Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children

by The Sunshine Charity
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Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
Taking Care of 50 Vulnerable Sri Lankan Children
grateful to receive dry rations
grateful to receive dry rations

As Sri Lanka continues to face its worst economic crisis since its independence from the United Kingdom over 70 years ago with acute shortages of fuel, cooking gas, nutritious foods particularly powdered and liquid milk and other essentials, the people of this once serene island continue to struggle with the extreme hardships resulting from the devastating economic crisis which has hit almost all its twenty-two million people with children affected the most. Unable to get to school due to short supply of fuel, long hours of power outages affecting studying at home or remaining sick due to the lack of medicines and medical needs vulnerable families have become more vulnerable.

Providing one basket of essential dry rations to each of the fifty-two families served by The Sunshine Charity maybe a small step in the right direction but one that has gone a long way to ease the financial burden of these families. We thank the numerous donors for their generosity which helped achieve our immediate goal and pledge to implement follow- up initiatives.

thank you!
thank you!
when will this all end?
when will this all end?
thanking donors
thanking donors
staying together
staying together
happy to return home with a basket of food
happy to return home with a basket of food
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Mothers waiting patiently
Mothers waiting patiently

With activities at the Sunshine Day Care and Preschool being disrupted in the past months due to the lockdowns, we anxiously looked forward to the health and wellbeing workshops planned for the children and the mothers. It was a meaningful way to start the new year. Meeting the children; seeing them play and listening to the stories their mothers related at the integrated programme to support vulnerable communities to access basic health care and nutrition was long overdue. The programme included Health Check for Children, Nutritional Assessment and Screening of Pregnant Mothers & Mothers to be, Discussion with Mothers on Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases and a Discussion with Mothers on the Nutritional Needs of Children.  Medical Doctor/ Obstetrician and Gynaecologist (VOG), Dr. Ravichandran raised awareness on many areas. Bringing a locally based medical doctor and a supervising public health midwife to the field allowed the mothers to connect without formalities. The Q&A was certainly a game changer for the fifty mothers present. Each mother was given a quarterly supply of pharmaceutical drugs for their child, which included vitamin and iron syrup and the annual worming treatment.

Another interesting part of the programme was the preparation of a nutritional meal for the family. The food items were neatly displayed on the table with the midwife explaining the nutritional aspect of each one. The vote of thanks at the end of the programme told us how much information the participants had gathered. “Learning about best practices when preparing a meal for my child and hearing about the nutritional needs of children was for me one of the most important aspects of this programme,” is how one mother expressed herself.

Our experiences have taught us that community-based programs under many circumstances provide the crucial tools and interventions to make programmes significant. So, it was for this workshop too - Supporting Vulnerable Communities to Basic Health Care & Nutrition.

With increasing economic challenges resulting chiefly from the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to access affordable basic health care is almost impossible. The worst affected are vulnerable communities. Hand-outs maybe good in the short-term but sustainable social philanthropy impacts individuals and communities long-term. Encouraging all stakeholders to participate and engage in these programmes have contributed immensely to its achievement.

 We are grateful to all our donors for their support and generosity to allow us to realize the organizations’ overall goals and objectives.

Health-check for children
Health-check for children
Learning about my child's health
Learning about my child's health
Preparing a nutritious meal
Preparing a nutritious meal
Listening carefully to what the midwives say
Listening carefully to what the midwives say
Thank you!
Thank you!
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Enjoying our Ice-cream
Enjoying our Ice-cream

 With fear of lockdowns and a new wave approaching, the festive celebrations came early for the Sunshine Kids. We wanted to be sure they will not miss the fun activities in-spite of Santa not being able to visit.

Christmas is always a magical experience for children. Coming together at the end of a school year at the Sunshine Preschool means receiving their medals and certificates, celebrating the traditions of the season, wishing each other happy holidays, and of course receiving their Christmas goodie-bags. Though a Christmas concert was not part of the programme this year, the parents enjoyed watching their happy children play with their friends and enjoying their time together.

We say a big thank you to all our donors and well-wishers for the continuous support extended to The Sunshine Charity. We would not have been able to overcome the many challenges faced these last couple of years if not for your generosity.

From The Sunshine Charity, we wish you a joyous Christmas and a happy New Year!

with my medal of achievement
with my medal of achievement
All dressed up!
All dressed up!
I am proud too
I am proud too
Me with my goodie bag
Me with my goodie bag
we got loads of gifts to take home
we got loads of gifts to take home
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Selecting Educational Material
Selecting Educational Material

In her small house in the village of Sambalthivu, Trincomalee, head teacher of the Sunshine Day Care and Preschool, assisted by volunteer mothers tenderly attended to the next delivery of grocery items and educational packs for the Sunshine Children. With an island-wide lockdown still in place, the challenge was to make sure nutrition and education continues uninterrupted. Over the years, The Sunshine Charity has not only focussed on the children, our primary beneficiaries but also made sure that our staff along with the mothers are empowered to understand the greatest needs of children. Encouraging them to be actively and meaningfully involved, the collaborative effort saw how coming together achieved stronger and successful results.

“Our district is under lockdown. Living off the main road in remote areas, there is no vendor who is willing to deliver our needs. We are very grateful for these groceries delivered to our doorstep by the Sunshine staff” is how families repeatedly expressed their thanks.

On behalf of the children and their families we say thank you to all our donors to be able to continue our work during these demanding times.

Drawing is my Favourite
Drawing is my Favourite
My favourite too!
My favourite too!
and Me too!
and Me too!
Nutirtion for the Families
Nutirtion for the Families
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Its Playtime
Its Playtime

A typical day for children attending the Sunshine Day care and Preschool would mean enjoying their time at the centre from the moment they are picked up from their homes to the time they are dropped off. During the time spent, the children practice writing skills, work with art material to create something beautiful which they often take back home to proudly show-off to their parents, playtime and what they look forward to most is a plate of noodles stir-fried with heaps vegetables and egg.

Speaking to twenty-seven- year-old Marian, “It is not every, day care and preschool that offers a basket of opportunities like here. While some do not have the adequate funding to provide preschool material others do not have committed teachers.My daughter Francis’s first school experience was when she joined the Sunshine Preschool in January 2020. I heard about the place from Joslin, a former assistant teacher who said the centre will be the ideal place for Francis especially since she has a disability with her hand. At the school she is taken good care and is not treated differently. This makes all the difference. It is Francis’s final year at the preschool after which she will transfer to the local primary school. If Francis’s did not have this opportunity, she would have stayed home”.

Marian is from Negombo on the west coast of the island and transferred to live in Trincomalee on the east coast when she married Fernando from the village of Attamotai. Fernando works as a carpenter earning Rs. 1,500 (US$ 7.5) per day. Along with their five-year old daughter they live in a rented house paying a monthly rental of Rs. 1,000 (US$ 5).  With such a meagre income, vulnerable households like the Fernando’s would not be able to afford enrolling their children at a paying preschool. With no missed opportunities, Francis will certainly have a head-start when she transfers to the local primary school.

With each visit to Trincomalee, we meet with about three to four Sunshine families at their homes or at the school. Listening to their voices matter and acting upon it matters more! Their trust in the organization inspires us to continue our work with particular focus on education and nutrition.

Kala is a single mother and is employed as a cook at the Sunshine Preschool. Supported by volunteer mothers, she attends to the meals provided for the fifty children. “I lost my husband sometime time back. Being a widow, I have to earn for my family of three children. My five-year old daughter Dinya is a student here. This is very advantageous as I can bring her to school, attend to the cooking and take her home when I leave the place. What I earn here is my only source of income. It is a pity that I did not know about the school when my two boys were growing up, so they stayed home without any preschool education. Dinya is fortunate to have this opportunity”.

Education is one of the most effective ways to empower communities but for vulnerable families living in remote areas, access to it has been a huge challenge. Unpresidential barriers from transportation to affording educational and creative learning material have denied their children with early childhood learning which is seen as the foundation for lifelong learning. Children like Francis and Dinya are two children among fifty children who have benefitted from the amazing opportunities offered at the Sunshine day care and preschool.

Mary Remoshan with daughter Francesca
Mary Remoshan with daughter Francesca
Have a sip of Milk
Have a sip of Milk
Udayakala with daughter Divya
Udayakala with daughter Divya
Standing together
Standing together
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Organization Information

The Sunshine Charity

Location: Colombo 6 - Sri Lanka
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Sharadha de Saram
Colombo 6, Western Province Sri Lanka
$33,844 raised of $50,000 goal
 
545 donations
$16,156 to go
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