My project attempts to pass important virtues to every child such as peace, tolerance, respect and hope that had been repeatedly shattered by civil wars and natural disasters in some countries such as Sri Lanka. My quest is to solve social differences by introducing English as a common language while giving a good education to poor children in those countries.
Unfortunately, conventional educational systems have not always effectively and urgently addressed the demand of English as a Second Language (ESL) among children. In this situation of English as a global language, a fair proportion of children from low-income want to enhance their ESL competency by other means. This is because proficiency in ESL is critical for securing higher paying economic prospects, attaining academic achievement in classrooms where English is the medium of instruction, and using the internet whose content is predominantly in English.
With that in mind, I formed the Keep Reading Foundation to give unvoiced children a chance to shape their own futures through reading while bringing harmony to their shattered society. I recognized that lack of English books is vital to promote English reading among poor children and I should help establish small libraries in their classrooms through a book donation program organized by Keep Reading Foundation. The English reading books will help children excel in an international language that is literally vital for higher education, which leads to long-term successful careers.
Currently I am helping the disadvantaged children in Sri Lanka, a large tropical island just 20 miles off the southern tip of India, with no preference to race, religion or ethnicity. Being a native of Sri Lanka, I suffered emotionally by the tragic tsunami that devastated Sri Lanka in December 2004. Especially, I felt very sad when I saw the television footages and read the news items about poor children in Sri Lanka who lost all their educational privileges as a result of this tragedy. Additionally, they are suffering from a raging civil war that is going on for several decades. I believed if English is introduced to those children at young age as a common language, it would also serve as a link language and as a vehicle for bringing students together from all ethnic backgrounds.