While we are not ourselves a charity, from time to time we are able to assist existing charities in their marvellous work in Sri Lanka.
COVID-19 Relief Donations
The Govt of SL “COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund’ sought to “strengthen national efforts aimed at controlling the spread of COVID-19 virus and related social welfare programmes.” Dubbed the Itukama Project (read more at https://www.itukama.lk), the fund was established with an initial donation of Rs 100 million from the President’s Fund, followed by donations by corporations and individuals. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa himself donated three months’ salary to the fund in May. FOSLA contributed £600 to this fund in April 2020.
FOSLA has also helped the ‘We Are One Sri Lanka’ organisation which has been supporting the Covid-19 unit at one of Sri Lanka’s largest hospitals: the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital which has over 1,650 beds plus a further 300-400 patients sleeping on the floor, and at the peak of the pandemic, it was in need of an Ultrasound Scanner for its COVID-19 Unit. The total cost of the scanner was about £14,500, to which the Friends of Sri Lanka contributed £600 in April. The donation was presented to the Southern Province Governor on Wednesday, 8 July. A letter from Dr. Ganaka Senaratne, the Consultant-in-Charge of the Hospital’s Emergency Treatment Unit described why the scanner is so important – and expressed his gratitude: “The Emergency Treatment Unit at Karapitiya is the main frontline unit arranging care for suspected COVID-19 patients in the Southern Province. We encounter all unselected patients and are tasked with their triaging. The USS (Ultrasound scanner) is an essential lifesaving bedside examination to arrange respiratory and cardiac care for unstable patients.” Dr Senaratne also writes of how the use of a scanner rather than the more routine stethoscope helps protect his doctors and nurses and he finished his letter by assuring us that “by donating this essential equipment to us you have become our partners in combating against the COVID-19 epidemic in southern Sri Lanka.”
Donation after the Easter Day Bombings
After David Linsey's speech at our AGM of 2019 to the membership following the loss of his brother and sister in the Easter Day Bombings in Sri Lanka, a donation of £1000 was made to the Amelie & Daniel Linsey Foundation to support families of local victims and improve medical facilities especially for trauma-related emergencies in Sri Lanka.
Donation after 2016 Floods
In 2016, we provided £2000 to We Are One Sri Lanka to help with flood relief efforts, delivering dry rations, bottled water, toiletries and medication to the worst affected families and raising funds to assist with providing stationery, books, shoes to children of the affected pre-schools, helping repair damage to pre-school buildings, cleaning and treating contaminated wells, repairing some damage to homes and replacing cooking utensils that were lost in the floods.
Sri Lanka’s monsoon death toll in the 2016 exceeded 150 people with over 100 people missing in the island’s worst flooding in 14 years. Photograph courtesy of AFP Photo / Lakruwan Wanniarachchi.
Charitable activities over the last few years include donations to:
- The British Wives Group in Colombo; this was utilised for the construction of a well at Nawapadeniya.
- HOPE for Children, to help with the construction of a corridor connecting the office building, boys hostel, sick room, girls hostel, class room and dining room/ main assembly hall at the School for the Deaf in Ratmalana. Following the dreadful Tsunami, a donation was also made through HOPE for Children to a school for the deaf in Batticaloa to replace hearing aids lost in the tsunami. A large number of our members gave their support to this cause.
- Vasantham Homes in Jaffna to build a water tank and toilets.