Transforming the care of children in Sri Lanka

by Their Future Today
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Transforming the care of children in Sri Lanka
Transforming the care of children in Sri Lanka
Transforming the care of children in Sri Lanka

Project Report | Mar 13, 2023
Supporting childrens survival

By Joel Stanier | Project Development Manager

Meeting the Southern Commissioner
Meeting the Southern Commissioner

Dear friends and supporters,

In 2018, TFT influenced the first Alternative Family Care Policy for Children in Sri Lanka, and foster care is the missing service needed to end institutionalisation for good, and ensure no child gets left behind.

Many Asian countries do not have any understanding of this concept, and our training film for Sri Lanka which can be subtitled into different languages is based on the true story of our patron Richard Farleigh, described as the nice dragon on BBC Dragon's Den a few years ago! 'My Life in Foster Care' aims to distinguish the difference between harmful institutionalised care, family/kinship care, adoption, and foster care to provide better understanding and awareness as part of our advocacy training programme to childcare services, judges, faith groups, Universities, NGO's and local communities, to help create a system change which is strongly advocated by the United Nations. To watch our film and vote click the link: https://smileycharityfilmawards.com/videos/my-life-in-foster-care-an-animated-film-based-on-the-true-story-of-richard-farleigh

WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT?
Numbers of children in orphanages are rising dramatically because of the severe impact of the economic crisis in Sri Lanka.
Many poverty-stricken and loving families are making the heartbreaking decision to abandon their children in institutions, wrongly believing they will have a better life. Orphanages which were struggling even before the economic crisis are overwhelmed and unable to provide food or basic care. The shortage of milk powder in Sri Lanka is especially affecting babies in orphanages.
Numbers of infants abandoned in Ruhunu orphanage have risen from 46 in 2019, to 64 in 2022, which included 16 newborns.

We've taken action to support these vulnerable babies by reaching out to a food distributor for supplies and discounts. Now, we have an urgent need to raise funds for milk powder, which is critical for providing the nutrition these little ones require to thrive. With your help, we can ensure that every baby has access to the nourishment they need to grow healthy and strong. Together, we can make a real difference in the lives of these precious little ones.

A productive meeting was held with the Southern Province Commissioner, National Childcare Probation Services. We discussed the progression and development of family based care since the alternative family care policy was introduced last year, and the urgent need for foster care awareness training going forward.

She advised 16 newborn babies have been admitted into Ruhunu orphanage in the last month, and she described how the milk powder shortage is her biggest challenge. It was very disappointing although not surprising due to the economic crisis to learn that the numbers of children registered at Ruhunu which had successfully decreased to 46 in 2019 from over 80 in 2005, has now risen to 64.

For the past three years, no outsiders have been allowed permission to enter Ruhunu or Senehasa girls home, but she kindly bent the rules and made an exception for me. She said it was impossible to find the words to express her immense gratitude to TFT.

Matron sent her sincere thanks for TFT’s support during the challenging times of lockdowns and crisis over the past three years. There’s no doubt that our dedicated TFT Housemothers and teachers have gone further than the extra mile to ensure that the children have continued to stay cared for and protected 24/7. I proudly observed our childcare-trained housemothers providing practical training to 12 students who are studying vocational childcare development at a nearby centre. After advocating for years, it’s encouraging to know that qualifications are now required to care for vulnerable children.

Senehasa Matron was warm and welcoming and says she’s lucky to do a job she loves, even though the 82 girls bring her 82 very difficult and complex problems including pregnancy, family rejection and abuse.

Locking up girl victims for their ‘protection’ is not a solution. The fact is, it leads to crime, prostitution and suicide and violates human dignity and human rights. These traumatised girls need love and psychological support, not punishment. While we’re committed to continue to improve their education, we‘re equally compelled to advocate for family-based care as opposed to institutionalisation in 2023.

Thank you to our milk powder heroes, Mr S and Patrick and Penny, who managed to source and donate 42 cans/boxes Nan 2 over the past week, which will give the 6-month-olds + the nourishment they need for a while, and will ease the pressure on Nan 1 supplies. We’ve also made enquiries with a potential bulk discount supplier and will plan a fundraising appeal to ensure the babies stay fed.

Asanka (name changed) still has a dream to become a journalist and has been introduced by Mr Percy to a local ITV broadcasting team where she is learning public speaking. This has led to a couple of Master of Ceremonies engagements, and we will definitely be booking her for our next event if she has time between learning Japanese, Korean and cake decorating in her spare time!

It was really wonderful to see Asanka’s mum standing happily together with her loving and supportive family, as she was extremely sick and bedridden when we first met four years ago. Chronic illness makes a huge impact on the lives of families who receive no income support or free medication, and the generosity of a sponsor is absolutely life-changing to help restore not only a mother’s health but her whole family’s survival.

Your donations enable us to provide life-changing outcomes and empower single mothers like Thilina (name changed) who are escaping violent relationships and abuse, and get them off the streets. With your support, we can help her to repair her food cart, and provide the resources needed so that she can follow her dreams and start a business selling hot peanuts. Seeing mum and daughter laughing and playing happily, knowing we can give them the tools needed to build a future together is heartwarming and deeply satisfying and is all totally thanks to you.

Yours sincerely,

Joel

Meeting the Matron
Meeting the Matron
Our heros
Our heros
Housemothers
Housemothers
Thilina
Thilina
Asanka and family
Asanka and family
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Nov 4, 2022
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By Joel Stanier | Project Development Manager

Jul 6, 2022
Providing medication for orphanage babies

By Joel Stanier | Project Development Manager

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Organization Information

Their Future Today

Location: London - United Kingdom
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Joel Stanier
London , United Kingdom
$5,594 raised of $40,000 goal
 
55 donations
$34,406 to go
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