Bridge, a relief aid organisation
for small trade in Sri Lanka
welcomes you

Our philosophy

Bridge is a charitable organisation in Sri Lanka which together with local partners helps people help themselves. Bridge is independent of confession or politics. The Swiss organisation members offer their time, their experience and their engagement free of charge. Administrative costs are practically none-existent.

Almost 100% of donations given can be passed along to projects in Sri Lanka. A strong local presence and an established link to local authorities and organisations is paramount for this purpose.

Cooperation with local partners

Bridge relies on experienced local partner organisations and works together with national relief organisations.

School is started

Following a carefully planned and executed renovation of the builiding and furnishings in March 2007, Bridge was able to start with its first course in carpentry. The workshops situated in Matale in central Sri Lanka offer space for 15 would-be carpenters coming from the Tsunami areas. In June 2007 we had the pleasure of visiting the workshop and watching the trainees in their day to day activities.  The enthusiasm and joy was palpable.  Some had until that time never held a tool in their hand and they were truly astounded at what could be done with a minimum of effort.

The trainees were guided by a strict yet patient and caring teacher. Saman Jalage lived with them even over the weekends and cared for them like a father would.  The amount of material to be learned turned out to be challenging to the point of exceeding what could possibly be digested in a 3-month period of time. As a result we decided to extend the learning period to 6 months ensuring enough time to practice and study. A further course adjustment was dividing the group into two areas of specialty:  cabinet maker and carpentry. Sri Lanka usually makes no distinction between the two but had covered everything under the one category. 

Graduation 

Graduation was a truly memorable occasion where students had the opportunity to show their gratitude.  Carpentry, a trade well-looked upon in Sri Lanka, offers these graduates an honorable escape from the poverty and unemployment found around them. We would like to provide many youths with this chance.  For this very reason we are dependent on your support.  Through a donation to our project in Matale, you can help those less fortunate to replace hopelessness with hope.  The cost of one apprenticeship is Sfr.200/month incl. accommodation and food. A sponsorship can cover either part of or the full length of an apprenticeship.

Completion of the second course in February 2008

Reinhard Strickler, together with his wife Franziska Schiltknecht, will be accompanying the 15 enthusiastic and motivated students during their 6-month education.  After successfully completing the final exam, the certified tradesmen will be better able to enter the job market. Many will open their own small carpentry businesses. With your support we hope to help more youths help themselves out of their otherwise bleak future.Thank you!