The full programme for the 2012 Galle Children’s Festival can be viewed at the two box offices in Galle and Colombo from Saturday 22nd September 2012!

The 2012 Galle Children’s Festival is offering a huge range of exciting workshops for children aged 6-16 years! A huge thank you to all our presenters and workshop facilitators who have generously donated their valuable time


Ameena Hussein
Ameena Hussein believes that being a writer is a joy. She has published one novel, two collections of short stories, and edited a collection for children. She is the co-founder of the Perera Hussein Publishing House which publishes cutting edge Sri Lankan fiction. The children’s imprint of the publishing house: Popsicle has consistently produced culturally relevant stories and novels that have gone on to be taught in schools and won prizes. She has recently conducted writing workshops for younger and older children that helps them discover themselves and teaches them how to be original and creative.

Beyond Borders
Forum Theatre is an audience interactive form of theatre done to promote clear thinking awareness and to change the perceptions of Sri Lankan youth and anyone else’s regarding a myriad of relevant, specific social issues and themes. Beyond Borders is a voluntary non-profit organization engaged in social activism and development projects focused on youth and on actions and solutions aimed at bringing about long-term and sustainable change.

Brandix is Sri Lanka’s largest end-to-end apparel solution provider. At Brandix, we believe not only in innovating new ideas but inspiring a sense of corporate social responsibility. Our main projects have focused on water- one of nature’s most important gifts to mankind. Yet only 32% of Sri Lanka’s population is served by pipe-bourne water. Thus, Brandix CSR implemented Care for Water to address the dire lack of clean water, which has completed 1600 micro water supply projects across the country. One of it’s largest investment was the construction of the Brandix Water Resources Board Centre for Water Conservation and Management in Anuradhapura. Brandix CSR also established Jalavahini to educate women in community-based organizations on water management as they control a sixth of Sri Lanka’s water supply. British Council The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. They are a registered charity; 209131 (England and Wales) SC037733 (Scotland). They create international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and build trust between them worldwide.

Nilu Jeevaratnam
Nilu Jeevaratnam has been working in the field of special needs education for over a decade. Many completely satisfied parents will tell you that her strengths lie in her remedial tutoring skills which allow special needs children to experience an everyday class room, a privilege to them that many take for granted. It is Nilu’s belief that this experience gives them the confidence to get involved with the rest of the class both socially and academically. Nilu also manages the Educations Resource Unit at Alethea International School in Colombo and in her spare time, runs her own center, “I Do At My Pace”. An advocate of integrating music and art to reach a variety of therapeutic goals, Nilu conducts creative workshops (which involve art and crafts, performing art, cookery and various other adventures and activities) for 'Busy hands' during school holidays.

Children’s Hope
Children’s Hope believes in children regardless of their circumstances, gender, race, disability or behaviour. Every Children’s Hope project is different but each believes in the potential in every child and young person, no matter who they are, what they have done or what they have been through. Children’s Hope works in both urban and rural communities with local people, groups and organisations to support families in temporary accommodation, assist families faced with disasters and provide vocational training and skill development for young people.

Dominic Sansoni
Dominic Sansoni is a photographer based in Sri Lanka with extensive portfolios on Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, Yemen, Maldives & Mauritius. Please visit for stock photography and galleries.

Emerge Lanka
Emerge Lanka Foundation supports Sri Lankan girls, ages 10-18, who have been removed from their homes due to past abuse or threat of abuse and are courageously testifying in court. These girls are placed in shelters that typically lack resources and educational opportunities. Emerge partners with these shelters to transform them into entrepreneurship hubs, where girls develop the business and life skills needed to be self-sufficient by following a comprehensive curriculum that emphasizes leadership skills, life skills, and business knowledge. Participants are also taught to create unique jewelry, which is sold through avenues that raise awareness about the cause. Profits from these sales go directly to the designer’s, providing them with a solid financial foundation for their adult lives. Girls have used these savings to launch businesses, finance education, build homes and support their children.

ECSAT (Equality-based Community Support And Training) is a Sri Lankan non-profit, Non-Government Organisation (NGO). Imagine being pushed to the margins of society because of difference - a child or an adult unable to achieve their potential because of their disability. ECSAT changes lives by working for the inclusion of everyone in Sri Lanka’s schools, services, communities and workplaces. They challenge inequalities and we empower people experiencing exclusion.

Fazna Farook & Najla Yehiya
Fueled by a passion to nurture creativity in children through fun art activities, both Fazna and Najla have spent years teaching art. By providing children with inspiration, materials, guidance and the tools for creativity, this dynamic duo push their students to develop their own original ideas. By involving children in what is known as Process Art, they hope to encourage and inspire each child to create original art work which is a reflection of his or her own personal interpretation and ideas.

Foam Crafts (Pvt) Ltd
Foam Crafts (Pvt) Ltd is a company that markets foam stickers, sheets and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) kits to the local market at an economical price. Started in September 2011 their products are primarily geared to cater to those interested in crafting and targets not only children but adults as well. Foam Crafts believes that children should be trained from a young age to be involved in craft making as many benefits (such as better hand eye coordination, etc) can be achieved. Foam Crafts continuously strives to enhance its uniqueness by producing products that are child friendly, safe and educational. Given its commitment to promoting its products to children, Foam Crafts regularly hosts workshops that are theme based and help children develop their talents and creativity whilst learning more about themselves and the world they live in. Foam Crafts’ is committed to developing its product range to ensure that its customer base is never out of craft options.

Jan Latta
Jan Latta is the author, wildlife photographer, designer and publisher of books on endangered animals. With 12 books to her name, she has a wealth of knowledge to share with students. Jan’s photographs and stories are genuine because she follows wild animals in their natural habits – in Africa, India, Borneo and China. She waits patiently for weeks, sometimes years to capture the magic photograph that tells the animal’s story. She is “the voice” of the animal through her photographs and stories.

Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is the executing agency of Japan’s Bilateral Official Development Assistance (ODA). JICA, the world’s biggest bilateral aid agency, works in over 150 countries and regions. In accordance with its vision of “Inclusive and Dynamic Development,” JICA supports the resolution of development issues in developing countries. In Sri Lanka, Japan has been providing financial and technical assistance since 1954, and is one of the largest donors to the country. On behalf of the people and the Government of Japan, JICA contributes towards the improvement of the lives of people in Sri Lanka.

Joan Hare
Joan Hare is a drama instructor who, before coming to Sri Lanka, ran workshops for children through the Royal Shakespeare Company in the UK.

Laymen’s Den
Laymen's Den are unique, smart and practical in their way of working. They respect community values and their culture in their work. Being a learning organization, they sit with the communities whom they are assigned to work with, and easily adapt to their culture and environment. Through international clients they work with communities in India, Indonesia, Kenya, Lao PDR, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Uganda.

Mary Yuille
Mary Yuille is a retired Head Teacher from the UK and experienced teacher trainer and consultant. She is passionate about skill sharing with teachers in Sri Lanka to ensure children grow up in an environment where they have fun learning and speaking English.

Mika Tennekoon
Starting out as a design student and consequently spending 6 years in advertising and graphic design, in both London and Colombo, Mika Tennekoon has now found her niche as an illustrator and graphic designer – with some photography thrown in for good measure. She has an eclectic portfolio ranging from illustration for London-based entertainment and culture magazine ‘The Other Side’,to the Paper Canvas exhibit at the Saskia Fernando Gallery and The London Arts Council. An insatiable consumer of the arts, she is also a member of the newly established Collective of Contemporary Artists in Sri Lanka.

Mind Adventures
The Mind Adventures Theatre Company (founded in 1999) is an experimental English theatre company based in Colombo, Sri Lanka. They strive to make theatrically inventive, politically conscious theatre in the tropical heat of Sri Lanka. Additionally, they also run theatre workshops for kids from low-income households.

Musicmatters is an institute dedicated to music education of exceptional quality. Established in 2010 with a vision of increasing music appreciation in Sri Lanka over the next generation, Musicmatters offers training in a broad range of genres including Western classical, jazz, rock, pop, Indian classical and Sri Lankan traditional music. Musicmatters believes that learning music is beneficial to people of all ages, especially children, regardless of professional aspirations. The courses offered at Musicmatters are aimed at developing students’ musical potential along with creativity, imagination, personal development, social skills and lateral thinking. Their unique combination of instrument tuition, instruction in music theory and group performance opportunities, is used as a principle means of accomplishing this objective. Musicmatters is also a melting pot for professional musicians – promoting improvisation, experimentation and innovation – and hopes to serve as a platform for musicians to rise up to international standards.

Nirosha Ambagahawatte
Passionate about art and creativity, Nirosha Ambagahawatte is a Junior architect who studied at the City School of Architecture. Her interest for fine arts and thematic line drawings was piqued when training under Architect Anura Rathnavibhushana. This in turn inspired her to seek further avenues to assist in her artistic growth. Currently experimenting with varied mediums of art, she is still to decide what her speciality is! Nirosha is also a trained Art Teacher who works at the Cora Abraham Art School as a relief teacher whilst conducting her own colourful classes for children at MILK, Barnes Place. Nirosha feels that the joy she experiences in sharing her knowledge with and inspiring children creatively cannot be put down in words.

Raffles Higher Institute of Education
Raffles Higher Institute of Education is a unique education provider in Sri Lanka specializing in Art & Design. The school is a part of Raffles Education Corporation Limited which is the largest private education group in Asia-Pacific. The Group operates 33 colleges of higher education in 30 cities across 13 countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

Ramla Wahab
Ramla Wahab graduated from university in India in the field of history. She is passionate about sharing her love of history with children. She believes the further backward you can look, the farther you can see. History ought to be a source of pleasure. It makes the experience of living richer, just the way literature, art or music does. Galle is Ramla’s home town, and the fort captured her imagination as a child. She is therefore thrilled to share that excitement and knowledge with so many young minds.

Ramya Chamalie Jirasinghe
Ramya Chamalie Jirasinghe is the author of ‘There’s an Island in the Bone’ and ‘Rhythm of the Sea and Trinity’. She won the Sri Lanka State Literary Joint-Award for her poetry in 2011 and was a runner-up to the UK Guardian Orange First Words Prize of 2009 and was shortlisted for the Gratiaen Prize for her manuscripts of Poetry in 1998 and 2007. She won the joint prize of the English Writer’s Cooperative’s Short Story and Poetry Competition in 1997. Her work has been featured in the TimesOnline UK 2009 selection of contemporary war poetry, the Tipton Poetry Journal, The Poetry Journal, Osprey and Channels. She holds a MA in Comparative Literature from SOAS, University of London

Sonali Dharmwardena
Although Sonali has a diploma in Diplomacy/ Diplomatic Procedure & Institution, is a licensed Speech and Drama teacher and has extensive advertising experience, her true passion lies in the arts. She is currently the head of design at Hands Intimates/ Global Intimates (Pvt) ltd and is the Director of Creative & Marketing Communication at Impact Solutions. She also owns her own store which specializes in batik ‘Acushala’ and owns her own line of jewellery ‘Yehali jewellery’. Sonali draws inspiration for her designs (which she has showcased in many countries) from her daughter and her motherland and country of residence, Sri Lanka

Stephen Jones
“Stephen Jones is the maker of the most beautiful hats in the world.” Anna Piaggi, Italian Vogue Since their launch in the early eighties, Stephen Jones’ hats have been worn by popstars and princesses around the globe. The hats are unique in their sense of drama balanced with wit and a lightness of touch. They often tell a story through shape, texture and decoration, enabling the wearer to be transported to the place, time and mood that they want to be.

Power of Play (Pvt) Ltd
Power of Play (Pvt) Ltd is a vibrant company that utilises the performing arts for the purpose of promoting communication and development. Although established in November 2011, work for this company arguably began one year earlier with the exploration of using theatre, puppets and performance to educate and to increase communication and development in Sri Lanka. Drawing inspiration from developed and developing countries who utilize art as a medium of connecting people, Power of Play promotes the idea of ‘playing’ as the key mode of reaching an audience where the term ‘play’ is used in its broadest context- capturing anything and everything that fascinates audiences and capitalizes on the happiness that is created through that fascination to instill the desired messages.

Sulochana Dissanayake
Sulochana is a freelance artist engaged in theater-creation, HR training and education in Sri Lanka. She is a graduate of Bates College, USA with Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Theater. Her formal training in acting, directing and play writing led to internships in leading American theaters/programmes. In 2007, while travelling Eastern Europe she was selected as an Apprentice for the Williamstown Theater Festival 2007, one of the leading American summer stock theaters. In summer 2008, she was awarded a Directing Internship at The Guthrie Theater – one of the top ten regional theaters of USA. In fall 2008, she directed one of two mainstage productions of Bates College (a position usually held by a faculty member). Keen on discovering the uses of performing arts in addressing socially and economically relevant issues she traveled to South Africa and Indonesia on a Watson Fellowship. Back in Sri Lanka for the foreseeable future, her goal is to advance performing arts (theater and puppetry) as a dynamic mode of communication, training and development.

Thaabit Ahmed Football Academy
In addition to providing a range of affordable professionally- run football programmes, TAFA has a number of national and international links and regularly organises visiting tours with schools and clubs abroad that provide exciting football and social opportunities for young footballers in the Colombo area. The brainchild of Thaabit Ahmed, TAFA aims to use football as a tool to promote physical fitness and education. Previous campaigns include the inception of a football program at the Shatila refugee camp in Lebanon with the aim of promoting 'football for friendship' which was partnered by the Unite Lebanon Youth Project (ULYP).

The Ballet School
The Ballet School, Notting Hill, UK started life in 2002 with just four pupils in the playroom of a house on Westbourne Park Road. Eight years and six hundred pupils later it is now a thriving centre for all budding ballerinas in the Notting Hill area and beyond! The school offers tuition in classical ballet for children aged two and half and up. Their aim is to give each child the opportunity to develop self-confidence, poise, co-ordination and musicality in a fun, creative yet highly professional environment. All their teachers are qualified professionals and a pianist accompanies each class.

The Martin Wickramasinghe Museum of Folk Culture
The Martin Wickramasinghe Trust is a non-profit organization established in 1976 with the objective of educating and promoting cultural awareness among the public of the folk traditions, arts and crafts, and folk technology of Sri Lanka. It is recognized by the government of Sri Lanka as a charitable non governmental organization by gazette notification no. 226 of 13th August 1976. The Martin Wickramasinghe Museum of Folk Culture in Koggala was established in 1981 by the Trust. It houses over one thousand artifacts in five exhibition halls, depicting the folk culture of this country. The museum and the house where the acclaimed author was born are surrounded by eight acres of parkland. The museum organizes several events every year in pursuance of its objectives. The Trust regularly conducts educational workshops and seminars in schools and other institutions throughout the country. It also sponsors the award of scholarships and fellowships in schools and universities. It is responsible for the publication of the over ninety books written by Martin Wickramasinghe covering a diverse range of subjects that include Fiction, Buddhism, Philosophy, Cultural Anthropology, Science, Evolution, Biography, Autobiography, and Travel.

The Music Project
The Music project uses classical music as a tool for reconciliation and reconstruction. After extensive research, the project has concluded that limited resources has lead to a flawed education infrastructure resulting in high levels of school drop out rates, shortage of qualified teachers, large classes and high illiteracy rates. To rectify this shortcoming, the music project delivers after school music lessons in the form of clubs. Taught in Sinhalese, English and Tamil, the lessons aim to teach English, promote cultural unity and increase the confidence and self-motivation of its students. In addition to this, the project aims to create networks and links between two divided communities, Thunukkai and Kurunegala through joint concerts, etc. Due to its immense recorded success and admirable cause the Music Project has been featured on the BBC. ThIDORA The Theatre Institute for Disability Oriented Research and Advocacy conducts its activities based on the slogan “Through the Arts, sharing and celebrating diversity”. With the purpose of integrating the disabled into normal society, this non-profit, service oriented, government approved private institution strives to be the number one theatre association for the disabled in Sri Lanka. Under the guidance of Kala Suri Rohana Deva, Prof. Sunanda Mahendra, Vasana Wickremasena, R. A Jayaweera, retired actress Maheshvari Rathnam, Rajendra Bandara (and lyricist Jayampathi Algama this 22 year old organisation conducts drama, dance, art and movement therapy workshops for the multi-ethinic disabled to help them learn and understand their bodies and pave the way for them to fully enter society.

W.T.D. Silva
Mr. De Silva runs interschool Scrabble tournaments for schools from the Galle Education Zone. He has represented Sri Lanka in Australia at the Scrabble World Championships.

Pedal Pushers Cycle Group
The Pedal Pushers Cycle Group focuses on cycling for fun and fitness. Anyone who is keen to cycle and take up the challenge of cycling off the beaten track, are most welcome to join.

Set in sixty acres of tea estate and pristine rainforest, a short drive from the Galle coast, Samakanda is an ecological sanctuary and tropical forest garden bursting with fresh, organic produce. The basic principles of Analog Forestry echo the ethos of the Samakanda Bio-versity concept, a ‘biological university’ where Nature is the primary teacher and we are all the students, seeking to emulate the efficiency of natural systems rather than working against them.

Lighthouse Community Pool
Designed by renowned Sri Lankan architect Channa Daswatte, the Lighthouse Community Pool provides daily swimming lessons for local school students. A project of AdoptSriLanka, SOS Velsen and Jetwing, the pool was built as a longlasting dedication to those who lost their lives in the Asian Tsunami of 2004.

Sri Lanka Navy

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