Immediately after the 2004 tsunami wreaked mass devastation on the island of Sri Lanka, TRIP Canada was started to help with rebuilding efforts and create a unique opportunity for Canadians to get personally involved. In just 14 months land was purchased, funds raised, local labourers hired and 65 Canadians travelled to Tangalle, Sri Lanka to build a new village for homeless families. To accomplish this, we partnered with Developing World Connections, a Canadian non-profit service organization with projects in a number of countries.
Although our start-up objective was short-term aid for tsunami survivors, we became very involved with the community and gained a deeper understanding of the people and their needs. So, in 2006, we committed to return every year with volunteer teams and implement a variety of sustainable programs offering a “hand-up” to these poor rural families. Since then, that’s exactly what we’ve been doing: running an annual trip to Sri Lanka, usually in mid-April, in which Canadian volunteers can “deliver their donation” and transform lives in Sri Lanka. Also, throughout the year we support a variety of education programs.
Here is what we accomplished in April 2015 to celebrate our 10th anniversary:
In 2016, we discovered another very worthwhile project – Canadapura Children’s Home. This orphanage was started after the 2004 tsunami and, for a number of years it has been home to 24 boys and girls ranging in age from 5-16 who are all wards of the court and go to a nearby government school. In this area there are many more children living in very vulnerable conditions who need support for day to day living and continued education.
With the goal of accommodating more children, a new building was started in 2014 and then ground to a halt when funding ran out. Canadapura is located near the community where TRIP Canada has been working since 2005 so we decided to jump in and help.
In 2016 and 2017, the volunteers completed the first floor of the new building and added four rooms on the second floor. So the expansion is well underway creating room for more young children in need. On the 2018 volunteer trip we will continue with this project and we are investigating a new and urgent need as well.
On May 26th, torrential rains devastated areas of Sri Lanka impacting the lives of at least 500,000 people. In Tangalle, 500 mm fell in just one day causing the worst flooding in recorded history. There are many families in our surrounding community dealing with significant issues including full or partial destruction of their homes. With our past experience building homes for tsunami survivors, we are planning to provide help.
Learn more about volunteering with TRIP Canada: