From Tea Estate to University

Thilaga and Shandhiya are two amazing young women from the Luccombe tea estate in Maskeliya, Sri Lanka. They have persisted in continuing their studies, despite numerous family tragedies and financial troubles making this extremely difficult. This year, both Thilaga and Shandhiya were selected as 2 of only 5 women chosen from Sri Lanka to attend Asian University for Women on a full scholarship! This will make them each the first members of their families to attend university and to earn bachelor's degrees. 

Thilaga and Shandhiya have already done a great deal to ensure their education, including winning full tuition scholarships for $16,000US per year, and one round-trip ticket from Colombo to Bangladesh. Additionally, because she has worked so hard on developing her English while living in a tea estate in Sri Lanka, Shandhiya has been allowed to skip the first year of the program, which is focused on English knowledge, thus lowering her tuition cost by one year. 

Despite their great efforts, there are still some additional expenses that they are not able to cover with their current income. Both of them have ill parents who cannot work, and they use their own incomes from teaching English in the community to support their families. The costs are listed below - please consider pitching in what you are able so that these two young women can follow their dreams and help uplift their communities. The most pressing need is the acceptance fees totaling $1200US, which must be wired to Bangladesh by June 21st.


Admission acceptance fees: $600 US x2: $1200US
Laptop computers: $500 US x 2: $1000US
1 round-trip flight to Colombo, Sri Lanka from Chittagong, Bangladesh (to visit home after two years of studying): $600 US x2 = $1200US
Books, clothing, and other incidentals: $250US x2 = $500US
Emergency money: $50 US x 2: $100US

Total: $4,000US

Thank you so much for your support of these two amazing women, as they work to change their lives and their community for the better!

Donations (65)

  • Alison Hampton
    • $50 
    • 6 yrs
  • KJ and Ramya Fernando
    • $70 (Offline)
    • 6 yrs


Ruvani Fonseka
Berkeley, CA

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