It is very sad to note the current living conditions and economic situation in the East and North of Sri Lanka since the end of the war. Based on a number of visits of Assist RR trustees and Mullaithuvu District statistical Handbook of 2013, a report has been produced and linked below. The numbers in the handbook indicates that there are nearly 66% of the families in the district are earning between Rs 1500 and Rs 5000 per month and 18% of the families are earning less than Rs 1500 per month. It also indicates that around 74% of the employable persons in this district are unemployed. It is a very sad and pathetic situation and there is nothing wrong in saying that these people are “the unfortunate” ones. The important question is what are we, the fortunate Diaspora, going to do to help them?
Assist RR spent a couple of days in Batticaloa and visited a number of remote villages there. It was sad to note that there are no A/L students from 65 families in two villages and only 3 O/L students there. There are a number of children who are keen to progress but the environment is not conducive to learning. A significant number of children have been walking up to 26 kMs to school everyday. A bright girl started crying and asked us to help her to continue her education and to become an English teacher.
This school is located in Mullivaikal West, in a strip of land between the sea and the lagoon, Nanthikadal, where the war ended in May 2009. Many people are still living in houses with no roofs. School buildings were temporarily repaired and the roofs were covered with tarpaulins and asbestos sheets, which have already been damaged and were not withstanding strong winds. Using funds donated by Solihull Junior School, UK, and Karaveddy Vigneswara College Old Students Association of UK, a damaged building of Mullivaikal West Junior High school had been renovated and re-opened for use on 25 Jan 2014.
Yet another surgery camp, organised by Assist RR and 75% sponsored by SCOT UK and 25% sponsored by by Tamil Engineers from Singapore, has been completed. Thanks a lot to the donors. Your contribution was utilised for a very worthy cause Most of the patients were from very deprived areas. Without your support, they wouldn’t have had these surgeries performed. Vision 2020 has informed us that they have restored vision to 104 patient in at least one eye. Dr Dias Jayasiri and his team started surgeries around 4AM and finished the last patient around 23:00. Dr Dias has now assisted nearly 300 patients to gain vision in the North through Assist RR. Special thanks to Dr Dias for his dedicated services to the needy.
There was an accident at this school recently and one of the temporary shelters was completely damaged in a fire accident. The second temporary shelter was also slightly damaged. Mullai Trust informed us that if we could renovate the building that we already planned to do, there won’t be any need to build another temporary shelter. As this project had become a top priority due to the fire, Assist RR has now completed the renovation of this building and re-opened it for use on 23 Jan 2014.
The renovation project at Veenavil school was jointly funded by Solihull Junior School and Mr T Kanagarajah Thurairajah from Malaysia. The renovation work started on 18 Nov and was completed by the new year. This building was re-opened for use on 17th Jan 2014 by Mulliathvu GA, Mr Vethanayagan. Assist RR would like to thank the contractor and our representatives in Sri Lanka for their hard work and sincere efforts in completing this project. We would also like to thank the donors for helping the pupils of Veenavil school to learn in a safe and acceptable environment.
Assist RR made a documentary of the needs in Vanni and of the projects completed by them. The documentary shows the desperate living conditions of people in areas such as Mullivaikal and Mathalan, where the war ended in May 2009. It also contains details of projects completed by Assist RR in the past eight months and gives details of the projects that are being progressed. Please watch this documentary to understand the needs: