Richard Huish College

Mr. Rob Setchel led a team of 24 volunteers from the Richard Huish College in July 2013, and the group was very excited at the prospect of working with the FoG, requesting that they be given the chance to interact with as many FoG sectors as possible. Having spent a great deal of time studying their own interests and the best way in which they could volunteer their services, a plan was drawn up to allow them to spend their mornings at the MCC Centre of Excellence and their evenings at the Sports Academy or one of the FoG outlying projects like the AVIVA Village, the Village Heartbeat Projects or at children’s and elders’ homes.

According to this plan, the group spent their mornings split between the Pre-school, Business Skills Centre, English Training, the Rebuilding Lives Project/ psycho-social team, the Medical Centre and the Women’s Empowerment & Enterprise Centre. Their evenings were spent at the Aviva library and kids computer classes, working with the Children’s Goodness Clubs, Child Resilience Building Programme in Akurala and Kahawa or the Sports Academy where they helped out with the swimming and netball coaching. They also took the time to visit the Diving and Training Centre where they helped out teaching English to the divers, and also visited the Village Heartbeat Project in Udumulla and fell in love with the Wellawatta Elder’s Home in Hikkaduwa, to which they returned repeatedly.

Having spent a wonderful time volunteering with us, their generosity continued to flow when, before their departure, they donated muscle stimulation toys for the elder’s home as well as study packs, toys, books and stationary to be distributed among the children and the community.

Having returned home, they looked back on their experience and sent the following messages to the Foundation of Goodness:

Dear Kushil,

I'm writing to you in response to the best two and a half weeks that I could have ever wished for, spent with the Foundation of Goodness and Richard Huish College in Sri Lanka.

I was never sure on whether I would really like the volunteering work or if it wouldn't quite be what I had expected but it turned out to be the most amazing experience that was far better than I had ever imagined it could be! All of the people involved in the Foundation of Goodness from the staff, to the students in the classes, to the old people that we visited were so welcoming towards us and so lovely to be working with. The feeling of teaching a group of such friendly children who seemed so willing to learn and happy to be there, that live in complete diversity to how we do at home, is something that I will always treasure. As I will with many other memories that I have taken away with me from the trip.

I know I speak on behalf of all twenty four of us when I say just how incredibly inspiring it was to meet you and see what you have done in Sri Lanka so far. It's not really possible to explain it in words to give it enough justice. At home, we know of the disasters that happen around the world and learn about the responses to them but actually hearing the stories in person, seeing the development first hand and then meeting the people that have benefited from the work is something quite different! What goes on in the centre and the surrounding villages to help enhance the lives of all those people is amazing.

I can honestly say that I enjoyed every single bit of the trip and the volunteering experience. I couldn't have learnt all of the things that I have taken away with me at home and without coming to the volunteer with the Foundation of Goodness, I wouldn't have the same understanding and thoughts about life that I have now. I have had the chance to experience a completely different culture/way of life, gain some confidence in doing things that I wouldn't otherwise do and discover something that I really loved doing!

Before I left, I thought that this might be my go at volunteering done and that I would spend other trips just going to different places. Now I want the exact opposite and hope to travel for the purpose of volunteering. If volunteers were to come to you next year, would there be opportunities in the North to teach as we have done in the South?

Thank you so much for allowing us to come and work with you in Sri Lanka and for being so welcoming. My experience will certainly have a positive influence towards my future in many ways!

Best wishes,


One thing which becomes immediately apparent when working with the Foundation of Goodness is the diversity and flexibility of the charity as they work with such a vast array of people across all areas of the community. During our time in Sri Lanka the Foundation of Goodness provided us with various opportunities to enhance the lives of its' beneficiaries; opportunities which ranged from teaching the very young and energetic pre-school children to visiting and spending time with the more gentle senior members of the community at the elders home. It not only provides an invaluable experience for us volunteers, to be challenged in a variety of environments, but it is also testament to the sheer scale of work the charity undertakes. It seems that the Foundation has recognised the most successful way to empower the community and that is not by the distribution of plain financial aid but by the careful and selected provision of relevant opportunities giving the local people the resources and skills they need to successfully improve their lives and someday become independent from charitable aid.

In spending three weeks in Sri Lanka we were enveloped by the full culture of this nation and became close friends with many individuals during our time working with the charity. It was soon clear that both the workers at the Foundation of Goodness and the people they helped all shared a similar enduring spirit. There seemed to be a limitless number of smiles and a persistent positive attitude even when faced with incredible circumstances of depravity and when threatened with the greatest adversity. This character is a reflection both of the Sri Lankan people but equally of the Foundation which has struggled through such difficult times, already facing numerous challenges before the tsunami but taking this awful disaster in its stride and building from strength to strength. To contribute to and become part of such an atmosphere was a gratifying experience and inspired every confidence that the charity will be able to replicate such success in the north of Sri Lanka.

Finally as well as the good we hope to have done for the communities, working with all manner of people in all walks of life, the volunteering experience was certainly one which has made a deep impression upon us. In a world in which there is an ever growing emphasis upon financial wealth and physical possessions such an experience entirely disregards this materialistic perspective. To give freely and willingly to a community as part of a motivated and driven team and then to witness first-hand the positive impacts your efforts have had, when a young student finally masters the English alphabet or a young woman eventually conquers the sewing machine,  there is inevitably a profound effect upon an individual.  Even if we helped one person for a single day and had the most minute effect in the progression of their lives the experience has produced a memory which remain with us for the rest of ours and in this ever accelerating drive of western society for money, wealth and material goods the experience has ensured that we will always prioritise the more important ideals through life; those of a clean conscience, rewarding vocation and pervading happiness.

Sam Donegan 

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience in Sri Lanka, I have not only learnt so much about people from the country but I have also learnt so much about myself. The charity has opened my eyes into how much you can give by just a little help. I see and appreciate things very differently, it is unreal to see how some people stay so positive and happy through difficult times which has inspired me and my way of living. I am amazed by all the work done all ready by FOG and their drive to continue and further develop the charity. I found the experience overall at times quite tough and demanding, but every minute of it was rewarding. I would love very much to go back to Seenigama and continue what we were doing.



Put your future in good hands - your own.

- Author Unknown -










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