Apr 24, 2018

Reducing Risks - Increasing Protection

The properly installed wall around the compound
The properly installed wall around the compound

To mark the milestone of her 16th birthday, Neriah Nugara from New Jersey, USA chose to use her birthday celebration to raise funds for The Sunshine Charity. With parents of Sri Lankan origin, Neriah has travelled to Sri Lanka on over twenty occasions to visit relatives and friends.  She has a strong bond to the island and deeply cares about children who are less fortunate than she is, especially those living under challenging conditions in Sri Lanka.

Neriah’s birthday invitation to her friends read: “To mark this milestone in my life, I would like to do something special for children and families who don’t have the same opportunities I have. I am hoping that by supporting these underprivileged children and families, it may be possible to create opportunities for them to achieve their highest potential.  There will be a box out at the party to collect any contributions towards my project collaborating with the Sunshine Charity”.

Neriah corresponded with The Sunshine Charity about how best the money raised from her birthday party could be utilized, inquiring what the greatest need would be and how the funds would impact the children. She was keen to improve the physical infrastructure of the Sunshine Charity Day Care Centre - an area often overlooked as a funding option - and the trustee of the Sunshine Charity were delighted with her idea. The physical environment of a learning space, playground, or any area that children spend time in, including the surrounding neighbourhood, is crucial to children’s safety and security.  Therefore, Neriah felt that what the day care centre needed was a proper wall around the compound to reduce risks and increase protection.

In April 2018, Neriah was in Sri Lanka during her school break and her visit to the day care center gave her the opportunity to experience how the wall has helped create a child friendly environment where the children feel safe and secure. During her visit, Neriah found the time to meet the kids and engage with them through a creative story-telling hour. She listened to their stories and shared with them her own.  It will be a day to remember for the Sunshine Kids. Thank you Neriah for understanding the needs of vulnerable children.

The entrance gate enhances security
The entrance gate enhances security
Neriah with a member of staff
Neriah with a member of staff
Reducing Risks - Increasing Protection
Reducing Risks - Increasing Protection
Neriah meets the children
Neriah meets the children
Thank You Neriah!
Thank You Neriah!
Feb 12, 2018

Starting the New Year Right!

Rasika at home in Illeipukulam
Rasika at home in Illeipukulam

We are proud to announce that 2018 has a record high of children attending. We say thank you to everyone who has supported our work to allow us to take care of vulnerable children living in the eastern province of Sri Lanka.From creative opportunities to art programmes, from education to learning material, from health care to providing pharmaceutical drugs, from nutritional workshops for mothers to teacher training programmes, the Sunshine Charity has been engaged on the ground and in the field for over fifteen years providing currently fifty vulnerable children opportunities they could never have otherwise received.

Established in December 2004 as a civil society initiative registered by a Trust Deed, the trustees conduct an impact assessment survey bi-annually. This year, we met with mothers at the day care centre and at their homes to find out what impact our programmes have had on their lives and in particular, their children. We give you some of their stories from that survey.

Six-year old Rasika lives with her parents and younger sister in the remote village of Ileipukulam. She spent her early childhood at the Sunshine Day Care. Curious to know what benefitted Rasika most while she was at day care, Devi, her mother explained, “My daughter has a slight speech disability. I heard from the community that it would be best to send her to day care. Having inquired which of the three-day care centres in the area were best, they advised me to send her to The Sunshine Day Care Centre. Though it was the furthest from our home, I am so glad I did. Rasika integrated so well that she does not feel marginalized anymore,” is how Devi told her story.

What benefits Ranji and Jeeva, parents of three-year old Banu is that transport is provided. “This is a great help. We know our child is in safe hands once picked up as one of the members of staff or a mother accompanies the children both ways,” said Banu’s father, Jeeva. “We also appreciate the educational material used and the teaching methods adopted. They are almost on par with any city day care centre,” said Banui’s mother Ranji proudly.

For the parents of three-year old Shani, providing pharmaceutical drugs is the most important programme. “Of course, creative opportunities, reading and writing and play activities provided are all important but the vitamin, iron and the worming treatment is something we could not have afforded. The local hospital gives advise but asks us to go buy our paediatric medicines. The nutritional workshops conducted for mothers by the Sunshine Charity and supported by the Medical Officer of Health in the District, has helped us to understand the importance of our child’s health and nutritional needs so for me as a mother, the pharmaceutical drug and health care programme is one of the most beneficial programmes for our children,” was mother Sujatha’s story.

Interesting questions were raised by the mothers we met and the children we spoke to. The discussions we had with them created these inspirational stories. Their stories have inspired us to continue our work taking care of the needs of fifty vulnerable children living in remote villages of the eastern province of Sri Lanka.

Note: For security purposes the names of the children and their parents have been changed.

Illeipukulam Village
Illeipukulam Village
Banu with his parents
Banu with his parents
This is the way we wash our hands
This is the way we wash our hands
Three year old Shani
Three year old Shani
At Day Care
At Day Care
Dec 5, 2017

Celebrating Our Work

Happy to be at Day Care
Happy to be at Day Care

As one year ends and a new year begins, I would like to take the time to thank you for your generous donation and support to 45 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children living in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka. When we started our campaign on 1st December 2015 to raise funds to provide health care, pharmaceutical drugs, worming treatment, foot-wear to prevent worm infection, a nutritious and wholesome meal, educational tools, uniforms and creative opportunities for the 45 children attending the Sunshine Day Care Centre, we did not expect to be an active partner on Global Giving’s platform for more than a year. Your generosity helped us to move into a second year. It encourages us to continue with the challenge in getting closer to our goal in 2018.  Thank you for making this possible.

The Sunshine Charity’s programmes are sustainable, focused, strategic and long-term which makes our organization’s philanthropic work social rather than only charitable. By seeking to eliminate injustice, prejudices and inequality through the programmes we implement, The Sunshine Charity has over the years helped to improve the status of the vulnerable children and their communities.

2017 brought together mothers of the children to discuss their hopes, challenges and concerns. Benefitting them most was a Q & A on the nutritional needs of their children. The discussion lead to developing a new meal plan by a consultant nutritionist. For some, these discussions marked a tipping point in nutrition, leading to preparation of nutritious meals at home using home grown vegetables.  

Among the creative opportunities enjoyed was story-telling, drawing and painting especially talking about their art, reading and articulating in English. Appreciating the diversity of the country and the multi-cultural identity of Sri Lankans was another workshop conducted using the book, ‘One Country and One People’.

Your giving provided critical support for these programmes and helped address the root cause of poverty and vulnerability among our communities followed by the lack of child care facilities, the lack of educational tools, lack of reading and writing material and the absence of nutritional food.

The Sunshine Charity strongly believes that giving can impact both directly and indirectly. Hand-outs maybe good in the short-term but sustainable social philanthropy impacts individuals and communities long-term, which is the objective of our work.

Your participation and support played an important role in our campaign’s success and we hope you will continue to partner with The Sunshine Charity in 2018.

From all at The Sunshine Charity and The Sunshine Day Care Centre, we take this opportunity to wish you a wonderful holiday season and a joyous and peaceful 2018!

Enjoying Reading
Enjoying Reading
Discussion with Mothers
Discussion with Mothers
One Nutritious Meal
One Nutritious Meal
Story Telling
Story Telling
Drawing & Painting
Drawing & Painting
 
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