March 2020 Covid 19 – Disaster relief
Dear Arobanam supporter, well wisher
We hope that you and your family are keeping safe and well despite the sad and challenging times in which we all find ourselves.
As you all may be aware, Sri Lankan Government has placed a country-wide curfew on 20th March 2020 in an attempt to contain the spread of Corona virus severely affecting poor and daily wage earners. This curfew continues without a break in Colombo, Jaffna, Gampaha, Kandy, Kaluthura, Puttalam districts and movements are restricted.
In addition to all issues caused by the virus, it appears, it is likely that impacts of the past combined with the current poor states and future economic conditions may lead to poor physical and mental health, malnutrition or even starvation, and loss of lives over a period of time.
ACF are currently receiving requests from our project partners in the North and East of Sri Lanka for emergency funding to mobilise help to vulnerable people in the affected areas with immediate needs in the Jaffna district by providing dry rations to feed them. The ACF trustees feel that the need may be there over an elongated period of time. The ACF committee urges our supporters and well-wishers to consider the plight of such vulnerable people and donate generously to avert another humanitarian crisis.
Latest Update (26th May 2020):-
ACF partners have been working tirelessly even during the hours of curfew by obtaining special permits, identifying and distributing dry rations to deserving families affected by the continued lock down, and curfew in Sri Lanka. Similarly, our partners in Madurai in South India are also working on providing essential nutritious food items to ACF assisted children’s families.
To date ACF managed to fund a total of over £ 3,800 to provide emergency relief to very deserving people in Sri Lanka and India, and plan to do more.
The funding consist of SLR 500,000 for Jaffna district, SLR 186,000 for Mannar district, and INR 180,000 for Madurai district. With this funding we managed to distribute 500 bundles in Jaffna for poverty stricken families. Our partners work with authorities to identify deserving families and distribute either by inviting them to common places or by visiting door to door.
Current needs are immense. Your support enabled us to assist deserving families so far. A big “Thank you” for that and look forward for more donors to come forward and help ACF to be able to provide more assistance to very deserving people affected by the current lock down and curfew resulting from the COVID-19 Pandemic.
DECEMBER 2018 FLOOD RELIEF NORTH SRI LANKA
More than 45,000 people from nearly 14,000 families were affected due to heavy rains and floods in all the five districts of the Northern Province, in Sri Lanka. The affected districts were Mullaithivu, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Vavuniya and Jaffna.
Tens of thousands were displaced and as a result had to be temporarily housed in shelters and schools.
Arobanam Children Fund worked with DMC (Disaster Management Center) and other NGO’s to distribute over 300 emergency relief packages to the local people.
EARTHQUAKE APPEAL (MIRIK, NEPAL)
Although Mirik was not at the epicentre of the earthquakes on the 11th May 2015, Mirik and the surrounding Darjeeling areas were further affected by the tremor. People in Mirik are subject to small wounds resulting from shattered windows and debris. A friend of Arobanam who is functioning in West Bengal has diverted his resources to assist the earthquake victims in a remote village, Mirik. Food and dry rations are being provided (similar to what Arobanam carried out in Sri Lanka in May 2009). People are also in urgent need of blankets, tents etc. While major charities are assisting mainly in Kathmandu, Arobanam is reaching out to a remote village where help is limited.
BICYCLES FOR YOUNG ADULTS
We have an immediate need to provide 32 bicycles to aid children in Mannar and Batticaloe with their travel to school. These children are unable to attend school regularly as their only line bus to take them to school is often overcrowded and fails to stop at relevant bus stops to pick them. These children walk up to a mile to get to the bus stop in the morning and walk back home in the afternoon. Each bicycle will cost £75.00 to purchase and serviced before they can be used.
Although the immediate requirement is for 32 bicycles we have identified further requirements for bicycles in most places and are waiting for information on requirements. Therefore we see this as an ongoing requirement for a foreseeable future.
This project is about helping disabled children or children with disabled parents. As you are aware, the war has left many parents injured. Disbaled children have lost limbs and are struggling to live their lives with dignity. In Kilinochchi VAROD is helping these children and people in need, under the guidance of Fr. Arulraj. Arobanam has taken 50 children into its care. Please sponsor one of these children.
We have identified 161 children in the Mankulam area who have either lost one or both parents. Of these children 23 of them are in desperate need of being sponsored. The remaining 138 children have been reallocated to existing sponsors whose previous children went missing during the war.
The children are living in 6 remote villages in the North-East of Sri Lanka, Mankulam village; Paalai Paani village; Kollavilamkulam village; Koollamurippu village; Pandiyamkulam village and Oddisuddan village
Living under basic tents, these children cannot afford to attend school and just manage to survive. Our patron, Father James Pathinanthan manages this project and oversees the welfare of each child. A further 65 children living in Adampan village, under the care of our partner organisation Destitute Welfare Fund, are currently being supported through the ACF contingency fund. This leaves us with over 80 children in desperate need of sponsoring. Please help these children, they need help now.
We are currently helping 24 children under this scheme. Dr Siva, pictured below, left a generous donation of £40,000 in his will and we have allocated it to fund this project. ACF will use donations of a similar benefit towards this project. For further details please contact an ACF member.
We are now looking after 100 children in Aanaiyur Camp, Madurai. Most of the people in this camp were displaced from Mannar and Trincomalee. We are setting up learning centres to help the children. These centres will be run by the “Mother Mary Education Trust” based in Dindugull, Tamil Nadu. This organisation is registered with the Indian authorities and has a licence to help 100 children in the camp.
Internally Displaced People (IDP)
According to Amnesty International, 500,000 people are internally displaced in Sri Lanka, with the vast majority being in the Northern and Eastern provinces. ACF-UK is utilising all resources possible to help the IDP situation in Baticaloa and Mullaitivu. In 2009, ACF-UK took responsibility to fund one month’s needs for 990 families / 3,500 people in Baticaloa also supported 55 families in Mullaitivu.
The current unrest in Sri Lanka has brought a new influx of refugees to Rameshwaram, South India. ACF-UK felt it necessary to help the children among the refugees in Rameshswaram. During a visit this year to the Mandapam camp by a committee member, we discovered 86 young children in desperate need of help. 3,000 people are living in atrocious conditions; they don’t even have adequate toilet facilities and are not even allowed to leave the camp at any time. Children over 6 years old are allowed to attend the local school. However, the remaining younger children are left to the confines of the camp, with not even a slide or swing to play on. Recently the Church of South India (CSI), obtained permission to administer a day care centre for the children under 6 years old. As always, lack of funding is the major problem, however ACF-UK is teaming up with the Church of South India to fund this project.