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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Assist RR Annual Dinner on 23 Jan 2016

Assist RR’s annual dinner took place on 23 Jan 2016 in Hayes, Middlesex, UK. The dinner was houseful and was very successful in terms of disseminating information and raising funds. The dinner raised £4350 through donations, ticket sales, raffles and American Auction. In addition, there was a one-off personal donation of £3750 by Dr V Vipulendran (MIOT Wales), Dr Mrs Somasundararajah (Birmingham) and their siblings towards building 5 shelters in Sampoor in memory of their mother. Solihull Junior School donated a cheque for £880. This is in addition to the £8000 they donated in Oct 2015. All the expenses including hall hire, food, DJ, etc, were met by sponsorships by some of our charity members. We would like to thank the members, who funded various expenses. We also would like to thank our members and volunteers, who made the event very successful. Without their hard work, we couldn’t have made it a successful dinner.  Our special thanks to our Sri Lankan Coordinator Mr Henry Amalraj, who came all the way from Sri Lanka to be with us at the dinner and to share his experience.

We would like to thank those who joined us as guests and would like to express our gratitude to our speakers: Mr R D Ratnasingam, Chairman of Trustees, Shri Kanagathurkkai Amman Temple, Ealing, Middelsex; Mr Mark Penney, Head of Solihull Junior School, West Midlands; Dr V Vipulendran, MIOT Wales; Dr K Somasundararajah, Our Patron and Trustee of Balaji Temple; Mr Matthew Maxwell Scott, Conservative Spokesman, Carshalton & Wallington. We shouldn’t forget the artists who performed singing and dancing. The performances of all the artists were very professional and impressive.  Although Mr Penney couldn’t understand the language, he was very impressed with the performances (singing and dancing).  Thank you to all those who performed: Miss Sahana Sivarajah, Essex - Songs; Master Subaram Suthaharan, Essex – Dance; Miss Archanya Arumthavarajah, Croydon – Songs; Mr Sinthujan Sivarajah, Essex – Flute; Miss Vaishnavi Shangar, South West London - Classical Dance. We also shouldn’t forget the amateur singers who participated in the karaoke, which was well received.  Doctors from MIOT Wales sang very well and took us back to the 1970s. It was suggested that we should continue with this format in the future as well.

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Sampoor Resettlement Project – An Update

We are happy to inform that we have completed and handed over 25 temporary shelters in Sampoor, Trincomalee, and are in the process of completing another 10 shelters.  Some photos are given below to show the completed shelters. These 25 shelters were funded by the following organisations:

Assist RR - 5 shelters

Sivanarulillam - 4 Shelters

Shri Kanagathurkkai Amman Temple, Ealing, Middlesex, UK - 6

Funds raised through TTVK Singapore  - 10 shelters.

Ealing Amman promised to fund another 14 shelters and a number of individuals have contributed funds to build another 4 shelters. We still need funds to complete 7 shelters in the first 55 shelters that we promised to provide. We have been informed that the number of families being resettled in Sampoor has increased and we have been asked to provide more shelters for the extended families, who do not receive assistance from either the government or the INGOs, as these families were not registered as displaced in 2009. Please kindly consider contributing towards building more shelters.

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Cataract Surgery Camp funded by Solihull Junior School

Solihull Junior School in the Midlands, UK, raised nearly £8000 recently towards funding cataract surgeries in Sri Lanka through Assist RR. We are happy to inform that Assist RR had conducted a surgery camp in Ratnapura on 13 Dec 2015 for the benefit of patients from the hill country including Nuwara Eliya. The camp was conducted at the Lions Vision for Sight Hospital in Ratnapura and Dr Dias Jeyasiri volunteered again to carry out the surgeries. Around 75 patients, who were brought in by buses from various parts of the hill country, benefited from this camp. We would like to express our gratitude to Solihull Junior School Children, Staff and Parents for providing the funds, Dr Jeyasiri for volunteering to carry out the surgeries, Ratnapura Lions hospital for providing their facility to conduct the camp, and Vision 2020 for organising this camp. We have been informed that Solihull Junior School raised another £800 during the festive period and will be donating to Assist RR for funding further cataract surgeries. We would like to thank Solihull Junior School for their continued support towards the needs in Sri lanka. We are aiming to fund another 325 cataract surgeries using funds provided by Solihull Junior School.
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Solihull Junior School Pupils Raised £7820 for Cataract Surgeries in Sri Lanka

Solihull Junior School pupils in the West Midlands, UK, raise funds for good causes every year. The school raised funds in 2009 and donated to Save the Children for the benefit of war affected children in Vavuniya. The school again raised £6400, which was a record breaking sum in their fund raising history, in 2013 to renovate two war damaged school buildings in Mullaithivu, following a request from Assist RR. Head of Junior School, Mr Mark Penney, invited Assist RR again this year to their assembly and asked to provide a presentation on the need for assistance to carry out cataract surgeries in Sri Lanka. During their charity week in October 2015, the pupils broke their previous record in 2013 and raised an amazing sum of £7820. Mr Penney invited  the chairman of Assist RR and handed over a cheque for £7820, which would assist nearly 350 elderly and vulnerable cataract patients to regain their eye sights. Parents of two pupils, Mr & Mrs Majithia in Birmingham, donated hundreds of brand new spectacle frames, which would be handed over to Vision 2020 to help the needy. We are indebted to Solihull Junior School staff for agreeing to support our charity’s efforts, to the pupils for their hard work and the parents for their generosity. On behalf of the needy people, who desperately need our help back home, we would like to thank Solihull Junior school from the bottom of our hearts.

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