A holistic rural community development model seeking to bridge the gap between the urban and rural communities via 10 empowerment divisions across 300+ villages island-wide reaching over 28,000 beneficiaries annually, free of cost.
The Foundation of Goodness conducted its 100th consecutive visit to the North of Sri Lanka. A team from FoG including Founder/ Chief Trustee Kushil Gunasekera and Manager VHE Centres and Northern Development, Edward Edin (who joined the FoG Team after being discovered during the 2012 Murali Harmony Cup cricket tournament, when he captained the Jaffna Combined Team) visited the Jaffna District Secretariat to discuss plans for a proposed 50m pool and aquatic centre in addition to a visit to Puthiya Nagar in Mullaitivu where together with our Donor APSL we have completed the 1st phase of the Solar Power community service project, installing solar panels on to the roof of the local Community Centre.
Looking back on our North Journey promoting peace and reconciliation between the North and South of Sri Lanka, we are proud of the work we have been able to accomplish in the past decade touching over 50,000 lives, building bridges and promoting harmonious friendship.
What began as a small foray into supporting fellow Sri Lankan’s in the North in 2012 when the Foundation of Goodness still operated predominantly in the South (where our Flagship Model is situated in Seenigama), soon grew in scope and expanded FoG’s activities to encompass both the Northern and Eastern regions.
The first ever visit happened in January of 2012 when teams from FoG delivered 500 Essential School Supply Packs to students in Mankulam (Mullaitivu District). In February, upon their request, we handed over 125 bicycles to villagers from Akkarayankulam, Ambalangar and Aiyankulam and an initial target was set to deliver 1,000 bikes to this region. Soon, this project was incorporated with Kumar Sangakkara’s special initiative, the ‘Sanga’s Bikes for Life Campaign’ which ultimately helped us to raise funds for over 4,000 bikes, distributed among students and families who did not have any other means of transport.
Over the next few years, the Foundation of Goodness’ activities expanded even more as per the needs of the community. Initially, welfare and household items were distributed along with livelihood and business development assistance. Other programmes also introduced solar powered lighting to the villages which still did not have access to the electrical grid.
Since sanitation facilities were also unavailable in most villages, FoG constructed public and private outhouses for the villagers as well as building and renovating the local wells and tube-wells to give them access to clean water for drinking, farming and other essential activities.
The Foundation of Goodness also recognized the importance of developing the correct infrastructure for future generations in order to give them better access to resources and therefore have been actively involved in schools development activities including establishing and developing libraries and computer rooms, renovating and refurbishing classrooms and even helping to establish the Neethipuram Pre-school in Mullaitivu. Support was also extended to various children’s home and orphanages.
Since sports is such a key part of FoG’s empowerment activities, numerous sports development initiatives were also introduced in the North and East. Schools with aspiring sports teams received equipment for the teams as well as numerous sports ground development activities such as installing a pavilion at Oddusuddan MV and building 60 side-nets/ practice wickets at 30 schools in the north and east. Extensive grounds development and maintenance programmes also took place during the Murali Harmony Cup cricket tournament which took place from 2012-2016 with the support and participation of Sri Lankan cricketing legends Muthiah Muralidaran, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena who are also on FoG’s board of trustees.
The Murali Harmony Cup cricket tournament was a one of a kind event which brought together 16 school-boy teams and 8 ladies teams from around the island to 4 venues in the North to play cricket and learn more about each other over the course of 5 days. Afterwards, the most outstanding players from the different teams were handpicked to create the –Unity Team- when players from different ethnic, language and social backgrounds would play together and have the opportunity to travel overseas for a tournament or training.
In addition to the Murali Cup, the cricketers have also conducted special coaching camps in the north and the Foundation of Goodness also conducts monthly sports coaching camps in the North and East. The Foundation of Goodness has also facilitated for various overseas school-boy cricket teams to play against teams in the North, thereby giving both parties very valuable experiences.
More recently, the Foundation of Goodness partnered with the Spirit of Soccer Foundation to deliver mine safety education to thousands of school children through the medium of sports.
In 2017, the Foundation of Goodness established 3 Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centres in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Jaffna.
These Centres are designed to empower rural disadvantaged villagers, especially through English and IT which are essential to reduce the levels of poverty. Other programmes also include life skills & values, educational subjects, vocational training and sports to help people make better progress in life, overcoming the disparity between the urban and rural communities. Establishing these centres finally gave the foundation a base of operation in the north and today, they serve approx. 1,500 beneficiaries every year.