We live in a world that is growing ever closer. Travel has become a cultural asset and a basic necessity. However, we must take responsibility for the fact that within this “one” world, there is still “another” world where social inequalities and inadequate schooling are part of everyday life among socially vulnerable populations.
The one world foundation promotes tourism based on mutual understanding and fair exchange. For us, travel plays an educational role in two ways: on the one hand through experiencing culture and nature, and on the other by supporting the Free Education School with your stay at the Ayurveda Guesthouse & Resort Bogenvillya. The income from the Guesthouse finances the school and thus becomes a sustainable investment in the host country. Guests and locals are provided with a meeting place and a space for intercultural exchange; worlds grow together, and a common world – “one world” – emerges.
The one world foundation has set itself the goal of providing the Sri Lankan population with uncomplicated access to education. Girls and women in particular should be integrated into the education process in order to improve their position in society. By increasing the country’s educational level, we are supporting the ability of the Sri Lankan population to survive in a world where competition has become globalised.
The one world foundation is also a meeting place for children and young people who learn social responsibility through joint learning and games (sports, celebrations, theatrical performances, competitions). The exchange between teachers and parents encourages deeper mutual understanding and the possibility to reflect on problems, conflicts and needs that can be specifically addressed.
In 1995 the first Free Education School for around 100 pupils was opened by Kathrin Messner and Josef Ortner (who passed away on 30 March 2009) in Wathuregama, directly on the sea. By 2004, the school had grown in size to 700 pupils, but then the tsunami of 26 December 2004 almost completely destroyed the facilities of the one world foundation.
With the help of generous donations, charity events, new cooperative ventures, and the significant support of the city of Vienna, the school was rebuilt on extensive grounds one kilometre further inland. Following architectural plans drawn up by Carl Pruscha, the one world foundation set up a school campus in 2005/2006 in Ahungalla, where a wide range of educational programmes are now being offered.