SRI LANKA

Bringing education, healthcare, and hope to the plantation families of Doloswola Rubber and Tea Estate.

Tea and Rubber are an important part of Sri Lanka’s economy and history. Patricia lived on the Doloswala Rubber and tea Estate for 4 months. This rubber estate has 10 villages spread out over the plantation. She was very blessed to have met Father Jeewantha in Colombo. He then invited her to come and visit Doloswola for a few days and to see the work he has been doing. He had started his own organization which is named Anawim – meaning poor, afflicted, humble, meek.

Their goal is make this community strong and independent so that in the future, this community can be an inspiration to the other 9 villages within the plantation. His aim is to provide training in nutrition and hygiene, agriculture, medical clinics, etc. He has only been there since November 2018 but already has brought so much hope and love to the village. He has also created a fellowship program to support the most vulnerable children within these 10 plantation villages. We are so proud to be able to work alongside someone like Father Jeewantha, we have no doubt that the betterment of this community is his priority and that the people are in his heart.

Rubber and tea plantation workers are solely Tamils. Tamils were brought to Sri Lanka from India as laborers in the 19th century by the British. In these plantations, the standard of living is below the national average:

  • They live off approximately 500 rupees a day (3.80 canadian dollars),
  • malnutrition is widespread,
  • suicide rate is amongst the highest in Asia,
  • basic education is behind the rest of the country (providing quality education is difficult as the plantations are in remote locations meaning that qualified teachers are reluctant to teach in these areas),
  • the cycle of poverty is continued by the children dropping out of school to support the family by working for the plantation,
  • alcoholism and domestic violence is common.

The social systems that exist means that it is really impossible for plantation families to progress as they are discriminated against while seeking employment, as they are seen as inferior and incapable.

During the four months there, Patricia’s time and energy was mostly dedicated to the children, teaching English, playing games, etc. She made good friends with Father Jeewantha, Sister Priscilla, Pubudu and all the children. She was so inspired by them and every day was a true blessing to be able to spend her days with all these beautiful beings.

ANAWIM NEWSLETTER

To know more about Anawim and Father Jeewantha’s work, read their newsletter:

Issue 1 Issue 2

FUTURE PROJECTS

In the following year la Fondation Godley would love to have your support to continue our work on the following projects:

With some of the mothers and grandmothers, we dug out the huge stones from the back of the Church, and planted some vegetables. The grand-mothers worked hard as Patricia watched with awe and amazement at their strength and resilience. We would love to develop the garden and provide nutrition workshops. During Patricia’s time there she had noticed that 80 percent of their diet consisted of white rice.


Teaching English on daily basis: it first started as a small class 8 – 10 children, but with time, as the word spread, Patricia sometimes found herself alone with 40 children, and boy did they teach her alot of lessons during those four months. We have a few books and some games, but we hope to develop a library so that we can instill the love of reading in the children.


Private classes with Ashan: Ashan is a lovely boy that is in a wheelchair, and does not go to school. So Patricia would visit him to practice english, maths lessons and play chess. When she first met him, he wouldn’t come out of his room, then the next time, he hid behind the curtain, the next time, he didn’t speak at all, the time after that he whispered and by the time she left, he was laughing and talking and making excuses on why he didn’t do his homework. It would be ideal if we could hire a tutor to teach him once or twice a week.

Planted some trees around the Hindu temple. We would love to plant a small garden for the Hindu children around the Hindu temple. Patricia noticed that it was quite unclean around the temple so the children and her spent a day cleaning and had a cookout at the temple: one thing about these children is that they all can cook. They then planted some mango trees.


We started the process of the sewing workshop: We only had the chance to discuss it with the women, and to find a teacher, but with the bombings, everything went on pause. We need support to hire a trainer, and to buy some materials.


When Patricia first met the children, one of the questions she would ask them is “what is your favorite school subject?” and they almost all answered mathematics. At first, she thought she landed in a very unique village, but she quickly learned that the local school doesn’t have a mathematics teacher. So we are hoping to raise some funds for a maths teacher (24 000 rupees per month)


Anawim provides a fellowship for some of the underprivileged children. But it is more than donating. We want you to get to know this child, and to even come and visit. Anawim, just like Godley is about sharing, and we can promise you that if you “sponsor” one of these wonderful children, they will share everything with you. They will heal you with their laughter, they will love you with their smiles, they will comfort you with their eyes.


Medical clinic: while visiting the homes of the families, we came to notice that many elders are suffering from eyes problems. We would like to organize a medical clinic at the village, as the majority of them cannot leave their homes, or cannot afford medical help.

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