By Sri Lanka Relief Team (Originally in Sinhala)
In May 2017, Sri Lanka experienced devastating widespread flooding and landslides resulting from a heavy monsoon season. Fifteen districts were affected, approximately 600,000 people were displaced, 213 lives were lost and more than 24,000 houses were damaged or destroyed. Many towns in Matara District suffered the worst damage, including Athuraliya, Pitabaddara, Malimbada, Kamburupitiya, Akurassa, and Matara. The Sri Lanka Government, NGOs and individuals acted quickly to donate food items and other necessities to the flood victims.
Concerned about the welfare of the affected Sri Lanka people, Supreme Master Ching Hai lovingly offered US$14,000 financial assistance and instructed our Association members to bring aid and comfort to the victims.
Our Association members in Sri Lanka, though few in number, were able to carry out the relief work successfully from June to July 8, with the warm support from the local people and Master’s immense grace.
We approached the head of each of the most severely affected villages and gathered firsthand information on the displaced families and their most needed items. We then purchased and distributed the required items which included rice cookers, gas cookers with regulators, kettles, non-stick pans, bed sheets, pillows, pillow cases, mosquito nets and bed mattresses.
In addition, we brought five mattresses to the Medawatte Nagabodhi Temple to replace the ones destroyed by the flood, along with one steel cupboard. The Venerable Angunna Badulle Ghanadassi Thera of the temple expressed sincere thanks to Supreme Master Ching Hai. The other steel cupboard was given to a family whose house was damaged by the landslides. The family was very happy and offered noblest appreciation to our beloved Master.
We then delivered one photocopier and a multimedia projector to Thudawa Primary School upon request in Thudawa Village, one of the most severely affected villages in the town of Matara. In the town of Godagama, we donated a serpina, a popular musical instrument in Sri Lanka and India, to Anagarika Dharmapala Vidyalaya School. Both schools provide education for many disadvantaged children. The principal of Thudawa Primary School, Mr. P.C.A.Yapa, and the principal of Anagarika Dharmapala Vidyalaya School, Mr. W.P.J.Dissanayake, each sent Master a letter of appreciation for extending Her love and grace to the less fortunate children. The remaining fund allocated to Matara area was used to donate medical items for the first aid room of the Technical College Matara. The principal was grateful for the aid.
Our relief team also visited Royal College of Ratnapura situated in Sabaragamuwa Province. The principal told us that many students from nearby villages were affected by the flood and urgently needed shoes and school bags. Therefore, we distributed shoes and bags to 135 students, with their parents and all the staff present. Everyone was very happy.
Our relief team sincerely and humbly expresses deep gratitude to Master for the love and blessings bestowed upon us. We also give special thanks to the principal and the staff of Technical College Matara, the staff members of Southern Provincial Road Development Authority, the staff of Matara Post Office and the Provincial Education Office for helping us reach the people in urgent need. May all affected soon totally recover and flourish, with Heaven’s immense blessings.
Expenditures by The Supreme Master Ching Hai for Flood and Landslide Relief Work in Sri Lanka
|Relief supplies (rice cookers, gas cookers with regulators, kettles, non-stick pans, bed sheets, pillows, pillow cases, mosquito nets, bed mattresses, steel cupboards, a photocopier, a multimedia projector, a serpina, medical items, shoes and school bags), transportation, packing material, and refreshments for helpers||2,112,640||A|
|Total||LKR 2,112,640 (US$13,983)|
Matara Relief Work
Ratnapura Relief Work