WHO WE ARE

The SVS School for English was set up in 2006 with the aim of enabling Sri Lankans and expatriates living in Sri Lanka to develop vital, empowering English language skills to develop their confidence, to widen access to an international job market, and support them in becoming successful global citizens.

A registered charity, the school was set up and is run by cousins Sebastian Lawrance and Mark Snellgrove, British expatriates who have called Sri Lanka home for over 20 years.

When you’re part of SVS School for English, you’re part of a family. The school is run according to family values, creating a close-knit, homely environment where students feel safe and supported as they build their English language skills. Students and teachers work together towards our vision of giving people across Sri Lanka the chance to develop their knowledge of English, the global link language.

WHAT WE DO

Our mission is to provide the highest quality, affordable English language training for any student who wants to learn and improve their English language skills.

We firmly believe in giving every student equal access to this important global link language, so they can develop their knowledge of English.

The SVS School for English conducts courses from basic English (Elementary) to advanced English classes (Upper Intermediate & Skills courses). All classes, regardless of the level, focus on a balanced combination of written and spoken English, so that students gain a natural fluency in the English language. Small class sizes ensure students receive individual attention to help them achieve their goals.

HOW WE DO IT

We are committed to offering our students the highest quality English classes at the lowest possible cost. In order to do this, we operate on a self-sustaining model, where students are charged a small fee - the most affordable in Colombo – which is used to maintain the operating costs of the school and living costs of our volunteer teachers.

Teachers at SVS School for English are volunteers drawn from across the globe, adding to the multi-cultural nature of the school. Volunteer teachers have university degrees or EFL teaching qualifications, and a passion for inspiring and engaging students to learn.

Our interactive teaching style builds a rapport between teachers and students, creating a fun and friendly classroom atmosphere. This, along with encouraging students to speak only English during school hours means they gain more confidence in conversing and using English on a daily basis.

MEET THE FOUNDERS

The Founders

SEBASTIAN LAWRANCE

After moving to Sri Lanka in 1997, I fell in love with the country and its people. As the time came for me to make my way into the world, I was faced with a choice: Did I want to return to England, and be sucked up into the rat-race or was there a life for me here in Sri Lanka, where I could do something worthwhile and develop myself?

The perfect opportunity presented itself when my uncle approached me with the idea of starting a school in Colombo to empower people living in Sri Lanka to improve their prospects in academic, professional and personal endeavours through high quality, affordable English language education.

MARK SNELLGROVE

I spent a number of years in Sri Lanka before going to university in England. After I graduated, I taught at a primary school in England for a couple of years, before I decided to take a year off to see more of the world and expand my horizons.

I travelled to many Asian countries including India and Cambodia and was profoundly struck by the huge appreciation most Asian people have for education of any kind. They see it as a crucial step to improving their life chances and for me, it was a joy to be given the opportunity to help them increase that scope by joining Sebastian in setting up SVS School for English.

Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation
Samanala Valley Foundation

SAMANALA VALLEY FOUNDATION
www.samanalafoundation.com

A project in the spirit of hands-across-the-sea began in 1995 when an expatriate Sri Lankan and his English wife returned to the island of his birth, after 38 years in the UK. He saw the opportunities for the improvement of health care facilities in the beautiful rural hills of the island and the Samanala Valley Foundation began. The word Samanala means butterfly in the local lingo and the project was named after them when he saw a sea of yellow butterflies fly in a sort of pilgrimage to the stunning holy mountain called ‘Sri Pada’ or ‘Adam’s Peak’, only to end their short lives there.

The mountain marked the central topographical venue of the area and is a symbol of spiritual hope to millions. In this spirit, the project grew to provide an impressively equipped hospital that over the years has welcomed highly distinguished medical practitioners in teams from all over the globe. Different medical disciplines provide medical care for tens of thousands of people, but in recent years has specialized in cataract and ophthalmic surgical and medical relief and is part of the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health Vision 2020 W.H.O. initiative. All the services are provided free of charge.

This highly successful medical project, bringing the finest medical expertise through the zeal and volunteering spirit of sympathetic doctors, nurses and other ancillary medical staff, is situated on a tea estate in stunning scenery. The estate itself forms part of the charitable aegis where the workers benefit from its output in terms of jobs and welfare schemes. The whole project is a donation and all fiscal returns are used in-house, with any profits made ploughed back into the scheme.

The Samanala Valley Foundation is the umbrella registered charity organization that oversees the function of the purpose built hospital facilities and a more recent project in the City of Colombo, a School for the teaching of the English language as a global link language, was started in 2006.

The Samanala Valley School for English has been run by the donor’s extended family of UK nationals and other mainly UK-based teachers, many of whom volunteer their services for six monthly stints after qualification in world renowned universities in the UK. Some stay longer captured by a sense of the joy of worthwhile service.

Ten years after the founding of the Samanala Valley Project Foundation and building on its success, the school was set up in the same spirit of "empowerment philanthropy", to provide vital skills in English for Sri Lankans, which would enable them to compete in the international jobs market and become successful global citizens too. Sri Lanka is one of the most literate countries in the world, with a powerful and free educational quest, set as part of her people’s nature.