Having noticed the dilapidated state of the community centre in Kammala South, Hotel Dolphin took on the task of renovating it to benefit the children and youth of the area. The Hotel’s substantial investment included facilitating water, electricity and the purchase of books for the library that was revamped by the hotel earlier, and the setting up of a new children’s park and a volleyball court. In addition to the community centre, the Hotel started English classes for the children of the village from September 2010. These classes are being conducted twice a week for children of all ages, with the assistance of professional instructors. The Hotel provides a monthly teaching allowance to these instructors and has also organized an art competition for the children on Tourism Day 2010. The Hotel staff regularly engages in ‘clean up’ campaigns at this centre. This initiative has not only served to further solidify ties between the community and the hotel, but has also fulfilled our responsibility towards the communities in our locality. The project was carried out in collaboration with the Wennappuwa Pradeshiya Sabha.
In our pursuit of working closely with the community surrounding the hotel, we identified the urgent need for a pre-school in the area, to enhance the learning of pre-school children so that they are fruitfully occupied and better prepared for entry into school. Therefore, the hotel took on the responsibility of building a model pre-school, which is purpose-built and contains all the necessary infrastructure and educational aids the children would need. The hotel has further ensured a bright future for these toddlers by paying the teachers’ fees, to ensure that the pre-school education carries on undisturbed. Books were also distributed to all the children enrolled at the pre-school.
The Bentota Railway Station is frequently patronised by both locals and foreigners, including some of the hotel’s clients, therefore we felt a obligation to take on the responsibility of maintaining the railway station. Originally designed by Geoffrey Bawa, the station was badly in need of repair. The task of renovating and refurbishing included plastering and painting of roofs and walls, the repairing of cracks, clocks and fans, the replacing of bulbs, toilet fittings and sign boards, erecting of wire fencing and installing a 15 foot stand, along with a 1000 litre water tank etc. This is a follow-up initiative to the renovation and repair work conducted by us in 2006.