employments in the domain of hospitality demands that the candidates possess good command of English language and computer literacy. For Mr. Chandra Wickramasinghe, it was evident that the candidates of the local area hardly meet these very requirements that are vital to successfully engage in their job roles.

After a little research, it was learnt that the schools of the region lacked adequate resources to provide quality computer knowledge for the students, such as ‘Dambulla Maha Vidyalaya’ where 2500 students are educated with 15 computers and ‘Digampathana Vidyalaya’ where 450 students receive their education with only one computer at hand. The intention of a private institution to provide quality computer education and English language training, under appropriate guidance and good pedagogy was hence conceived.

About Salaün Holidays

With 88 years of experience in the hospitality industry, Salaün Holidays was born in Brittany, the westernmost region of France. Founded by Michel Salaün, the grandfather of the current CEO, the company commenced its journey in 1982 and has become one of the tour operators that is most sought after today. The Group now employs more than 726 people in several countries, while retaining its headquarters in French Brittany.

In terms of business volume, Salaün Holidays stands in the second place among the tour operators in France. Offering more than 250 tours in 110 different countries, Salaün Holidays has made 220,000 travelers discover the world in 2019 alone. Its distribution network comprises of 196 agencies and its production re-sold in more than 3,500 travel agencies bringing a consolidated turnover of 240 million Euros in 2019.

A tireless traveler, Michel Salaün continues to travel the world in search of new travel and meeting opportunities in countries that are yet to be explored. His passion for travel launched him into exceptional adventures such as the great Salaün raids that he initiated and experienced himself. A great advocate of sustainability, Michel Salaün makes continuous effort to set an example of responsible tourism. Asserting that it is not just another tour operator, Salaün Holidays continues to make a positive change around the world, with each tour they craft.

About R.e.V

Managed and Headed by Mrs. Patricia Wickramasinghe, R.e.V (Reconstruire et Vivre) denoting their motto “Rebuild and Live” is a charitable organization established soon after the devastating Tsunami attack that struck Sri Lanka in 2004. R.e.V being the long-established CSR arm of Connaissance de Ceylan and their hotel chain Theme resorts & Spas, the two companies are the primary sponsors and donors of the association.

Initially meant to rebuild a few houses for the victims of the Tsunami attack, R.e.V’s thirst to serve local communities did not cease once this initial goal was achieved. Ever since its inception, R.e.V. has been continuously aiding under-privileged communities across the island for the past 15 years.

Tsunami Housing Projects:

Immediately after the Tsunami, R.e.V. undertook several housing projects to build homes for the victims of the disaster. The first housing project by R.e.V. was handed over to the community in Kathaluwa on the 11th April 2005, only four months after the disaster. In addition to this housing project, R.e.V. also undertook constructions of 94 houses and about a dozen others were renovated in the cities of Boossa, Kathaluwa, Weligama and Kalkudah.

Preschool Projects and Computer and Language Training Centers:

R.e.V. also initiated the construction of three preschool projects in the locality of its housing projects to provide free education to the children of these marginalized communities. Funded through R.e.V, more than 1000 students have been enrolled at these preschools up to date, where the children are also provided free of charge with all educational material such as uniforms and stationery. Apart from Pre-schools, R.e.V. maintains three learning centers to provide free computer and English language training to children of these areas, of which a total of 2480 students have benefited since their commencement.

Connaissance de Ceylan and Theme Resorts & Spas embark in a deep-rooted journey of sustainability and continue to enliven the living standards of many marginalized groups across Sri Lanka, substantiating time and time again, their passion to ‘give back’ to the community.