We dropped by the charmingly monikered Serendip Strings whilst in Galle a couple of weeks ago, after hearing quite a bit of it online. It's an Austalian-run not-for-profit organization based in Galle, which aims to provide musical education and stringed instrument tuition to children from all communities in Galle.
Headed by the renowned Australian violinist, Ursula Nelius (we've actually featured a few of her local Chamber Orchestra concerts on KARAMU), the charitable organization aims to "create personal and cultural bonds through music".
Lessons run throughout the week, with both private and ensemble classes. Tuition and instruments are free, and paid for by the organization's benefactors. The aim is to open up more career options and opportunities via music, as these children would most likely be unable to access such education otherwise. There's also heaps of other activities under the umbrella of the Serendip Trust, such as a twice-weekly playgroup for kids ages 1-5, and ongoing events. Check out their Facebook page for updates.
For now, the organization's expenses are covered by existing donors, proceeds from concerts, and the sale of the produce from their vegetable garden. Obviously, to increase their reach, more is required. Their premises are a little converted home in suburban Galle, currently refurbished with kids' books, games and educational toys.
There are a few ways you can help, all listed on their donate page here. There are set financial donations mentioned, which includes everything from teachers' salaries, to musical instruments, to books. Donations range from Rs 3,000 to Rs. 80,000. Alternatively, you are also free to donate musical instruments and accessories not in use.