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incorrigible youths who should be in gaol were they of adult age, are the inmates of this institution and number 300. These lads are given a vernacular as well as an industrial education ; the latter comprising tailoring, carpentry, printing, bookbinding, and gardening. It is pleasing to record that, thanks to the kindly and sympathetic attitude of the management, these potential criminals are chastened, sobered, and ultimately become diligent, useful, and law-abiding citizens.
Industrial Training. Of the institutions established for industrial training a few of the more important deserve special mention. The Kandy Industrial School in a quiet way attempts to rescue poor boys from the degrading influences of their surroundings and turn them into self-respecting citizens. It takes in boys irrespective of class, colour, or creed, and its service is not confined to the town boys of Kandy alone. It has on the roll about fifty-seven boys who are given, in addition to religious instruction and industrial training, a general education in English or in the vernacular languages. The industries taught are boot and shoe-making, carpentry, printing, and bookbinding. This institution has undoubtedly saved many a lad from the gutter and the gaol and made him a good and useful citizen. What it has achieved in the past can be gauged by the fact that it counts amongst its alumni a B.A. and LL.B., now a pleader in the Calcutta Courts, as well as an M.A., who is a Professor of Economics and History in an Indian university. There are many others holding responsible and lucrative appointments.
The Colombo Industrial School is very nobly prosecuting the work of child rescue in the metropolis by trying to uplift its children to lead noble lives. There is hardly any inducement for a child living in a slum in the congested parts of the city where “filth and vice reign supreme" to improve his condition. This institution by taking children under its loving care has wrought such changes in them that it is hard to believe that these same children a few years ago were roaming aimlessly in the streets ignorant of all the higher interests of life. The school gives practically a free education in English and Sinhalese to 159 children, and provides free breakfasts to about thirty children daily. The industries taught are, for boys, carpentry, iron work, and tailoring; and for girls crochet and Ceylon lace-making, dressmaking, and plain needlework.
Maggona Industrial School affords shelter to about 100 boys, who are given an education in the vernaculars, in addition to the training
in industrial subjects similar to those given to the lads of the Maggona Reformatory.
Mention must also be made of the Industrial School for girls at Borella, run by the Franciscan nuns, where needlework is taught. This institution, which is doing a great deal of good in an unostentatious way, provides free of charge breakfast and midday meal and tea, besides paying the learners for the work they do. It must be said to the credit of the institution that those who have been through a course of training here experince no difficulty in securing work.
Weaving is taught to a few children and youths at the Salvation Army's Home for Vagrants, Mutwal, where silk and cotton goods are made.
The Management of School Gardens. School gardens provide attempts to give the rural population, especially those of the younger generation, a taste for agriculture, a knowledge of scientific-methods and facilities for obtaining seeds, &c., and are very laudably encouraged by the Government, the Agricultural Society, and some local associations.
The idea is a capital one, but is imperfectly and unfairly carried out, in that the Government schools, which are less numerous than the grant-in-aid schools, receive preferential treatment financially, SO much so that to 3 per cent. of school gardens of the grant-inaid schools there are 35 per cent. of Government school gardens. These school gardens, in addition to stimulating the desire for and increasing the knowledge of scientific agriculture, afford recreation and provide healthy physical exercise which would otherwise be neglected in villages where the need and value of exercise is not appreciated at all.
The Boy Scout Movement. The Boy Scout movement occupies a place of honour in Ceylon. As it does not differ from the movement in England a detailed description of it is unnecessary. At the end of 1916 there were twenty-eight troops with a total of 983 Scouts. The figures for 1917 are not available, but it is believed that the numbers have gone up to about 1,200 or
It is pleasing to record that one troop in Kandy has been recruited from among the street arabs and children of the working classes. Expenses in connection with this troop are met by the other troops in that district.
The Buddhist Theosophical Society has introduced this system of training to the vernacular schools of certain districts. These troops,
though not affiliated to the B.S. Association, may be considered a part of the Scout movement, in that they follow the same course of training with minor adaptations to suit the local conditions.
It should be mentioned here that the King's flag for the Colonies was awarded in 1917 to Ceylon (1.k., Dharmaraja College Troop).
Welfare of Orphan Children. Orphanages and homes for children are principally in the hands of the Catholic Church of Rome, and are invariably managed by the various orders of nuns. Under their charge there are about ten institutions with about 800 girl orphans, and four with 250 boy orphans, a large percentage of these being unwanted children who have been born out of wedlock. The good these institutions are doing is incalculable, more especially when we realize that three times as many illegitimate children born die before they are three months old as those born in wedlock. The ranks of the illiterate, prostitutes, criminals, &c., are thus starved and mortality greatly reduced. The children of these homes are given secular and spiritual education and an industrial training, and the girls when of suitable age are given in marriage; the convent authorities bear all the expenses, including the provision of the dowry when such is necessary.
The Salvation Army conducts two homes, one for boys and the other for girls, under proper discipline and good influence. The National Orphanage and Free School, Colombo, is a striking example of individual effort-an example worthy of imitation. Mr. Gunesekera, the founder and manager, has with much public spirit and real philanthropic outlook carried out this noble work for four years. The conversion of the street arab, invariably a potential criminal, to a decent, useful, and law-abiding citizen is no light task; but Mr. Gunesekera is slowly but surely grappling with the problem. This institution is supported by voluntary contributions, and is carried on under difficulties which ought not to be allowed to exist in the midst of plenty. The number of children that receive an education is about 250, of which forty are orphans. These are sheltered, fed, and clothed free, and provided with books and all necessities. Absence of a permanent building of a suitable size is preventing this institution from doing the good it could.
The Care of Detective Children.
The school for the deaf and blind children is an institution unique in the annals of Ceylon. It was brought into being in 1912 through the exertions of Miss Mary F. Chapman, who is now in England. The initial expenses were borne partly by friends in England and partly by Sinhalese. It is under the direction of the Church of England Zenana Missionary Society, and its maintenance depends on local help and that from England, in addition to a Government grant. At present there are seventy children in training, and scores have had to be refused admission for want of accommodation. It is a noble work,
a wisely planned and ably carried on by a band of zealous workers under the leadership of Miss Gladys Bergg. It behoves all our rich people not to let so excellent an institution limit its scope of usefulness for lack of accommodation. As the institution has been in existence for only about five years, and as it does not admit children over 12 years, it is yet too soon to expect much practical results in respect to the turning out of boys and girls who are able to make their own living. If it has done nothing else, it certainly has rescued from the gutter many a life that would otherwise have drifted into beggary with all its sinister sequelæ. Children here are taught according to the lipreading and Braille systems. They get a general education as well as an industrial one. Weaving, tailoring, chair-caning for the boys, drawn-thread work, lace-making, plain and fancy needlework and housewifery for the girls, and gardening and agricultural pursuits for both comprise the curriculum. The moral and spiritual welfare of the children are amply provided for, and Sundays are devoted for that purpose. This is an institution worthy of great support, and it is a shame to us to let it be financed even partly by England, considering that it is run for the sole benefit of our children.
Charity begins at home, and if our rich will but bear in mind that they owe a duty to their unfortunate and unfavoured brethren and sisters, it will then not be difficult to have the necessary additions made to this institution to carry on with greater vigour its useful and noble work. The difference that a school of this sort makes in the lives of these unfortunate and handicapped children is obvious to anyone, and surely our rich cannot remain deaf to the appeal that is to be shortly made for funds and blind to the good this institution is doing. Sans Souci, Barber Street,
HOLIDAY CAMPS FOR CITY BOYS.
By THOMAS R. ACKROYD. Hon. Secretary of the Manchester and Salford Boys' and Girls' Refuges and
Homes and Children's Aid Society.
It was a happy inspiration which came to certain young men connected with the Manchester and Salford Boys' and Girls' Refuges and Homes, when, thirty-five years ago, they conceived the idea of taking twenty poor boys with them for a fortnight's holiday away from the slums of Cottonopolis to the sea-swept sands at Morecambe.
When the suggested experiment was first mentioned to a few friends they thought the idea a foolish one. All sorts of difficulties were suggested, and nothing but trouble, and possibly disaster, was prophesied. It was said that these rough, uncared-for lads, accustomed to a Bohemian type of life, with happy-go-lucky habits which street trading had given them, would never submit to the discipline demanded by the holiday regulations. It was held that to take such boys from the noise and crowds and excitement of a great city to the quietness and peaceful surroundings of a secluded seashore was courting failure and would be a waste of money. But these early lovers of the children had made their plans and were prepared to take all the consequences. And the enterprise was carried through. Two second-hand Army tents were bought at a cost of ti each. The lads were carefully chosen, and they with their two officers started the first summer camp ever established for
in England. This was in 1883. The venture proved to be a great
A new world was opened to the city youngsters by their holiday. The bathing in the sea, the tramps into the surrounding country, the plain, wholesome meals at regular intervals, the orderly duties in each day's work, the simple devotions morning and evening, and the constant fresh open-air life, all these were forces working wonders. The whole physical, mental, and spiritual life of every boy became transformed, and at the close of the holiday they were in truth new creatures. So happy and enjoyable had the holiday been that it was repeated the following year, but on a somewhat larger scale and for a longer period. Additional tents were purchased, a cooking stove was procured, and a rough lavatory was fixed, and though the arrangements were very primitive, improvement was made on the previous year's equipment. The camp became very popular amongst the street lads, and a very large number applied for the week's holiday, far more than could be taken in the limited period available.