Mastering arithmetic: Sam’s success story with the help of our volunteers

Nine year old Sam is pupil at Cathedral Boys’ College Cotenh. His father is Ahmed Khan and his mother Salma Beg. He has two sisters and lives in Koteha Colombo, A team of our volunteers went to Cathedral Boys’ College with the intention of helping the students there – and one of our female volunteers was allocated Sam to help him through with addition and subtraction for the six months that they would stay there.

During her first encounters with Sam, she realized that he was very weak in these arithmetic operations and quickly found a solution to it – drawing circles to allow him count as he adds and subtracts.

With time, Sam’s progress was impressive – he could now add and subtract – but there was still some little trouble with his calculations. The plus and minus signs would often confuse him – and he was also finding it difficult to distinguish three numbers namely 2, 3 & 5 as well as a poor grasp of zero and its use. Noting this deficiency, our volunteer engineered a new way to beat this difficulty – by asking Sam to sort out the different numbers written on different sheets of paper and writing them separately as well. In a span of six weeks – Sam was able to distinguish between all the digits between zero and nine and perform additions and subtractions effectively and confidently.
Sam has also shown interest in music and dance and now takes part in these activities. Our hope is begged on the fact that Sam will be able to develop on these achievements and make substantial progress in his academic and co-curricular activities in the long term.

Sri Lanka is a beautiful place endowed with adventurous places and seas. Cathedral Boys College is situated in Kotenha – with very supportive communities that know and value education. Majority of the Boys attending this college come from far distances – but they are committed to pursuing education and they do not find the long distances they have to travel to school a challenge. With a colossal case of understaffing and few learning materials, the boys find it hard to achieve any meaningful education – but they are eager to learn. Our volunteers have committed themselves to visit this institution and do the best they can with every effort they can spare – helping the kids to learn English and communication skills, reading among other things.

The children in this institution are very responsive – and the arrival of our volunteers makes them excited. They are eager to learn – and our volunteers have vowed to do everything within their ability to ensure that these kids can get access to the good education that they deserve – giving them a foothold in the future and where they can contribute constructively to their lives, the community and society at large.


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