Four years af­ter tsunami and char­ity’s work goes on

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Sounds Good -

ON Box­ing Day, the fourth an­niver­sary of the tsunami which killed 230,000 peo­ple, a house will be handed over to a fam­ily in Sri Lanka which has been built with money do­nated by peo­ple in Ash­ford.

The UK Friends of Galle (UKFG) was set up by Devsiri He­wavi­dana and fam­ily im­me­di­ately af­ter the tsunami of 2004.

Mr He­wavi­dana, a man­u­fac­tur­ing en­gi­neer and jour­nal­ist for a na­tional news­pa­per in Sri Lanka who lives in Ash­ford with his wife and three chil­dren, was born in Galle and felt com­pelled to give time and money to help his fel­low Sri Lankans af­ter dis­as­ter struck.

Over the past four years UKFG has raised £100,000 with which it has built seven houses, a li­brary, a class­room, has given 160 schol­ar­ships and has do­nated books and shoes to more than 900 chil­dren.

Mr He­wavi­dana said: “The suf­fer­ing is still go­ing on but many big char­i­ties have moved on.

“Only small grass roots or­gan­i­sa­tions like ours are still there.

“Un­for­tu­nately the eco­nomic sit­u­a­tion has made many spon­sors drop out and we haven’t the heart to stop chil­dren’s money so we are strug­gling to sup­port them our­selves.”

To spon­sor a child or for more in­for­ma­tion go to

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