Authenticities – Connecting hearts and lives

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One way to meet Sri Lanka for the first time and to see it the way locals do is to experience it with them. Sip a warm cuppa, indulge in spice-infused local delicacies, brave the heat with some coconut water. There’s no shortage of experiences that’ll take your breath away on this tropical island.

At Authenticities, crafting human-centric experiences that inspire travellers to live boldly and in the moment is very much a part of its core values. It’s Authenticities way of connecting with the world, giving life meaning and sharing memorable experiences. Because the best stories and experiences are those that arouse emotion.

For this destination management company (DMC), every moment of travel holds the potential for profound transformation – especially when experienced with locals, through interaction and exchange of ideas. From the inception, the Authenticities team began mapping a way forward with the community. And so, rural communities are more than a part of our unique experiences. Despite education being free, the infrastructure does not allow these communities to make the best use of the opportunity. The reality of these communities is crippling, with poor facilities and scarcity of teachers.  The problems families face in rural Sri Lanka are hidden behind gorgeous landscapes and the stunning Indian Ocean.

More often than not, many homes remain isolated by long stretches of pockmarked dirt paths. The schools overcrowded, buildings run down, sanitation facilities are questionable and teachers scarce. Older students are forced to go into the closest city for higher education, at a price that forces many to drop out.

‘Connect’ is a philanthropic initiative by Authenticities devoted to touching the hearts and lives of the rural community. It is a chance to break the chain of misery with education and has become ‘a mission of the heart.’ Founded on the basis that education is a fundamental right for everyone, the DMC seeks to help transform students into leaders and advocates. Which in turn enriches the communities and enables visitors to experience and value deep cultural interfaces rather than being a purely commercial tourism showcase. The enthusiasm and excitement Authenticities’ team and its guests see in young people taking care of their environments, preserving cultural values and mutual respect among communities impacted by ‘Connect’, is a testament to their authentic spirit: enrich lives and be true in everything you do.

One of Authenticities most recent Connect projects includes the addition of a classroom in a rural village school in Arugampuleliya, Vavuniya. The new classroom offers more space, a solid roof and proper ventilation so students can learn in heavy rains or blistering heat. Another effort was the construction of toilets at Puwakpitiya Primary School in Habarana.

Authenticities remains committed to changing the lives of rural communities in small impactful ways. It is an integral part of our ethos and DNA. Every year, Authenticities complete five projects in rural schools. These include the addition of classrooms, repairing leaking roofs, providing sports equipment or classical musical instruments, etc, whatever the need of the school maybe. The team also focuses especially on the construction of toilets with proper water and sanitation facilities. Many girls in the area often drop out of school due to the lack of toilets and the construction of toilets, therefore, becomes even more important to ensure the continuation and equal access to education of young girls.

‘Connect’ is championed by Authenticities’ team members, partners and clients. It extends the opportunity to either donate to a fund that’ll be used to support projects or to get involved in a more ‘hands-on’ way during visits to Sri Lanka. Authenticities believe in the power of people, and understand that it is the actions of individuals that have the power to change the world.

Authenticities Sri Lanka is represented in Australia with Melbourne-based Sales and Business Development Manager, Kirsty Thomas-Thoeun

Authenticities are available to tailor your clients trips to Sri Lanka. For more information on Connect initiative, Authenticities or Sri Lanka in general, contact Kirsty at kirsty@authenticitiessrilanka.com or +61 439 194 249, or see authenticitiessrilanka.com

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