The third group
From October 2017 to April 2018 Jan, Tizian, Svea and Tara joined the English teachers working at the SLGTI in Kilinochchi and at several vocational training centres in Trincomalee. Next to their teaching duties, the four found time to join a local cricket team, to learn about the history of the island, they had the chance to travel, experiencing a country rich in diversity, and they participated in many social events.
Jan and Tizian with their football team in Trincomalee, the picture was taken by one of their friends
Koneswaram Kovil in Trincomalee, by Tizian D.
The second group
While Simon and Nils were still staying in Sri Lanka, the application process at the JGU in Mainz was already in full swing. The program coordinator, Anke Lensch and her colleague, Matthias Eitelmann were reading applications and conducting interviews with possible new candidates. By the end of the application process four students were selected to be the next participants of the program starting in April: Benedikt, Jessica,
Pascal and Lisa. Being students from different study programs, and at different stages within our studies, we were a very good team to be sent to Sri Lanka.
Jessica and I were sent to the SLGTI to take over the work of Nils and Simon, while Benedikt and Pascal were sent even further up North, to a city called Jaffna.
(author: L. Holste)
Jessica F., Lisa H., Benedikt M., Pascal P. in Colombo
Where exactly are Kilinochchi and Jaffna?
Both places are located far up in the northern part of Sri Lanka, and most of the towns’ inhabitants are ethnic Tamils. Jaffna is the capital of the Northern Province of Sri Lanka and with a population of 88,138, the 12th largest city of the Island. Most people living in Kilinochchi are related to agricultural work.
After the Sri Lankan civil war had broken out in 1983, Kilinochchi became the administrative center and de facto capital of the LTTE (Tamil Tigers) in 1990. From that time onwards, the place was alternately controlled by the Sri Lankan Army and the Tamil Tigers. The LTTE were trying to establish an Independent Tamil state in the north and east of the island, and they called it Tamil Eelam. Fights continued in Kilinochchi and the surrounding area until May 18th, 2009, when the war was finally over.
During the war both places have been widely damaged. Houses were destroyed, people moved and the economy went down. Until today the aftermath of the war continues to affect the city of Jaffna.
(author: L. Holste)
The first group and the beginnings
A meeting of two open-minded strangers on a train in Germany initiated the Teaching English in Sri Lanka program. After more than a year of preparations, including several visits by officials to Germany and Sri Lanka, the implementation of a number of English Days in designated Vocational Training Centres in Sri Lanka, a note by His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka himself, in October 2016, Simon and Nils were the first students from the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, who took part in the Teaching English in Sri
Lanka Program. Their place of action was the Sri Lanka German Technical Training Institute (SLGTI) in Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka. The SLGTI was built with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Development and Economic Cooperation (BMZ) and opened by the Sri Lankan President and the German ambassador in July 2016. Today, SLGTI is being further supported by the Vocational Training in the North and East of Sri Lanka Project (VTN) of GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit).
During their stay of six months at the SLGTI, Nils and Simon assisted the local teachers in teaching the English language. Furthermore, both were launching extra curricula activities such as movie nights, sport events and an English Day. Throughout their stay, they became friends with the students and their
work was appreciated by their colleagues and students alike.
(author: L. Holste)
English Day organized by the staff of the SLGTI in spring 2016