Funds for running an orphanage at Thullukudiyiruppu, Pesalai,
in the diocese of Mannar.
Letter from the Father (2007):
The diocese of Mannar is 28 years old and located in the North West region of Sri Lanka. The total population of the diocese is 225, 000 with 86, 000 Catholics. Fishing and farming are among the main occupations of the people whose livelihood has been severely devastated by a civil war for over 25 years. The last twenty five years, the ethnic war has had enormous negative effects on all the people without any difference. Our present generation up to the age of 30 years had known only war and violence. Besides repeated displacements in their own habitats and confinement to Refugee-Camps and loss of thousands of precious human lives, there have been serious setbacks on human and religious values. This senseless war also had created a culture of violence where hatred and revenge take precedence. Thousands of people are traumatized by this ethnic war and its evil consequences. Our children are in need of guidance and educational help to come up in their life. Several child victims of the natural disaster of the Tsunami, who are in need of tender care and love, are being looked after by the diocese.
In my diocese and outside I meet a number of people who had been subjected to this cycle of trauma due to their bitter experiences of the war and violations of Human Rights. We live in an age where people, after man-made and natural disasters, are trying to recover from their sad experiences. I have been touched by the sad status of those shattered persons, who in their despair raise questions about the purpose of their very existence, their trust in fellow beings and faith in God. Their inability to face the challenges has even resulted in cases of attempted and actual suicides. This is the reality, which I find in our society and I feel moved to be of some help especially to the students, who are the pillars of our society in the future.
Background of the Orphanage: In the above described situation, our local church is involved in taking care of students who are parentless of either single or both. There are 18 orphanages run by our diocese in the civil districts of Vavuniya and Mannar. We have a newly built two story building at Thullukudiyiruppu, with necessary facilities for the students. The orphanage’s patron is our diocesan Bishop Rt.Rev.Dr.Rayappu Joseph, and it is under the care of four Rev. Dominican Sisters. The students are extremely happy and appreciative of the sisters’ motherly care and concern. The sisters assist students to grow with a sense of hope and stability based on human and Christian values and virtues. This institution helps them to acquire adequate knowledge, training in different life-skills and formations on leadership during their stay here.
Presently there are 51 war and Tsunami affected students boarded. They are from remote villages and townships among them some are especially from Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu districts. At Pesalai just within one kilometre distance from the orphanage a Madya Mahavidyalaya school is located, where all our students are studying. One of the Rev. Sisters is also teaching at the same school. The residing students are studying from grade 7 till they complete the advanced level. Those who sat down for the advanced level examinations and qualified to enter university are continuously assisted to complete their university studies. Also those who have average marks are encouraged to carry on with English Academy studies, informal education and life-skill programmes.
Rev.Fr. Jeyabalan Marisapillai
Co-ordinator, Girls’ Orphanage
The Mannar Orphanage is UKTSU’s long-term project, since 2007. Up to 6 UKTSU members have visited the Orphanage over the years and have provided additional support other than the annual instalments to enhance these children’s lives and their experiences. We have met so many talented youth here who have the potential to shine if we can afford to give them the opportunities. If you’d like to sponsor a child or make a one-off donation, please e-mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be very happy to advice you on how you can contribute to their betterment.