Monday, October 27, 2008

Dr. Rudy Rudran was back in Sri Lanka

October was a busy month for both of us and we moved in to our new home. We located ECO-V office also in the new premises and its more spacious and there is enough space for our volunteers. Still we are unpacking and getting the things in place.

However Dr. Rudy was in Sri Lanka at the same time and he wanted to start the training for Western Purple-faced Langur project volunteers. Therefore we organized trainers of training (TOT) programme at Polonnaruwa at the very famous Primate Study Centre run by Dr. Wolf Dittus. This was mainly on identification of primates in Sri Lanka. At the same time we gave the initial training of bird watching, butterfly identification and field techniques. There were 10 participants at the training and we ran it for three days. We have already planned 4 more training programmes in future for the same batch.We will be starting more formal training with more new participants as we launched the Kate Stoke Memorial training course for our volunteers at Polonnaruwa with this TOT. There were 5 participants from the “Friends of Pelicans” team and they will act as trainers for the future trainees. Dr. Rudy is very much keen on training and has agreed to be the advisor for future ECO-V conservation training programmes. He had also given us more instructions and advices on establishing the proposed training centre and developing courses as he is having experience in similar projects during his career at Smithsonian Institute USA.

I traveled to Udawalawa again this month and formed the second group of “Friends of Pelicans” youth group as A/L exams are over and there are youth who are interested in joining us. Harsha is fully involved with the project and conducts weekly lessons on environmental conservation. He is using all his skills he acquired at CLP training and at Durrell where he was trained earlier. “Friends of Pelicans” group is now very popular at Udawalwa area and we are getting more volunteer feedback.

Meantime Kanchana continued to address the youth groups of National youth services council programme and busy with preparing the course module for their environmental conservation programme. She addressed the 3rd batch of youth (1500 youth) and two more batches to go.

As usual we are busy with the ECO-V as well as other work and we will update all of you on the progress of our projects.