[Sri Lanka] Second round of support for our neighbors in Sri Lanka struggling with an economic crisis
Last May, JTS provided food assistance to 1,300 households in Passara, Sri Lanka, which was facing an economic crisis.
During this support process, we became aware of even more dire circumstances in the nearby areas of Meedumpitiya and Tholabowatta. JTS selected these two areas for a secondary round of support and visited them in June and July, providing additional food assistance to 1,050 households.
We would like to share the story of this second round of support.
Meedumpitiya and Tholabowatta were once tea-producing areas during the British colonial era. They are inhabited by the “Indian Tamils of Sri Lanka” community, who were forced to migrate from India for tea production. Now, the tea plantations have disappeared, but these villages are home to impoverished youth who returned after losing their jobs elsewhere.”.
JTS has identified the neediest households in these impoverished regions and provided food assistance to 1,050 households, including 770 households in Meedumpitiya, 230 households in Tholabowatta, and 50 households in Ambathenna.
In this second round of support, 12 Sri Lankan locals participated, including two Tamil individuals and the volunteers who had also been part of the first round of support. These local volunteers visited and conducted pre-assessments of the beneficiary households, distributed coupons, and conducted market research, ensuring the smooth progress of the second round of support.
The pure-hearted dedication of these volunteers, who helped their neighbors despite facing difficult circumstances themselves, was felt in every moment. Before the second round of support, the local volunteers had the opportunity to learn about JTS’s activities and principles.
Finally, the day of the second round of support has arrived!
Even though distributing food to over 1,000 households is not an easy task, the local volunteers carried out the support activities smoothly with the confidence gained from their experience during the first round of support. The faces of the village residents waiting in long lines to receive food were filled with smiles.It was a joyful time for both those providing assistance and those receiving it.
After completing the second round of support, JTS activists moved to Hakmana, located in Southern Sri Lanka, and provided 20 sets of desks and chairs for students at Maha Viharaya School.
In addition, we installed water tanks in the Polgahalanda village, where there were no wells and people had to travel long distances for water. We also conducted preliminary surveys to repair crumbling houses. We are planning and carrying out various relief activities, including school supplies and backpacks for vulnerable students in 88 elementary schools in Passara, food support for an additional 2,000 households, and distribution of 1,000 nutrition packages for impoverished pregnant women.
Amidst the economic crisis in Sri Lanka, JTS continues to extend its helping hand to the most vulnerable people in need.