Tsunami chil­dren ‘still des­per­ate for your help’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - News - by Nick Lil­li­tos

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

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