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63rd letter of Information

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Dear club members, dear other club supporters,

Summer is almost over and it is time to report again about our Rosenkinder in Sri Lanka. Last May and June, I already had to report on the limited development of our projects in special information. At least we have managed here in Uetersen to celebrate our 15th general meeting on 8 August 2021 in combination with a small anniversary celebration in the town hall in Uetersen. This has already been reported on briefly.

The Corona situation in Sri Lanka is not at all normal and tends to be catastrophic. In a country with about ¼ of our population, with currently almost daily 5,000 newly reported infections and 200 deaths without any foreseeable improvement, the health system and the entire life has almost collapsed. Strict “lockdown” with curfews are once again the order of the day and will remain so until September. The number of unreported cases is likely to be several times higher. In addition, after 1 ½ years of Corona, even without income from tourism, there is now economic collapse. State bankruptcy is imminent. There have already been injections of money and aid from international organizations. The state is no longer able to import or pay for basic foodstuffs such as rice and sugar. A presidential decree is to be issued to stop hoarding and further escalating price increases. One has to wait and hope that after the planned 100% Corona vaccination by the end of September, the situation will ease somewhat. At least Sri Lanka was in third place worldwide in terms of vaccination progress last July.

And our projects in this situation? Many people have fallen ill and died in the immediate vicinity too!

1. Current project “Rosenkinder” Sponsorships in cooperation with the Lions Club Aluthgama/Bentotata

In an intensive digital exchange with our helpers Chandani and Dooland, we managed to extend the sponsorships of currently 72 “Rosenkinder” from August 2021 to January 2022. All children were contacted and their education status was checked. Currently, 7 “rose children” are in a waiting status. This means either waiting for the results of a passed o-level or a-level examination and the continuation of education or waiting for the start of studies. In addition to the graduated funding amounts according to their level of education, these “Rosenkinder” also continue to receive financial support. However, the international payment process was special. We had to bring forward our planned board meeting at short notice. Immediately afterwards, our treasurer raised 7,500 Euros. This was necessary because even a Lions Club is no longer financially able to advance the funds a few days for a timely payment to our Rosenkinder. The punctual payment of our monthly aid then worked out, as did the payment of an anniversary special bonus for all “Rosenkinder”. In view of the situation in Sri Lanka, we are currently also organizing the distribution of food parcels for the families of our sponsors. This is also quite difficult in “lockdown” times with curfews and supply shortages. But our helpers Dooland and the creative monk Dr. Kirinde in Kotapola, as well as our well-known food market manager are working on a quick realization. We are sure that this further necessary help will also work out.

2. Current project special education at the Anula Wijerama Children Home in Balapitiya in cooperation with the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress (ACBC)

The lives of 38 girls in the children’s home in Balapitiya continue only with Corona-related restrictions. A home closed to the outside world and home schooling with only a few computers but many girls from different classes are not good conditions for sustainable learning success. Our two matrons Nilani and Sanjeewani in the home and the teachers we finance are fighting against this, unfortunately currently only from the outside. All of them are trying hard to support the girls in their digital lessons and to provide a pleasant home life. Unfortunately, our homework teacher, who is supposed to take care of the youngest students, has dropped out due to Corona’s illness. The older girls have now stepped in as mentors. Due to the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, more and more younger girls are coming to the home, as many families are no longer able to provide for their children. Home as a way out. In a Zoom session with the home coordinated by the English teacher and with the three-member leadership of the volunteer committee, we were able to see for ourselves the good atmosphere and motivation despite Corona in the home. See and hear also the video attached. It was particularly well received that on the occasion of our anniversary we will pay the two matrons and our teachers a special payment for their exemplary commitment. We have of course also thought of our girls. Since the usual donations from the public are becoming less and less, we support the kitchen of the home with monthly special payments for the purchase of necessary food, or that sometimes something delicious is put on the table for the girls’ birthday party. By the way, all pictures in today’s edition of our member information come via WhatsApp from Nilani or are small works of art from our girls in Balapitiya.

Mrs. Nilika Senanayake – Chairman of the ACBC National Council for Child Care was confirmed in her honorary position this spring and is now in her fourth year as a reliable facilitator of our support services for the girls’ home in Balapitiya. We have just agreed with Nilika to purchase and configure an additional computer to further support the home schooling in Balapitiya.

3. Current project “Rosenkinder Hostel” at the Vocational Training Center in Panadura in cooperation with the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress (ACBC)

The ACBC National Council for Education, our partner for the Rosenkinder Hostel, has also elected a new honorary leadership. In this case there is a new Chairman, Prof. Susiripala Malimboda and his team. Communication with the new leadership has started well. However, the answer to some questions regarding the improvement of the technical teaching support of currently the 15 orphan girls in vocational training is still pending. We are also interested in the planning status of a second planned Rosenkinder Hostel for boys in Payagalla. All in all, we are optimistic that the corona-related alternate education will be successfully completed by the end of the year and that these girls will also get a permanent job with good pay. Of course, we are also very excited to meet the new leadership and our project partners “live” soon. Of course, these Rosenkinder pupils and their helpers will also receive anniversary gifts.

4. Other Projects

Due to Corona, life at the ACBC children’s home for blind and deaf-mute children in Mahaweewa and the associated school is still at a standstill. Unfortunately, there will be no new project for young families “Care for the unborn Child” until further notice. However, the corona-related special tasks and measures are already enough extra work for our many volunteers. After all, they also have to think about their health.

5. Other Information

Further in the planning is the book reading by Dr. med. Umes Arunagirinathan “The lost patient” on 24 October 2021 at 11 am in the town hall in Uetersen. After the good experience with our general meeting, we are very hopeful that the event will take place. According to the current Corona regulations, probably as a so-called 3G event. In addition to Umes, we have already secured some well-known representatives from politics, health insurance companies and the medical profession for what is sure to be a lively discussion forum afterwards. The concrete invitation for our members will probably go out with the then valid hygiene rules at the beginning of October. Firm registrations are desired and there will probably only be a limited audience of 80 people. In this respect, please do not cancel the already noted date for participation.

Even after my previous descriptions of the current Corona situation in Sri Lanka, we are not afraid to continue thinking about our next trip to Sri Lanka. February 2022 has been earmarked for it. Quite a large number of interested people have already registered for it without obligation. We were already able to briefly discuss the necessary framework conditions such as free travel to our projects, recognition of vaccination status and Ayurveda in Barberyn Reef with them at the Rose Children’s Birthday. However, the concrete planning of a possible trip is still open. If you are still interested, please contact me. A separate information service is planned for all interested parties.

Yours / yours

Dieter Kaske