Providing a 2-storey building to J/Manatkadu CTM School

Manatkadu village, along the east coast of Jaffna peninsula, was badly affected by the 2004 Tsunami. 72 villagers were killed including 19 school children. J/Manatkadu CTM school and all the houses were destroyed by the Tsunami. The school has been functioning in a building built by the parents, a temporary shelter that was built after the Tsunami, in the corridors of the next door church, and under trees. Sadly, even after 12 years of Tsunami, the temporary metal shelter is being used for classrooms. The school is near the shore and within the Tsunami zone. A land outside Tsunami zone has been identified and the Northern Provincial Council (NPC) want to build a school in this new land. People have already move out of the Tsunami zone and are living around the land identified for the school. The locals desperately want to have this school in their new settlement, as the children are walking a long way in very hot conditions and without wearing shoes. The temporary metal shelter is also proving to be too hot and is not conducive for learning.

Further to our visit in March 2016, Assist RR approached a number of organisations for funds and managed to secure sufficient funds to construct a 2-storey building. The donors are: Puloly Pandithar Kandiah Vinasithamby Family Trust Fund, UK; Malaysian Tamil Diaspora; Building Blocks, UK; Assist RR. Assist RR would like to thank the above donors for coming forward and for helping the village to have an acceptable and safe environment for their children’s learning. Further to securing funds, foundation laying ceremony was conducted on 21 April 2016 at the new school site. The governor of NPC, Hon Mr R Cooray, Jaffna GA Mr Vethanayagan, NPC Education Minister Hon Mr Kurugularasa and many others including Mr Kandiah Manikkam representing Pandithar Vinasithamby Trust Fund participated in the ceremony. A few photos of the ceremony are also attached. The building would be completed by Sept 2016. Since we agreed to do this project, the NPC has also laid foundation for a second building on the same day. This will ensure that the whole school will be relocated after completion of these two buildings.

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Sampoor Resettlement – 2nd Phase – Urgent Needs

We hope you are aware that 546 families were resettled in the 2nd phase of Sampoor resettlement on 25 March 2016 following the release of 216 acres of land occupied by the navy and others. We have been informed that no commitments have been received so far to assist these families apart from the hand out of Rs 35,000 by the government towards the resettlement. We were asked whether we would provide some temporary shelters as we did in the 1st phase. I am sure you are aware that we built 55 shelters and toilets with the financial assistance of Shri Kanagathurkkai amman temple Ealing, TTVK Singapore, Sivanarulillam, and Assist RR. We hope we can do more temporary houses to assist some of these families with the help of the Diaspora. Importantly, we were asked whether we would provide some toilets as a matter of urgency, as there are nearly 1000 women and girls in this latest resettlement, who have no access to toilets. They are also living in a cram condition. In order to help these unfortunate people, we were asked whether we would provide at least 20 toilets as a matter of urgency so that they all can share them until they get their own toilets in the future. We can build semi-permanent toilets at a cost of £125 (Rs 25,000). Please kindly share this with your friends and family and encourage them to help these people, who are back in their lands after nearly 10 years.

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Opening Ceremony of Male Ward at PTK Hospital

The male ward that Assist RR have been building at Puthukudiyiruppu (PTK) hospital was ceremonially opened on 18 April 2016 by NPC Health Minister Dr Sathiyalingam. This project was jointly funded by Aavarthana, UK, Children Hunger Relief Fund, UK, Assist RR, UK, and a charity walk in the UK by Dr Philomena Karthikesalingam and Dr Jayanthy Gnananandan. The project, at a cost of around £44k, was implemented by Assist RR. MIOT Wales contributed £3500 towards furnishing the ward. With the completion of this ward, PTK hospital can now accommodate all patients in the 3 medical wards (paediatric, female & male wards) built by Assist RR, instead of letting them to stay in the OPD building or sending them elsewhere. The president of Children’s Hunger Relief Fund, Mrs Shanthanadevi Kaneshanathan, also participated in the ceremony. Assist RR would like to thank all donors who made this ward possible. This hospital serves nearly 45,000 people.

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Resettlement of Sampoor IDP Families – 2nd Phase

Nearly 300 families were resettled in their lands in Sampoor, Trincomalee in the 1st phase of resettlement and Assist RR assisted 55 families with transitional shelters and toilets with the support of many kind hearted donors. Another 546 families were resettled on 25 March 2016 in Sampoor (see photos given below). The GA requested us to assist with this resettlement by providing transitional shelters, sanitation facilities and livelihood support. We understand that this 2nd phase would almost complete the resettlement of IDP families displaced from Sampoor in 2006. We have been informed that the government haven’t received any support from any INGOs or any other organisations so far. However, as in the past, they would struggle to find support for extended families, who were not registered as IDP families during the displacement in 2006. It should therefore be noted that the need is there to assist many families including extended families, who are resettling in their village after 10 years of misery. A transitional shelter and a toilet would cost only around £750. Livelihood support can also be provided with a minimum of £250 by providing a water pump, a cow, fishing net, etc. Could you please kindly consider this need and spread the message amongst your friends and families and ask them to consider assisting these families with their resettlement after 10 years of their displacement?

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A Cataract Surgery Camp in Mullaithivu on 22/03/16

A cataract surgery camp was conducted in Mullaithivu today. This camp was funded by “Enlightenment Circle”, which is an arm of Saiva Munnetta Sangam (UK), and organised by Assist Resettlement & Renaissance (UK) in partnership with Vision 2020, Sri Lanka, and Rotary Club of Mullaithivu. 105 vulnerable and elderly patients benefitted from this camp. Many of these patients can’t afford to pay for the lenses and consumables needed for a surgery, which would cost around Rs 25,000 per patient. Many of them wouldn’t have had this surgery done if the camp was not conducted. The surgeries were completely free of charge to the patients. Assist RR would like to thank all those who were involved in making this a reality. Importantly, our sincere thanks to Dr Dias Jeyasiri, who came all the way from Matara and carried out the surgeries single handed on a voluntary basis.

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A Video Clip from the Mullaithivu Cataract Surgery Camp

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Current On-Going Projects by Assist RR in Sri Lanka

This is an update on our current on-going projects in Vanni and Sampoor, Trincomalee. We also attach some photos showing the progress of these projects.

1. Puthukudiyiruppu Hospital Male Medical Ward: The construction of this male ward is nearing completion as can be seen from the photos below. This project has been jointly funded by Aavarthana, UK, Children Hunger Relief Fund, UK, Assist RR, UK, and a charity walk in the UK by Dr Dr Philomena Karthikesalingam and Dr Jayanthy Gnananandan. The project, at a cost of around £42k, is being implemented by Assist RR. MIOT Wales contributed £3500 towards furnishing the ward  to be opened in April 2016. 

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2. A Pre-School in Sampoor, Trincomalee: Following a request from the GA of Trincomalee, a pre-school is being built by Assist RR. The project is being funded by Building Blocks, UK, a registered charity in England. The construction is nearing completion and will be opened soon. The cost of this project is around £7000. Building Blocks is also funding fencing the premises, installation of play equipment and furnishing the pre-school. This project wouldn’t have been possible without the generous support of Building Blocks, UK. The pre-school would assist mothers in the area to be involved in livelihood activities without worrying about looking after their children.

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3. Classroom extension at PTK Shri Subramaniyam Vidyalayam:  This school was completely destroyed at the end of the war and has been functioning in temporary shelters. An INGO, Child Fund, built a two storey building but left a small portion without the construction of the first floor. If completed, the first floor can house three classrooms. Following a request from the principal and the education department, Assist RR agreed to fund it. Siblings of late Miss Maheswary Velautham from Karaveddy donated funds in memory of her to construct this 3-classroom extension. Photos are given below. The cost of this extension project is around £12,000.

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4. Construction of Transitional Shelters in Sampoor: Assist RR had already completed construction of 35 shelters and is building another 20 shelters. Toilets are also being built for all 55 shelters. The construction of shelters will be completed in 2 weeks and construction of all 55 toilets will be completed by the end of April. There has been delays due to heavy rain in the area in November/December and due to high water level as a result. This project is jointly funded by London Ealing Shri Kanagathurkkai Amman Temple (20 shelters & toilets), Singapore TTVK (10), Sivanarulillam (4), and by generous donors through Assist RR (21). We will provide full details after the completion. The total cost of this project (construction of 55 shelters & toilets) is around £41,250.

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AssistRR 2016 Annual Dinner Presentation on our Projects

The presentation given below in a Youtube link was presented at AssistRR’s 2016 Annual Dinner on 23 Jan 2016. The presentation gives details of the projects carried out by AssistRR in the North and East of Sri Lanka since its inception in December 2012.  Our Sri Lankan Coordinator Mr Henry Amalraj and our Chairman Dr V Sarveswaran jointly presented it at the dinner. The feedback was very positive and the guests were very impressed by the projects carried out by AssistRR so far.

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