Reflections on Team 12
Reflections on a very worthwhile project, incredible volunteers and wonderful children.
Just back from another trip to Sri Lanka and my mind is filled with people:
- The incredible volunteers labouring so hard in extreme heat to create safe homes for 12 children.
- Our Sri Lankan friends and co-workers who make the projects achievable opening their homes and hearts to us very year.
- Our generous, loyal donors who never let us down.
- And, mostly, the faces of the children we met.
This year it was very apparent that Sri Lanka has changed from the war-torn country ravaged by the tsunami that we arrived in 11 years ago. It is clearly more prosperous and the economy is starting to flourish. We are grateful that the signs of improvement extend into the communities we have gotten to know and care about. It is also evident that the people living where TRIP Canada is building homes, schools, temples, playgrounds and supporting poor students still need, and deeply appreciate, the “hand up” offered.
And so the story continues with a new project started in 2016 and the chance to make a significant difference in the lives of 60 children in need of shelter, food, clothing, education and caring.
Canadapura Children’s Home is sponsored by the monk who leads the Buddhist community in Brampton, ON. After the tsunami devastated his homeland, Rev. Pangnasara built an orphanage for those who lost their families in a village close to TRIP Canada’s projects. It has been home for 24 and, as the needs of the community grew, the Reverend launched an expansion to house 36 more children.
Plans for a new two-storey building were drawn up and construction started. When we first met the Reverend in November 2015 work on the first floor had ground to a halt because of insufficient funding. TRIP Canada committed to complete the project and the first step was undertaken by the volunteers of Team 12 – first floor done – room for 12 more – 36 children safe.
Until our arrival in April, we had no direct contact with the orphanage or the system in Sri Lanka for those children in need of a safe home. Everything we were exposed to and learned while there, assured us that the investment of our time and resources was extremely worthwhile. The children live in a safe, clean, nurturing environment. They are well fed, loved and much attention is devoted to their education and future opportunity.
We were on-site for 10 days and had lots of opportunity to get to know the boys and girls who are 6 to 18 years of age. While all come from terrible conditions – death of parents, mistreatment or violence at home – we believe they are doing well. They are happy (for the most part) cared for and care for each other.
Leaving them is difficult – they now feel we are family and they fear we will not return. There is much to be done to complete the second floor and many hopeful young people waiting for us to come back. TRIP Canada is 100% committed to making this happen. Team 13 departs April 14, 2017.