Nearly 29,000 families were displaced from Valikamam North alone (Palali HSZ from Thondamanaru to Mathagal) in 1990 and have been living in welfare centres and with friends and relatives for the past 28 years. The majority of them are fishing families from the coastal areas of Valikamam North. Only now, they are returning to their lands but without much assistance. These families desperately need support to stand on their own feet and to start their lives again without looking for handouts. Ministry of Rehabilitation of the Sri Lankan government recently requested Assist RR & IMHO USA to provide fishing gear to families who were displaced by the war and are being resettled in the North and East of Sri Lanka. The ministry agreed to provide 50% of the costs as soft loans if Assist RR & IMHO USA provide the other 50% as grants. We would like this to happen for as many families as possible. However, the number of complete fishing livelihood solutions provided is entirely dependent on the amount of funds raised by the supporters of both charities. The cost of a boat, outboard engine and nets is around £2800. Assist RR & IMHO therefore needs to raise £1400 for each set provided. Each boat, engine and nets will be shared by two families.
After hearing about this need, UK Solihull Junior School Headmaster Mr Mark Penney and his wife Mrs Donna Penney have told Assist RR & IMHO that they will be walking the 55KM South Coast Challenge – Eastborne to Hove on 25 Aug 2018 to raise funds for the above project. Although they have no direct connection to the victims of war in the north and east, they are going to undertake this painful task to enable the victims to earn a living and to lead decent lives. We hope that the Diaspora Tamils, who have connections to these affected families, at least can support their effort by sponsoring their walk. Their fund raising pages are given below. Please kindly consider making a donation. All donations of any size are welcome and we urge you to give generously and support the efforts of Mark and Donna. Please also note that Mark Penney recently gave three presentations at the IMHO USA Annual Convention in Ohio on behalf of Assist RR and ran a workshop with High School students as part of IMHO’s Junior Leaders Programme. During the convention, IMHO USA raised $19,000 towards the Penneys’ boats appeal.
For the residents of UK & other Countries:
Assist RR UK Fund Raising Page
All donations by UK tax payers qualify for Gift Aid and may be tax deductible.
For the residents of USA:
IMHO USA Fund Raising Page
All donations made by US tax payers are tax deductible.
Kuhani Aadivasi families live in 11 villages in Muthur, Trincomalee District. Assist RR visited some of these villages, and spoke with the villagers to carry out a need assessment in 2017. These families were displaced in 2006 and became IDPs. They were resettled in 2009 in alternative lands. Their livelihoods are farming, collecting honey and firewood, hunting, and fishing. However, hunting has been banned by the government. These families are not given Samurthi handouts, although all these families live below poverty lines. These families are struggling for their survival due to lack of support and mothers do go begging in Trincomalee town. They desperately need assistance to improve their livelihood. Further to Assist RR’s appeal to help these families, Tamil Forum Malaysia (TFM) came forward and agreed to fund 10 water pumps and 5 sets of engine boats and nets. Ten water pumps were handed over to 10 families from these villages in January 2018. With the generous support of TFM, Assist RR have now donated 5 sets of engine boats and nets at a cost of Rs 565,000 per set in April and May 2018. Each set of engine boat and nets will be shared by 5 families. In total, 25 families will benefit form TFM’s kind support to the needy families from these villages. This will enable these 25 families to stand on their own feet and to lead relatively decent lives in the future. Assist RR would like to express its gratitude to TFM and its members for their kind and generous support to innocent victims of war in the North and East of Sri Lanka. It should be noted that TFM has been continuously providing assistance to needy families in Sri Lanka.
This is an amazing story of an eight year old boy, Ajesh Sanjeev Nadeswaran, who was going to run Gerrards Cross 5km Fun Run (https://gxfunrun.org.uk/home ) to raise funds in support of Assist Resettlement & Renaissance (Assist RR) to help patients with heart disease in Sri Lanka. As planned, Ajesh, who is from the UK, successfully ran the 5km today and so far raised a magnificent sum of £1685 including gift aid. Although he is a child, he has a kind heart to assist the needy by causing pain to himself. Assist RR have no words to thank him. He has set an example to all of us. Assist RR’s sincere gratitude to Ajesh. Dr Mayooran Shanmuganathan attended this event and handed over an appreciation certificate and a trophy on behalf of Assist RR at the end of his 5km run. His funding raising page is given below. Please consider supporting this child’s effort and make it even more successful. I attach some photos and a link of a video clip.
Fund raising page: https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/ajesh Video clip: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1qH8tYiB1w1nZ7M9Gvgxbs3bXMzGobpfy
Our “Charity Dinner 2018 – London” was held on 5th May 2018 in Croydon. We are happy to note that we made new friends, who appreciated the work of Assist RR over the past 5 years. In addition, a total of £7385.50 was raised at the dinner. This includes ticket sales, donations, a pledge from a kind hearted businessman for an engine boat and nets (£1400), raffles and gift aid on donations that are eligible for gift aid. Please note that all the dinner expenses, excluding the hall hire costing £380, were met by our charity members.
Following an appeal for support to our cardiology clinics in Sri Lanka, a kind hearted, generous and second generation Sri Lankan Tamil entrepreneur in the UK, Mr Vinoth Varatharajan, came forward and agreed to fund an echocardiogram machine at a cost of £27,500. This machine was handed over by his parents Mr & Mrs Varatharajan at our dinner in Croydon. This machine will be delivered by Assist RR to Killinochi Hospital in June 2018. It will be used by Dr Guruparan (of Jaffna Teaching Hospital) to scan 100s of patients a month in Killinochi Hospital. It will also be used by Assist RR’s volunteer cardiologists to scan patients in Mullaitivu Hospital in the near future. We are very grateful to Vinoth for donating this machine and to his parents for joining us at the dinner and for handing it over in person. Our sincere gratitude to all those who assisted us to conduct this successful event. Your kind support enabled us to raise this amount of money for a good cause. I hope you will continue to support our assistance to the needy back home.
Our 3rd cardiology and Echocardiogram clinic in Mannar District Hospital was conducted by Dr Mayooran Shanmuganathan between 12-15 Feb 2018. During this trip, he assessed, treated and referred for appropriate follow up a total of 125 patients. Needless to say, these patients would have to otherwise wait a long time and face considerable inconvenience to attend the nearest cardiology clinic in Jaffna or Vavuniya. The feedback was very positive from patients and local healthcare professionals. A ceremony to thank our efforts was held by Dr Roy, Assistant RDHS of Mannar District and was attended by the Hon Health Minister of Northern Provincial Council (NPC), Dr Gunaseelan. Assist RR would like to thank Dr Mayooran, Mannar Hospital administrators and nursing staff, Dr M Guruparan, supervising Consultant Cardiologist from Jaffna Teaching Hospital, Dr A Ketheeswaran, the Secretary of Ministry of Health of NPC, and the donors, who have supported us https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/echoclinicsrilanka, for their continued support. Assist RR’s vision is to provide constructive help to the existing healthcare infrastructure in Sri Lanka. With regards to cardiology care, we will aim to extend our help to other districts in the Northern Province which do not have the services of a visiting cardiologist. The reason, why we are concentrating in Mannar only, is that an echocardiogram machine is available in Mannar but there are no cardiologists in this hospital, who can use the machine. We are unable to extend this service to Kilinochchi or Mullaithivu because an echocardiogram machine is not available in these hospitals. We are very keen to provide this service to patients in Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu and are hoping that we will achieve this in the future. Please spread the news and offer your support.
We also enabled the purchase and delivery of 4 patient cardiac bedside monitors (equipments that monitor sick patient’s blood pressure, ECG, heart beat and Oxygen levels) donated by UK Tamil Students Union (UKTSU) worth £3250. The need for these equipments in Mannar was vey apparent and was noted by Dr Mayooran on his previous trips to the Hospital. Thus when he contacted UKTSU for help, they duly obliged. We thank UKTSU wholeheartedly for the timely donation.
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