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Building Back Better: New Schools for Sri Lanka’s tsunami-affected areas

The new Zahira Primary School, Hambantota

After a major disaster like the tsunami, one of the most important things for children is to be able to go back to school. Beyond the direct benefit of the education they receive, a school provides a chance for children to find stability and security. A school is often an anchor for a whole community, and a symbol of its revival.

Under the three-year Rebuilding with Children recovery plan, UNICEF has committed to constructing 28 schools to replace buildings that were damaged or destroyed by the tsunami. 

The United Nations Office for Project Services signed an agreement with UNICEF to manage these construction projects. All the new buildings are designed to under the “Child Friendly School” guidelines developed by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with UNICEF. The new schools aim to create the best possible learning environment for children.

Below you can find information on the first group of 19 schools, including progress reports, size of school and the number of children attending.

The donor responsible for funding the school is noted in parentheses.


Al-Badhur V (French National Committee)

Al-Hidaya V (Government of the Netherlands)

Palakuda Palavinayagar V (Belgian National Committee)

Thiruppathy GTMS


Navalady Namahal V (French National Committee)

Nasivantheevu GTMS

Palchchenai GTMS (German National Committee)

Periyathambipillai (Swiss National Committee)

Siddhartha Primary School in Balapitiya


Ratgama Sri Sumana P.V. (German National Committee)

Siddhartha Primary (German National Committee)

Siddhartha Secondary (German National Committee)


Zahira Primary MV (UK National Committee / Hunter Foundation / Beckham)

Zahira Secondary MV (UK National Committee)


Valvai R.C.T.M.S. (German National Committee)

Valvai Sivaguru (German National Committee)


Kalappadu GTMS (French National Committee)

Mullaitivu RCTMS (French National Committee)

Sillawathai HBTMS (French National Committee)

Valayanmadam GTMS (Dutch National Committee)



For every child
Health, Education, Equality, Protection