#6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate

What a great day it was June 19, 2018 at the Abbotsleigh Tea Estate in Sri Lanka. That day Myriam Lufting, commercial director Peeze Koffie and chairman of the Peeze Foundation, and Marcel Vogel, director-owner of Axxent Masters in Tea and president of the Fair-grounds Foundation, officially opened the Community Center on the estate.

With loud cheers, fireworks and enthusiastic musicians with drums and trumpets they were received at the center.  First beautiful flower wreaths were hung around their necks and the famous red dot (bindi) was put on the forehead by  the children . This decoration is made because it is believed that it will protect men and women. After the symbolic removal of a cloth hanging in front of  the plaque and the cutting of the red ribbon, the doors opened and the party could begin.

After lighting the candles on the oil lantern, various speeches and performances took place. At the performances the children were dressed in traditional dance clothes. It is a beautiful ceremony that expresses gratitude repeatedly. Myriam and Marcel, too, during their speeches, congratulated the people with the new 'village house' and expressed their gratitude that they were able to realize the construction through their Foundations. 

During a first trip in 2013, the connection with Sri Lanka by Peeze Koffie really came about. Partly because of this trip, they decided to get their own brand of Communitea tea from here. This brand is produced by Axxent Masters in Tea, which has been active in Sri Lanka since 2006 and is the joint connection between both companies and Sri Lanka. 

In addition, an inventory was made of how the Peeze Foundation could further support the tea plantations. When it turned out that there was a need for a Community Center, it was decided to start a project from the Peeze foundation together with the Fair-grounds Foundation and Hatton Plantations, owner of the estate, to further support the Sri Lankan population. The community center, which has been renamed Communitea Center for the occasion, has become a beautiful building. 

The project was realized by local contractors and residents and placed in a central location on the plantation overlooking the tea factory. In the building the local population can come together and undertake various activities. These range from sports, games and learning trajectories to weddings, celebrating national holidays and other diverse gatherings such as honoring jubilees, but also mourning ceremonies. A 'house' that the entire community can use and bring the population closer together. In the meantime, the desire has been expressed to want to add a floor to the building that can be set up as a learning center for young people (such as computer technology). 

On 30 April 2018, a day nursery was opened by the board of the Fair-grounds Foundation, Arnoud Francken and Marcel Vogel, with enormous interest from the local population and popping-up fireworks. The nursery is in the Marske Division of the Abbotsleigh Tea Estate in Sri Lanka. With the investment made by the Fair-grounds Foundation, the entire residence has been 'renovated' on the existing walls. New roof, new plumbing, new space for cots, new kitchen and a new small office for the leader of this stay. Especially for this occasion, the opening was done on behalf of the children of both board members by cutting the ribbon and revealing the 'memorial plaque'. On this gold-colored plate are the names of all children with the appropriate text 'kids for kids'. 

During the ceremony, various children from the Estate performed dances and held various speeches. During their speeches, both board members wish the people good luck with the new stay and expressed their gratitude that they were able to realize the construction through their Foundation. 

Abbotsleigh is located at an altitude of 1,300 meters in the Ambagamuwa division of the Nuwara Eliya district about 125 km from Colombo. The first production of tea on this Estate goes back to 1892. Currently, this Estate is managed by Hatton Plantations PLC. The total size of the Estate is 427.46 hectares and 603 families live there. The total population of the estate is 2759 persons and consists of 849 men, 1145 women and 765 children. Abbotsleigh Estate is a Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance certified Estate.

#6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate : #6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate
#6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate : #6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate
#6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate : #6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate
#6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate : #6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate
#6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate : #6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate
#6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate : #6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate
#6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate : #6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate
#6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate : #6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate
#6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate : #6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate
#6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate : #6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate
#6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate : #6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate
#6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate : #6 New nursery and Community Center on Abbotsleigh Tea Estate