Sri Lanka has also been hit hard by the COVID 19 pandemic. The island has been cut off from the world with the airport and harbours closed down restricting all tourist activities resulting in the loss of thousands of jobs. This has lead to poverty and misery on a grand scale.
Our Foundation has also been severely affected. The re-payment of Micro-Credits has proven to be all but impossible. We have been inundated with pleas for help including one of our most important concerns, the orphans at the orphanages who have been going through some difficult times. But, there is some good news…….
As you are aware we always look for the potential and try not to be affected by the limitations. Whilst having been unable to travel to Sri Lanka since March 2020, we would like to share with you some of the activities in Kalapuwa, Sri Lanka that have been possible from a distance.
Firstly, wonderful news. Tharanga and Kanishka ( Nilantha and Pryanthis’son) have brought a new life into the world, a daughter: Reha.
Tharanga is one of our teachers at the English School and Kanishka has a telephone shop. They are of great value to the Foundation.
Early in January they became the proud parents of Reha Ashvini Dhahamsa. We wish her a healthy and happy life.
In December 2019 with the special project, “Tikkie actie” “One child for a year to school” we were able to collect € 3000,-. During the early months of the COVID 19 pandemic all the schools in Sri Lanka were closed but as
soon as they were able to reopen the requests for ‘School Packets’ came flooding in.
A packet contains all the items a child needs to follow the lessons: atlas, mathematics box, excerise books and pens etc.. for varying age groups. We were able to arrange 100 packets (total value euro 1000) and we were left with €2000,- which will be put to good use when we are next able to travel and oversie the purchase of new uniforms and school packets for the very poorest children.
Taking Pot luck
Thanks to the super initiatief from our friends Diederik Mutsaerts and Roy Bens a plan was lanuched (www.etenwatdepotschaft.nl).
The plan was to sell specially selected currys and recepies to fascilitate a truly Singhalese meal at home.
The financial results of this were aimed at providing sustainable meals for the boys at the Jayanthi orphanage.
Over 700 packets were sold enabling the Foundation to supply, a few times a week, three meals a day for 40 children. Vitally important to give these children some sort of nutritional security and normality in their lives.
Meals on wheels
One of the other projects which we have been able to continue is the “Meals on Wheels” service we set up for 20 elderly people living on the peninsular, with which we supply, twice a week, a cooked meal. Thanks to a annual donation from another helpful Foundation this will be the thrd year that we have been able to keep this going. This help is greatly valued by the local community.
A serious problem for us is the monthly payments made to our 25 students who are mostly studying , at , or for, the University in Colombo. We support them with funds for books, transport costs, daytime meals, and where needed a little extra for supplimentary workshops and other school activities. These payments are made possible by the micro-credit repayments. And this is the huge dilema at the moment, as almost all the repayments have stopped due to Covid and the economical crisis. Noone is earning any money and what they do have is required for food.
We fully understand the situation but cannot leave our students in the lurch. But as we cannot be there is person it is a difficult situation to manage. It is important that we speak to them
personally and in the meantime will do all we can to assure them of our continuing support and to have a good feedback from them as to their requirements.
We are delighted that a number of sponsors have presented themselves to support individual students in their accedemic pursuits. We do not want to dissapoint any student if it is humanly
possible and this development has been most gratefully received. We will keep you up to date on the developments.
A note of sade news
Wheras we started this news letter with an announcement of new life, we must end with the sad news of the death of Dietrich Ebert. A great friend to the Foundation and to Sri Lanka from Germany.
Dietrich made a request that no flowers be given at his funeral but rather a donation be made to the Foundation Kalapuwa. A wonderful and touching gesture which has resulted in our being able to continue our English School ( 4 locations) project throughout 2021. This means that more than 150 children will be able to have at least two lessons a week, thereby greatly enhancing their prospects in life.
We are deeply indebted to Dietrich and his wife Uschi.
In this newsletter we have attempted to bring you up to date with our activities in this difficult COVID year. If we can help with any questions of suggestions you may have please do not hesitate to get in touch.
Once we have all been vacinated we will be back in the air. A promise.
Namens Stichting Kalapuwa
Theo, Paul en Monique
Stichting Kalapuwa Sri-Lanka
ANBI nr: 8541.59.861
3751 GE Bunschoten Spakenburg