How it all began
The association “Rosenkinder” – Fördergemeinschaft für Kinder in Sri Lanka e. V. was created from a privately financed and organized Tsunami project. We remember that Sri Lanka was also a heavily affected country due to the catastrophe on 26 December 2004 with about 35,000 dead, over half a million homeless and an infinite number of people affected. Founded by a friendship to a artist from Sri Lanka, Dieter Kaske – current chairman of the board of the “Rosenkinder” – started a small private tsunami project at the beginning of 2005. The project and the circle of private donors became so great in its implementation and the success so lasting that the association “Rosenkinder” was founded from this initiative on August 8, 2006.
What is the vision?
The association “Rosenkinder” promotes education for children and orphans in Sri Lanka as “help for self-help”. Preferably in structurally weak areas – i.e. away from the privileged tourist regions – children with personal talents from underprivileged homes or in social crises are given the chance for individual support, for the continuation of school education or a special school education or even for a course of study. Especially families with many children or girls, who are often disadvantaged due to the social structures, are given this special opportunity for education.
In addition to the support of children/young people in the family network, the collective support of children, mainly orphans, is another essential element of the association’s support. This involves special school training measures in the orphanages during the stay. These measures complement the general school education in various disciplines on site. The children or young people are prepared for the future outside the orphanage according to their individual talents. In addition, orphan girls are cared for in a “Rosenkinder” hostel, which gives them the chance of a qualified vocational training. Because often after leaving the orphanage when they reach the age of 19, the girls are left with nothing but unprotected immersion in society. This can also be connected with a forced marriage up to slipping into prostitution. Education or occupation is the best way to integrate back into the general society.
Our measures are organised as simply as possible and should have a direct and sustainable effect. Everything is done 100% on a voluntary basis. This applies to the administration here in Germany, but especially to the administration and control of the projects and measures in Sri Lanka. Administration costs of only 2 to 3% are proof of this. All association funds are used safely, directly and comprehensibly for everyone in the sense of the association’s purpose. The regular annual visits of the board of directors in Sri Lanka for control and contact maintenance also serve this purpose. For some years now, members of the association have also been travelling to Sri Lanka and have been able to get an impression of the projects of the “Rosenkinder” on site.
How do we proceed?
Of course, the association cannot organise and monitor the concrete help or the projects in Sri Lanka itself. Therefore, there are cooperation in Sri Lanka with recognized humanitarian organizations. During our association trip in February 2019 we honoured our helpers at Rosenkinder Day. The organizations are on the one hand the Lions Club Aluthgama/ Bentota and on the other hand the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress (ACBC). The Lions Club is international and thus also “helping” in Sri Lanka. The ACBC is the Buddhist umbrella organization for humanitarian aid and administration for 17 orphanages in Sri Lanka, among others.
At present, about 60 children receive regular, permanent financial aid in cooperation with the Lions Club Aluthgama/ Bentota. The financial aid for the “Rosenkinder” sponsored by the association is used for expenses in connection with school attendance, such as school fees, teaching materials, school uniforms, school meals, possibly remedial teaching, travel expenses and a reserve is built up for emergency situations or possibly further measures. This reserve is paid out at the end of the support. Some children have also made the transition to university and will of course continue to receive support if necessary. The Lions club is responsible for the administration and control of the funding for the six-month funding periods. In addition, there are contact persons between the sponsored children and the Lions club for regular communication and also for monitoring the success of the school development. In individual cases, children may also be excluded from the sponsorship program, for example, if they do not attend school regularly or if they refuse to pass exams.
Under the management and control of the All Ceylon Buddhist Center (ACBC), special classes have been offered and financed as a collective measure in Anula Wijerama Child’s Home “Orphanage” in Balapitiya since 2007. Between 30 and 40 girls aged 6 to 19 years receive English, mathematics, science, music and dance lessons six days a week. These special lessons are given by teachers in the afternoon. They receive a small fee for this and are generally employed in state or private schools or teaching institutions. In addition, we finance a homework help service 3 days a week. This has proven to be particularly useful. The activities or the actual implementation of the special lessons are again controlled by the ACBC. A voluntary committee of the Children Home takes care of the organisation and the care of the girls on site.
A further project has been running in cooperation with the ACBC since autumn 2013. In Panadura a central “Rosenkinder” hostel was established. The “Rosenkinder” association has contributed 3,500 euros to the construction work to create a separate training and living area. Here, 10 orphan girls are accommodated and cared for two training courses per year. These girls can then obtain a recognised qualification in 4 different professions in the adjacent state training centre. These are: cosmetics, hairdressing, tailoring and quality control in the sewing industry. The special highlight is that all girls who have completed their training are guaranteed a permanent position. Attendance at the state training centre is free of charge, all ongoing accommodation costs for the orphan girls are covered by our association.
In addition, a recognized dance school near Kandy is supported by the association “Rosenkinder”. Dance costumes and instruments for dance lessons and performances are bought from specially donated funds of individual members or sponsors. In addition, we have financed a wooden swing floor for the 60 or so young dancers, which is easy on muscles and tendons, to replace a broken concrete floor. Finally, we also made a significant contribution to the repair of the roof, because the old roof was so badly damaged by “wild monkey gangs” that the new beautiful floor was endangered by penetrating monsoon rain. This diverse support enables the dance school to continue to offer lessons free of charge to children from the poorer rural areas. The dance school is family-run and is particularly committed to the preservation of old dance traditions. For the association “Rosenkinder” the preservation of culture is also an important concern.
In addition, we always fully participate in or finance individual sensible and sustainable projects. To name but a few:
- the establishment of a day school class in Colombo for handicapped children
- the establishment of a library in the village school in Kalawila
- the support of young pregnant mothers and their babies for 15 months with medical support and life assistance, as well as a food package every month
- the provision of shoes, rucksacks and even underwear or fabric for school uniforms for particularly needy school children
Ein weiterer Ausbau unserer laufenden Fördervorhaben oder die Suche neuer Vorhaben kann weiter erfolgen. Allerdings nur, wenn dies über A further expansion of our current funding projects or the search for new projects can continue. However, only if this is permanently secured by donations or membership fees. Any support of the “Rosenkinder” is designed for the long term or sustainably and must therefore also be secured in the long term by continuous income.