The Fourth Round of Emergency Relief for Children in Sri Lanka Facing an Economic Crisis
In early November, JTS continued its fourth round of relief in Sri Lanka. Based on the field investigations conducted during the third round, JTS primarily focused on supporting students. In total, we provided school supplies to 2,663 students in four locations: Vavuniya, Kamburupitiya, Passara, and Polonnaruwa. Furthermore, we distributed 20kg bags of of rice to 650 households and 10kg bags of of rice to 1,320 households as part of our extensive relief efforts.
As always, local volunteers in Sri Lanka took the lead by actively preparing for this initiative. They visited schools and villages throughout the area to assess the support needed. Many students were seen carrying worn-out and tattered bags. It was decided to provide bags and school supplies to these students, and preparations for the relief activities were made.
First, we checked the condition of the supplies such as bags, pencils, and crayons. We distributed the items and also prepared coupons. The joy of helping the children made us even more enthusiastic than usual.
We have also completed the preparation of 20kg bags of rice for those in need of food supplies. Volunteers cooperated with each other, ensuring a swift and thorough preparation of the items. Then, we commenced the distribution activities in the four villages.
The support in Vavuniya was carried out upon the request of Ven. Damanda, with whom we were connected through INEB. We provided bags and school supplies to 303 middle school students who lacked the necessary supplies.
An event was also held with Ven. Damanda. transcending denominations such as Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist. It was a sight of unity of volunteer relief activities that goes beyond religious boundaries, with the hope that peace and respect will always accompany the lives of the children. The bright smiles of the children illuminate not only their faces but also the hearts of the volunteers.
In Kamburupitiya, we provided school supplies to 310 elementary students, and 20kg bags of rice to 550 households in the most impoverished communities. As the relief activities were proposed by the Kamburupitiya Municipal Council following our previous JTS activities, the staff of the Council actively participated.
We learned once again that everything is interconnected. The site was bustling, but thanks to the cooperation of the volunteers, the distribution proceeded smoothly.
In Passara, we provided school supplies to 1,320 elementary students. Despite the heat and long queues, their faces were filled with smiles.
A welcome reception was also held for JTS volunteers. The children presented handmade paper flower bouquets to the volunteers as gifts. Everyone at the site exchanged warm hearts with each other.
In the Polonnaruwa area, we provided school supplies to 330 elementary students and 40 middle school students. Additionally, we supported 100 extremely poor households with 20kg bags of rice each. The atmosphere at the site was as bright as the sunny weather.
The students in Polonnaruwa prepared a special performance for the volunteers. The expressions of gratitude from the local residents were particularly impressive. In this way, we concluded the fourth round of relief activities. The infectious laughter and smiles of the children never left the faces of the volunteers.
Here are the impressions from the volunteers:
“I remember the moments when residents who received rice expressed their gratitude, sometimes even shed tears.”
“It’s great to be able to help many neighbors with JTS, especially when we can’t do it alone or assist only a few.”
“Ultimately, helping others makes me happy.”
It was a peaceful scene where the exchange of bright welcomes and pure satisfaction was so profound that it was difficult to say who helped whom. JTS will continue to be with everyone until such peace becomes a part of everyday life.