About us
The one world foundation supports targeted educational projects in Sri Lanka. With its Free Education School in Ahungalla, it makes possible cost-free education and vocational training for children, young people and adults.

HISTORY

When Kathrin Messner and Josef Ortner (who passed away on 30 March 2009) visited Sri Lanka in 1983, they were in search of a second location where they could gain new experiences, in addition to those that their life in Vienna and their work with contemporary art (museum in progress) already provided them. By chance, they found a plot of land and built a house – an inspiring meeting place for artists and friends. Over the years, the Ayurveda Guesthouse & Resort Bogenvillya, the Art & Literature Programme, and the Free Education School – the core of the one world foundation – arose from this basic idea.

History_PDF (617 KB)

PHILOSOPHY & ORGANISATION

The one world foundation is based on three pillars: the educational project the Free Education School, the Ayurveda Guesthouse & Resort Bogenvillya and the Art & Literature Programme. The foundation supports targeted educational projects in Sri Lanka. The project most dear to founder Kathrin Messner is the Free Education School for more than 1,100 children, young people and adults in Ahungalla, which is financed mainly by the income generated by the Ayurveda Guesthouse & Resort Bogenvillya.

The one world foundation supports a form of tourism based on mutual understanding and fair exchange. It sees itself as a communication centre which promotes dialogue between guests and locals. Through joint celebrations and the close cooperation between the guest house and the school, a sense of belonging is developed, which transcends ethnic and religious boundaries.

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The one world foundation also creates space for dialogue and inspirational encounters. Within the Art & Literature Programme (“Art & Residencies”), a place for study is available to artists and writers at the Ayurveda Guesthouse & Resort Bogenvillya.

The founders of the one world foundation, Kathrin Messner and Josef Ortner (who passed away on 30 March 2009), were inspired by the so-called “social sculpture” of the artist Joseph Beuys. He advocated an extended concept of art, which, in addition to materially tangible work, also encompasses human, society-altering action.

  • Management & Coordination

    Director, one world foundation
    Kathrin Messner

    Manager, Ayurveda Guesthouse & Resort
    T. Jenita Raji De Silva

    Headmaster/Principal
    Prabath Wijesekara De Zoysa

    Ayurveda Physician
    Dr. Janakee Perera

    Project Coordinator
    Xiane Kangela

    Project Coordinator
    Kaspar Mühlemann Hartl

    Coordinator Swiss sponsoring committee
    Barbara Higgs

CURRENT NEWS

Volunteer statement

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My impressions as a volunteer at the one world foundation school in Ahungalla, Sri Lanka

It was love at first sight when I visited Sri Lanka four years ago – I was instantly attracted to the warm and friendly people, to the nature surrounded by mysterious sounds that we are not familiar within Europe, and to the delicious food. My dream was to explore more of this country and culture through the local people’s way of living.

I learned about the one world foundation school during an extensive Ayurveda retreat at the owf Ayurveda Guesthouse & Resort Bogenvillya, leaving me impressed by its philosophy and the eagerness and motivation of the students and teachers. A sabbatical led me to apply as volunteer to teach English to the pupils that attend the school programme. I got accepted.

I am now four weeks into teaching – a completely new experience for me, quite different from my daily job back home. I find it very fulfilling and rewarding to volunteer, to assist the teachers and to work closely with students of all ages in order to help them exploring their potential and to offer them some prospects for the future. Under the roof of the owf all people are treated as equal and with the same respect, regardless of their religious background or their families’ wealth.

Especially in these devastating and difficult times after the recent events it seems important to promote a sense of togetherness and to teach the next generation how we can live in peace together in this one world.

It didn’t take long to become attached to the school and its wonderful young students, that warmly welcomed me with curiosity and thirst to learn. It was one of my best decisions in a long time to support these people in their personal and professional development!

(Désirée Kern, 22 April 2019)

Archive of Current News

  • Year-end celebration of one world foundation
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    On 14 December the year-end celebration of one world foundation was held with the distribution of certificates, music, dance and theatre performances, exhibitions and more.

  • Perahera parade
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    The traditional Perahera parade of our montessori classes at the end of term in summer 2018.

  • 03.08.2018: Photography exhibition “Our Vision”
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    The exhibition “Our Vision” was opened on 3.8.2018.
    Under the direction of Sasindu Pramuditha. Students: K. A. Eranda Chandeepa, U. J. Nishan Sampath, Isuru Rangana, J. K. Thisaru Madusanka, G. Ushan Randika, S. W. Sulochana Kavindi, W. T. Buddhi Maleesha Sewwandi, H. Rachitha Subhashini and L. Sajini Hansika.

  • Tax deductible donations

    one world foundation is very pleased that all donations from from Austria, Germany and Switzerland are now tax deductible. Become a member of our supporter’s circle! Fore more information see: owf.at/free-education-school

  • 17.10.2016: Sports day and certificate ceremony
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  • 11.08.2016: Perahera Festival and distribution of certificates
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    As every year, in early August before the holidays when the school year comes to an end, the traditional Perahera parade of the Montessori classes through Ahungalla took place and the certificates were distributed in the one world foundation.

  • 03.05.2016: Artist in Residence Exhibition

    KP_AIR_Mailout_grFrom 3 May until 3 June 2016 an artist in residence exhibition is being shown at Gallery Krinzinger Projekte, which includes art works by Peter Sandbichler that were created during his residency at one world foundation in 2015. More information about our residence programme is available here.

  • 13.04.2016: Happy New Year!
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    On the last school day before the Singhalese and Tamil New Year (13/14 April) one world foundation celebrated with the children, their families and the teachers!

  • 28.03.2016: Radio broadcast on the one world foundation
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    Prof. Kathrin Messner and school Principal Prabath Wijesekara

    Radio Oberösterreich broadcasted a one hour programme about one world foundation on 27 March 2016. Read and listen here!

  • 11.03.2016: Interview with Kathrin Messner
    Prof. Kathrin Messner, Foto: Elena Givone

    Prof. Kathrin Messner, Photo: Elena Givone

    On 11 March 2016 an interview with Kathrin Messner, the founder of one world foundation and museum in progress was published on the art platform Arterritory, read  here.

  • 16.09.2015: Book presentation at Unger & Klein

    owf Buch Inhalt_DSCF8787_klThursday, 24 September at 6 pm the book „one world foundation – A Social Sculpture“ will be presented at the wine bar Unger & Klein (Gölsdorfgasse 2, 1010 Vienna). The evening will include a reading by Robert Menasse and Doron Rabinovici. We are looking forward to your visit!

  • 05.09.2015: The book has arrived!

    owf Buch Cover_DSCF8785_klOur book is now available, we finished it just in time for the 20th anniversary of one world foundation. We are very happy about the result and we would like to express our deepest gratitude to all donors, authors, photographers and other supporters, who made this book possible! You’ll find more information about the book here.

    All the money earned through this book will go to the Free Education Unit.

  • 01.09.2015: Celebrating the 20 year jubilee of owf
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  • 12.08.2015: Perahera Festival
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  • 27.06.2015: Newspaper report in “The Financial Times”
    Prof. Kathrin Messner, Foto: Thomas Wirthensohn

    Prof. Kathrin Messner, Photo: Thomas Wirthensohn

    On 27 June 2015 an article about Kathrin Messner, the founder of one world foundation and museum in progress was published in „The Financial Times“, read here.

  • 06.04.2015: 20 years of “owf” – our book project
  • 28.03.2015: Photography exhibition – “The Journey”
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  • 18.12.2014: School celebration
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  • 04.12.2014: Sports Day
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  • 27.08.2014: Perahera Festival
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  • 09.08.2014: Exhibition of the photography class
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  • 20.03.2014: Short documentation about the one world foundation

  • 19.03.2014: Exhibition of photography class
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Newsletter

BOOK

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OUR BOOK WAS RECOGNISED WITH THE GOLDEN PIXEL AWARD ON 19.11.2015!

One world foundation - A Social Sculpture

180 pages, 57 colour illustrations, German / English, format: 21 x 27 cm, ISBN 978-3-200-04240-7 Price: € 28.- (+ shipping costs) 100% of the proceeds from the sale of the book benefit the Free Education School. This book of text and pictures presents selected articles about the one world foundation, written by: Dimitré Dinev, Maja Haderlap, Robert Menasse, Carl Pruscha, Doron Rabinovici, Brita Steinwendtner, Ilija Trojanov, David Schalko, among many others.

On 27 August 2015, the 20th anniversary of the one world foundation, the book was presented at a major anniversary celebration in Sri Lanka. The celebration in the Free Education School offered an impressive programme with exhibitions, dance, music performances, speeches, and a fashion show, among many other activities, all made possible thanks to the enormous dedication of students, parents and teachers.

Content / Articles

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You can order the book online:

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The book is also available in the bookstore Buchhandlung Walther König in the MQ, in the Salon für Kunstbuch in Luftbadgasse 16, and in the 21er house – all in Vienna.

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