Doug & Jacob Zeif’s visits deprived Monaragala

Doug Zeif Senior Vice President of the WHM, LLC was on a tour in Sri Lanka and he also made it a point to visit Monaragala district.  Generally people do not favour or pick Monaragala as a place to visit on Holidays ;)

Whilst the MJF Charitable Foundation thank Doug and his son Jacob for chosing to visit Monaragala we share below their experience (the way we saw it) and im sure he will comment on this when he gets a chance to view this post…

Monaragala as mentioned in previous posts is a very remote district that is labeled as the poorest districts in Sri Lanka.  I would say that it is poor and beautiful, people with amazing smiles in their faces all the time, very hospitable, bound to customs and traditions, etc


Given below are pictures taken of one of the Dhiriya (the MJF Center for Education & Vocational Training Center) Student’s village and his house that Doug and Jacob visited.



Since the road was rocky and narrow we had to ride on a bullock cart to get to their house.  it probably was a first hand experince riding on a bullock cart, thru this village and experincing such families hospitality for the  father and the son.  im sure they enjoyed it.


…..Doug & his son Jacob visited Monaragala on the 10th of July 2012 at 10.00am.  Their first stop was at the School for the Visual and Hearing impaired.

As they arrived the kids who were already practicing cricket invited Doug to join them to play some Cricket. 

I myself and the Kids at the School could not believe when they said that it was their first ever time that they have held a cricket bat and played cricket for the very first time…….. Doug and Jacob they were both amazing cricket players ….


and the cricket they were asked to play was not normal cricket but cricket played by the special children…. TOUGH CRICKET…. and they were very good at it.  you will see how Doug is concentrating in listening to the ball that was thrown by his son Jacob. 


 after cricket, the father and son met all the children and had tea with them.  Doug assisted Jacob to serve ‘Laveriya (a sweet snack famous in Sri Lanka) to the Children.



and then they visited the Daskam Niwasa (work of the talented hands) where the students who have completed school will remain at School and get involved in Vocational training.

the trainer (a differnly able kid, previously a student now promoted to be a trainer) taught Doug and Jacob to sew Sarong (Part of Sri Lankan National dress).  since she cannot talk even the sewing lessons were with actions and not words. im sure they enjoyed this lesson and learnt something from it other than sewing.



After the sewing lessons they visited the classrooms and spoke to the students, which involved so many questions many in sign language. 

The kids wanted to know the temparature of florida, their food, culture, schools for the special children, their uniforms, if they these school had computers that all the kids could use, about sports, and cricket, their favourite game, etc….


The Children also showed them to write their names in Brail.

The next day Doug and his son Jacob visited Siyambalanduwa (the poorest divisions in Monaragala).

They first visited the School at the 3rd Step to meet the Dhiriya students who were at School.

We first visited the School’s Library (donated by Dhiriya to the School) and then all the classrooms, spoke with the students.



The Students requested from Doug and his son to visit some of their homes, so we did visit a house from where 02 Children of the same family visits our center for their additional classes.


The ride to the house was not an easy one, it made us think “how on earth do these people commute from and to their homes on a daily basis.  Lonely road, houses (mud huts with staw roofs) located in a distance of aprox 2 to 3 km away from the other…..


 They had preserved the best they had for Doug and Jacob and while we arrived at their house the Father offered to us this bees hive that the bees had built inside a tree in their garden.


We saw the way the father and the son enjoy the bees honey and appreciated the gift very much.


after two days of expedition Doug mentioned to us that it was a tour which made them realize what life is all about.






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