| Dec 29, 2022
Thank you for Helping 240 Families (& Counting!)
"Eye-opening work" according to our field team
We’re delighted to bring you news of this project’s success as we prepare to bring in the New Year! At the beginning of 2022, no one would have anticipated Sri Lanka’s year to be so terrible (and that’s saying something after the anguish from the global pandemic we all shared in!). The country suffered from one of its most severe economic crises - there was: no fuel, extended power cuts, no fertilizer, no food crops, no tourism, and the list goes on... With no political and economical stability, Sri Lanka was looking into some dark times.
In light of this economic crisis, our non-profit recognized the struggles the rural communities were facing in Sri Lanka and set out to help them. The farming sector was heavily affected, with a lack of resources leading to very low yields. We specifically wanted to find a way to help the farming communities that are affected by human-elephant conflict.
Our project came through at the most important time, many recipients have reiterated that our ration pack has helped their families. T&L identified households who were in especially dire conditions and, with the help of our supporters on GlobalGiving, we have provided 240 families ration packs, to date, which provide 1 – 2 months of their much-needed supplies.
During dry ration package distributions, our team took the opportunity to spend time with each of the families too. They reported that this time was eye-opening for them as they were able to understand the plight of these villagers and how important the ration packs were. An elderly mother of four children, and a recipient of our dry ration donation told us, “It is very difficult to find crops that you can cultivate without fertilizers; we were scraping thanks to the vegetables that are growing in our backyard. This box of rations is truly a blessing, even when our kids send us money, in our old age it is very difficult to travel and buy these items.”
After distributing the first 100 emergency packages, word of the team’s ration distributions spread all over Udawalawe. They were inundated with calls and requests for aid and decided to change tactics and arranged for people to gather in one location and distribute the packs from there. Trunks & Leaves had previously conducted a preschool project and the team had worked with teachers, principals, and village heads in the area, making it straightforward for them to muster the benefactors into groups in common locations in preschools or community halls etc. Thus allowing the team to distribute packages in bulk and more efficiently to keep with us with the donations made by our generous GlobalGiving supports - that's you there, reading this. Thank you!
We’re happy to report that Sri Lanka’s 2023 looks much brighter. While the costs of vegetables and staples will remain high, the fuel shortage has been addressed (with proper planning & regulations) and tourism gradually returning to the “Peral of the Indian Ocean”.
Now that work on the ground can resume, our non-profit has launched a new GlobalGiving project to fund Facilitating Human-Elephant Coexistence in Asia (in Sri Lanka and Thailand) through projects such as researching alternative crops for farmers which provide an income but are less attractive to neighbouring elephants.
Our field team have also been returning to monitor the elephants in Udawalawe National Park again. Kumara our Research Supervisor, and Janaka, our Field Technician, have been delighted to report back on new calves they’ve already seen. We’ll add details of these new calves to our current cohort of calves available to symbolically adopt!
We want to extend our enormous thanks from the whole team at Trunks & Leaves, and from the families and communities you’ve made such a difference to this year. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts for supporting our projects. We wish you trunksful of happiness as we enter the New Year - as ever, we couldn’t have done it without you!
The field team delivered 240 packages to date!
Ration packs provided 1-2months of vital supplies