Tamil Aadivasi families (Kuhani Palamkudi Makkal) live in 11 villages in Muthur Division of Trincomalee District. Following a request from Australian Medical Aid Foundation, Assist RR visited these villages in June 2017 and carried out a need assessment. These families were displaced in 2006 and became IDPs. They were resettled in 2009 in alternative lands. Although they were promised all the facilities, they are living in very sad conditions. Their livelihoods are farming, collecting honey and firewood, hunting, and fishing. These families are not given Samurthi hand outs, although all these families live below poverty lines. They are struggling for their survival due to lack of support. Some mothers do go begging in nearby towns. They desperately need assistance to improve their livelihood. Further to our appeal in July 2017 to help these families, Children Hunger Relief Fund (CHRF, UK) came forward and donated funds to purchase 2 engine boats and nets at a coat of Rs 550,000 per set. One of these two boats was funded by a generous and kind hearted donor from the UK, Miss Angela Nagarajah in memory of her grandmother Mrs Nagamma, through CHRF. Each boat is shared by five families. Boats were handed over to the families on 29 Dec 2017. We would like to thank CHRF, UK, for coming forward and assisting 10 families from these deprived villages to stand on their own feet.
Our annual dinner 2018 was held at Solihull School on 27 Jan 2018. We were hoping to raise maximum £4000, as we have done in the past. However, final accounts show that we have raised almost £16,000.00, which includes pledged funds for 11 shelters in Sampoor at a cost of £600 per shelter and £4000 raised by an American Auction of a TV donated by a Solihull School family. Total raised also includes ticket sales, donations in addition to the pledges for shelters, raffles and gift aid on donations. Please note that all the dinner expenses were met by our charity members. When we were considering holding our annual dinner in and around Birmingham, Solihull School volunteered to host the dinner and allowed us to use their refectory for free. Our guests hugely appreciated this fact and were delighted to be able to use the venue – it proved to be a perfect fit for what we needed. The tremendous support from Solihull school over the years has enabled us to improve the education of thousands of children in areas where schools were destroyed or damaged by the war. It also enabled many hundreds of elderly and vulnerable people to regain their eye sights all over Sri Lanka. We have no words to thank Solihull School and the school community adequately for their continued support. On behalf of Assist RR, we would like to express my sincere gratitude to Solihull School Community.
We are going to spend £7000 towards constructing a classroom building to Kilinochchi Sivapatha Kalaiyagam GTM school. A Malaysian family with the origins from Urumpirai, Jaffna, is contributing £15,000 towards this building project. This same family also donated £13,000 for rebuilding a badly damaged 2-storey building of Puthukudituruppu RC Vidyalayam in 2014. We will spend the rest (£9000) on building 15 shelters (including 11 pledges) to homeless families in Sampoor, Trincomale. A link is provided here (Special Thanks) with the details of sponsors, donors, individuals who pledged funds, volunteers, and speakers, who made this event very successful. Our sinecure gratitude to all those who are in the link above and others who have provided support. Your kind support enabled us to raise this amount of money for good causes. I hope you will continue to support our assistance to the needy back home. If anyone interested in donating funds, please use this link: https://mydonate.bt.com/events/assistrr-donations/385374
Assist RR have been working in Sampoor, Trincomalee District, providing shelters, toilets and livelihood assistances, with the partnership of many kind hearted individuals and like minded organisations around the world. As part of livelihood support, IMHO, USA, provided funds to purchase 5 sets of engine boats and nets, which were handed over to the beneficiaries on 23rd Nov 2017 and 27th Dec 2017. Dr Rajam Thevendran, IMHO, USA and her husband Dr Thevendran from New York, and Henry Aamlaraj, President of Assist RR (SL) attended the handing over ceremony on 27th Dec 2017. IMHO, USA have already funded another 5 sets of engine boats and nets that were handed over in June/July 2017. Each boat has been successfully shared by 5 families. This meant 50 families are being benefitted by these 10 sets of engine boats and nets (costing nearly Rs 5.5 Million) funded by IMHO, USA. Assist RR would like to inform you that IMHO USA have already funded 119 shelters to Sampoor IDPs at a cost of Rs 14.28 Million (around $95,000). Assist RR, on behalf of Sampoor IDP families, would like to express its gratitude to IMHO USA for their continued support to enhance the lives of Sampoor families.
Due to the absence of specialist cardiology service provision in Mannar in Sri Lanka and the resulting long list of patients waiting to see a cardiologist in Jaffna or Vavuniya, Dr Mayooran and Assist RR, with the help of donations of well wishers, set up a free cardiology and echocardiogram clinic in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of Northern Provincial Council in Mannar between 13th-17th Nov 2017. This clinic was conducted by Dr Richard Brown, Dr Gemma Parry-Williams and Dr Mayooran Shanmuganathan (cardiology doctors from UK). Over the course of 5 days, 200 patients of all ages were seen by these three cardiologists. These patients would otherwise have had to wait months for an appointment and travel 100s of kilometres to see a cardiac specialist, often involving an overnight admission to Mannar hospital and inter-hospital transport the next morning. During this clinic, the doctors assessed their symptoms, clinical signs including blood pressure and performed an echocardiogram on all the patients. Patients with heart conditions were given follow up appointments with a general medical physician in Mannar District General Hospital. A handful of patients were referred to the nearest paediatric cardiologist, interventional cardiologist and cardiothoracic surgeon for further evaluation of their symptoms with view to an interventional procedure or surgery. Assist RR remains grateful to the donors who contributed towards the cost of accommodation food and local travel for the participating doctors, and to the volunteer doctors, who flew to Sri Lanka from the UK using their own funds and volunteered to provide the free service. As we need more funds to conduct these clinics in the future, please kindly consider donating through the following link:
Click here to donate towards Cardiology and Echocardiogram Clinics
Feedbacks from the volunteer doctors and views of a few patients are given below:
Gemma Parry-Williams feedback Richard Brown feedback Wala Mattar feedback
Views of a retired fisherman from Pesalai, Mannar
Views of a male patient, Mr Anthony from Mannar
To see more photos of the clinic, please use the FB link below:
A UK based charity called Margaret Carey Foundation (MCF) collects used bicycles and refurbishes them in a rehabilitation program in the UK, where MCF provide hands-on experience on repairs of bicycles. Another charity called PhysioNet are then responsible for storing and distributing them to the needy. MCF and PhysioNet agreed to assist the needy children in Sri Lanka and collected nearly 200 bicycles for this purpose. PhysioNet then arranged the shipment of these bicycles in early September in a 20’ container, which had room for 176 bicycles. It arrived in Colombo on 3rd October and reached Jaffna last Wednesday (15/11). The finance ministry gave us duty exempt for these bicycles. All 176 bicycles were handed over to Mr N Vethanayagan, Government Agent (GA) and District Secretary of Jaffna District, who will donate these bicycles to needy school children in Jaffna and Vanni. Assist RR would like to express its gratitude to the Diaspora Tamil, who made the connection but wants to remain anonymous, PhysioNet and Margaret Carey Foundation for arranging 176 bicycles to be donated to needy children in Sri Lanka. It also would like to thank Mr Sivagnanasothy, Secretary of Ministry of National Integration and Reconciliation for providing funds to meet the local costs incurred in receiving the bicycles and Jaffna GA Mr Vethanayagan, and Mr Sriranhan, ADP, District Secretariat, Jaffna for their hard work in making this happened.
In 1982, there was flooding in Kilinochchi. 1980 engineering undergraduates from University of Peradeniya including our Chairman, Sarveswaran, collected dry rations and went to Kilinochchi to hand over them to flood victims. After handing over the rations, they started talking to the villagers, who were predominantly upcountry Tamils and were displaced following the 1977 communal riots. The villagers told that they desperately wanted to educate their children. They were struggling to get school admissions in Tamil schools to their children. They asked whether the undergrads could provide them with a building so that they can start teaching their children in Tamil. 1980 engineering batch mates took their request as a challenge and raised funds, while they were continuing with their degree course. Eventually, the batch managed to construct a building for a school, which was then handed over to the local priest Fr Pias. The school was named “Sivapatha Kalaiyagam”. Fr Pias continued with his services to this school and managed to convert it into a government school. The school has grown very well over the years and is providing education to pupils up to GCE (O/L).
Recently, there was a news item about this school telecasted by Sakthi TV. The link is given at the end of this email. There were many needs at this school as exposed by the TV news item. Assist RR and our E80 Peradeniya engineering batch mates got together and managed to meet some of the needs (please refer to the attached link). However, the school is still lacking classrooms for conducting lessons. They are currently conducting some lessons in a temporary shelter and under a tree. Some photos are attached. The principal has been asking whether Assist RR could provide a 100’ building that solve their classroom shortage. If we could raise £25,000.00, we could construct a 100’ building that would provide a safe and acceptable environment to the school children for learning. Assist RR recently completed a similar building to Puthukudiyiruppu Roman Catholic Tamil Mixed School. A Malaysian Family with Origin from Urumpirai East have pledged Rs 3.0M (£15k) in memory of their Maternal Grandparents for constructing a classroom building to war affected Sivapathakalaiyagam GTM school. We need another Rs 2M (around £10k) to complete this building. If any organisation or individual is interested in contributing to this project, please kindly contact us. Please share this with your friends and family as well.
Sakthi TV News on Sivapathakalaiyagam
A Report on Sivapathakalaiyagam by Assist RR