Monday, 5 August 2013

Caroline's Guest Blog

I was a newcomer to FODAD’s work 3 weeks ago when I arrived in Sri Lanka for a 2-week trip, but having seen Lucy’s pictures, read the blogs and the website, I thought I knew to expect from the experience. But I had no idea just how much significance the work that FODAD carries out has, not just for the community of Ratmalana, but for many other projects spreading further into the island.
It’s hard to get across the importance online of schemes such as visiting the children’s home or girl’s orphanage, and purchasing a sewing machine, for a family who can then support many other families with their stitching. Each bit of support the charity gives holds incredible meaning with the people here, and they give back as much as they are given with love! At a performance from the school, we witnessed dancing, singing and music played by the band, in thanks to Della and Don, with almost 120 in the audience, and received an incredible welcome from the Girls' Orphanage with singing, music, jokes and games!!
One of the most moving experiences for me was visiting the school and teaching the children, who were enthusiastic beyond belief. Many of the children come from disadvantaged homes and felt unclear about the difference education could make in their lives, and seeing how willing they were to share their talents and prove themselves emphasized the difference FODAD has made to the school’s focus.
It was so touching to see that the charity itself is more like a family, where every gesture, no matter how small, makes a difference. This couldn’t be accomplished without the support of amazing individuals: Colin, the comical yet heroic fisherman that saved Della’s life in the tsunami and is now Don’s big son, Udaya, the protector of the village, Mrs. Mohammed, an inspirational teacher and kind woman, the monk, and many others who make up this large family.
I was amazed at how quickly each individual tugged at our hearts, and has made me all the more determined to do all I can to aid FODAD’s admirable work, and spread the word. I left Sri Lanka only a week and a half ago, and I already can’t wait to go back!! To echo Mary’s words ‘it has been the journey of a lifetime’, and the more people that make this journey and become dedicated to this cause, the more this charity can do to give hope to those that are in need of it!
Caroline de Groot
Cricket on the beach
At the girls' orphanage
Visiting the sewing machine ladies

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