Kids at Thumbe School

Enabling education with Thumbe School in Sri Lanka

9th November 2017

As part of our commitment to making a positive impact on our local communities, Johnson Matthey has helped Thumbe School in Ullala, Sri Lanka to open a brand-new library following the work carried out on a new wall to help keep the children safe. 

Acting quickly

When the tsunami hit the Indian Ocean on 26th December 2004, water destroyed many people's livelihoods. Johnson Matthey reacted swiftly, along with the global community, and pledged not only to send immediate relief, but to help the affected communities deal with the long-term consequences. 

As part of this commitment, JM has been supporting the education of Sri Lankan children by sponsoring their school supplies and fees. This is made possible through JM's association with charity organisation UK Friends of Galle, which is run by Siri, a Sri Lankan man living and working in the UK.

Every penny that Johnson Matthey donates goes towards the children's education – none of it is lost in administration – and the funds are providing much needed and appreciated support. 

Making a difference

The library building is the latest in this ongoing commitment, and will support the learning of local children for generations, creating a lasting legacy. The unveiling of the library, attended by local dignitaries and parents, marked a new chapter in the school's history. The children enjoyed a colourful ceremony including music, dance and ice cream. The building is the first well-equipped library in the Matara District in 121 years.

Previous support

JM's previous donations have helped to rebuild a school and orphanage, and more recently, helped to build a a wall at the school compound to prevent children from falling and injuring themselves.

When the wall was being built, Johnson Matthey's Sustainability Director, Sean Axon, said: "It's great to see tangible outcomes from our ongoing commitment to enabling children's education around the world. Health and safety is our priority so it's particularly gratifying to help keep the children of Thumbe school safe as they learn and play. As we move beyond our Sustainability 2017 goals I look forward to exploring more opportunities to support communities in Sri Lanka and beyond through our local partnership initiatives and our international charity partner programmes."