Sri Lanka is popularly referred to as the Pearl of the Indian Ocean. The island was renamed Sri Lanka, meaning "resplendent land" in Sanskrit in 1972. It has been called a variety of names in the past: Serendib, Ceylon, Teardrop of India, Resplendent Isle, Island of Dharma, Pearl of the Orient.
Sri Lanka's long civil war and 2005 tsunami have left thousands of children orphaned. Currently, there are an estimated 330,000 orphans in Sri Lanka according to UNICEF. Our initial research has shown there is a strong desire by the children to get storybooks. English is commonly used in government. But, based on our experience, Bookwallah's primary focus is to provide storybooks to orphanages primarily in the local language with a complimentary English library through the Bookwallah Book. Additionally, Bookwallah would like to offer the Bookwallah Reading Rug Program for those orphanages that do not have separate child-friendly reading areas with complimentary Bookwallah Reading Services.