Tsunami children ‘still desperate for your help’
SOME five years after a tsunami struck Sri Lanka killing 230,000 people on Boxing Day, poor children there are still desperate for the continuing support of Ashford people.
Tens of thousands of pounds have been raised to support a charity – UK Friends of Galle – founded by Devsiri Hewavidana, a manufacturing engineer who lives in Ashford with his wife and three children.
“Five years on and the tsunami children still need our help,” said Mr Hewavidana.
He was born in Galle and felt compelled to give time and raise money to help his fellow Sri Lankans after the disaster struck.
“For most children in Galle a pair of school shoes or a dictionary are unimaginable luxuries. Familes live from hand-to-mouth and have no money to spare on their children’s education.”
Schools and organisations in Ashford, including many indi- viduals, have all contributed to help the youngsters through the charity, which has raised £100,000. It has provided schol- arships and 2,000 pairs of shoes for children to walk the many miles to their classroom over rough, dirt track paths.
“Our work continues, but due to lack of funds we cannot sponsor the 30 or so desperate children who are still on our waiting list,” said Mr Hewavidana.
“To make matters worse, a few sponsors have dropped out due to the economic situation affecting them in the UK. These children are facing a bleak future because without regular support they will have to abandon school all together. I would therefore be most grateful if readers could help sponsor a child for a few years.”
To make a donation visit www.ukfg.net
Five years after the tsunami tragedy these Sri Lankan children have new shoes to walk many miles to school, thanks to the continuing generosity of Kentish Express readers
Devsiri Hewavidana founded the charity