Sri Lankan homes in small villages typically
have separate kitchens and restrooms from the
main living quarters, Mr. Benjamin says.
Without compromising the traditional layout,
project leaders improved upon the design by
continuing the roofline between the different
areas of the home, he says. The open courtyard area is now an ideal place for fishermen
to mend their nets, he explains.
Earthen blocks of compressed soil were used instead of cement or kiln-fired
blocks to keep the homes cool during Kirinda’s long dry season, Mr. Bay says.
“Fishermen and farmers cannot afford air conditioners,” he says. “We designed a
home that takes advantage of natural airflows through the home.”
Mr. Benjamin, a
Christian, often met
with a local Buddhist
monk from the Kirinda
Temple to share con-
versation over tea and
cake. “He accepted me.
He believed me. He
knew I was a neutral
person.” It was one-
on-one interactions of
that kind that helped
build relationships with
the community. And as a
testament to the spirit of the
project, a Buddhist leader and
an Islamic leader shared the
stage at the handover ceremony.
Amount of money
raised for the project
8 June 2005
Walls rise on
drains on the
main road and