Roshan Sampath Marasinghe lives in a forest-like area with very limited access to basic amenities. He is a very smart boy and is doing really well at school. He tells us that his dream is to become a lawyer, his favourite food is rice and curry and his favourite subject is music. Roshan used to walk a total of 34km a day to go to school. His house is situated amidst a jungle in which wild elephants roam free. The PEF invested just US$30 to buy a bicycle for Roshan, enabling him to get to and from school in a fraction of the time. Roshan has told us that sometimes the wild elephants still mean he can’t make it into class on time. This is one problem the PEF couldn’t solve – and also an excuse which would be unlikely to work on most headmasters in England.
Roshan’s father, the sole bread-winner, supports a family of four children with an income of Rs.750 per month (about £4.50) from the cultivation of crops in the area. Basic facilities such as electricity are not available in the region. Roshan obtained forth position out of all the children who sat for the Grade 5 scholarship examination from his school.