Recap of 2015

Every year, this opportunity to look back on the past 12 months of work carried out by the Foundation of Goodness brings out a true sense of achievement in realizing how much we were able to accomplish. It’s always exciting to see how our activities have continued to expand, with exciting new projects initiated every year, hand in hand in harmony with our long enduring ones. It also brings out our overwhelming love and gratitude to our donors and sponsors who have given us this opportunity to touch so many lives, and be a force for hope and change!

We hope you enjoy our recap of our 2015 highlights as much as we enjoyed carrying out these exciting projects!

The year started on a high note with British High Commissioner John Rankin visiting the MCC Centre of Excellence in Seenigama as he had always been a very strong supporter of the Foundation and its activities and Kushil visited India in January to attend the Maidan Summit organised by Magic Bus, where he spoke on the subject of ‘Sports and Peace’.

January was also the beginning of the Cataract Project initiated by the Sri Lanka Association in Geneva (SLAG), St. John’s 23rd Parish of Geneva & Mr. Aruna Subasinghe with the kind assistance of HelpAge and Vision Care. Over the course of the year, this project helped successfully restore the vision of 61 rural villagers from the South and East.

Other inspirational projects introduced by our proactive and enthusiastic donors included the distribution of 36 bio filters which were donated to schools in Mannar (20 to Moddaikkadai G. T. M. S and 16 to Vanchiyankulam R. C. T. M. S) by volunteer Nick Kreider to give the children access to clean drinking water in an area with high levels of mineral content and pollution in the water.

Looking at the achievement of our beneficiaries, January saw many graduation ceremonies take place among our courses including Women’s Empowerment & Enterprise - General Cookery (21 students), Bakery (34), Beauty Culture (20), Curtain Making (16), Saree Design (23), Patch Work (14), Dress Making (29) and Lace Weaving (6), English (44), Tamil (13), Mathematics (38), Photography (13), Electrical Installation & Maintenance (7) and IT - Graphic Design (12), Web Design (7), Programming (7), MS Office (40) from the MCC Centre of Excellence and Village Heartbeat Centres and the Aviva Kids Computer Course (62).

It must also be noted that a new course on Saree Jacket Making was introduced at the Rathgama Village Heartbeat Project, as we continue to update and expand the courses offered by our sectors in a manner which reflects the needs of the beneficiaries.
In February, the HOW Foundation, Australia organised the Goodness Breakfast with FoG Trustees Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena at the Langham Hotel to raise funds for FoG, and our sustainability income generation venture, Gourmet Goodness launched three special blends across UK through Tesco supermarkets.

The Foundation of Goodness also introduced a felicitation programme for the best performers from all courses and programmes to motivate them further and encourage other beneficiaries to make better progress.

The Colombo Operated Model United Nations held their yearly stationery drive this month, donating all the proceeds to the Foundation of Goodness to distribute among needy children and schools and 25 bikes were donated to kids from Mankulam, North.

We must also commend our Electrical Installation & Maintenance course students who conducted their community aid project by completing all the wiring for a beneficiary’s home so that they could have electricity in their home.

March was a very significant month because we completed and handed over our very first Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Plant. The R. O. Project is one we have been very passionate about this year because of the desperate need to help stem the spread of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD). The first plant was sponsored by Tesco UK and handed over for the use of the Unchilakaddy villagers in the Mullaitivu District.

March was also the month when Tharindu Kaushal from the Foundation of Goodness family, played for Sri Lanka as a member of the National Cricket Squad at the Cricket World Cup Quarter Finals and Founder Kushil Gunasekera visited Australia, participating in special events organised by Women In Tourism International Alliance (WITIA), Stellario Realty Group, Charlton Brown, and the HOW Foundation to promote, fundraise and discuss future collaborations to enhance the humanitarian endeavors carried out by the Foundation of Goodness.

Magic Bus, India visited the Seenigama Sports Academy and conducted a 10 day training programme on the topic of ‘Problem Solving Through Sports’, preparing Youth Leaders and FoG coaches and staff for a yearlong programme. The team returned in September to continue their training in an effort to develop youth leaders and train them in problem solving through sports so they could benefit their community.

A team from Chagall Salon, led by Gerald Solomons, also visited Seenigama and conducted a beauty care training workshop for the Women’s Enterprise ladies.

FoG’s inaugural elocution class also commenced this month to improve the diction and fluency in English among Seenigama pre-schoolers and Year 1 students, while building confidence in their use of the language. This effort is to give these kids a good foundation in English during earliest stages of their school life.

The Sports Academy has introduced Elite Squads for exceptionally talented sportsmen from each sport played at the Sports Academy. The 19 sportsmen and women chosen for these Elite Squads will receive targeted and specialized training to develop into professional athletes and sportsmen.

April was another big month with the Foundation of Goodness launching GoodnessWorks Global, the enterprise wing of the Foundation of Goodness, to generate sustainability income for FoG Humanitarian Endeavors via 13 enterprise areas, aimed at taking FoG sustainabiity income from 0 to 20%.

Other special endeavors this month include Dr. Sudesh Piyatissa from Melbourne, Australia, raising funds for the Foundation of Goodness through the sale of #prideoflanka Lion Onesies during the 2015 Cricket World Cup, Elizabeth Moir School, Colombo organising a fashion show fundraiser titled ‘Fusion Fashion’, and all proceeds were donated to the Foundation of Goodness to conduct art and design classes for underprivileged students and an IT Learning Centre for the Mallika Navodya School in Hiniduma was handed over to the students by Sahana Sri Lanka in partnership with the Foundation of Goodness.

Following the devastating Koslanda Meeriyabedda landslide, dry ration packs were distributed to 91 families surviving the disaster as part of FoG’s ongoing work in rebuilding this community in the wake of disaster, as sponsored by Give2Asia. Over the year, we would continue to work with this community in priority order to help them get back on their feet, and improve their quality of life including special counselling and the presentation of educational scholarships to the children.

In May, 24 bikes and 15 bio filters were donated to villagers in Ichchankulam, Vavuniya with 15 more filters donated to families at the Pubudu village in Ja-Ela. These filters were donated by volunteer Nick Kreider in an attempt to give rural villagers access to clean drinking water, which is an essential need. Physiotherapist Aravinth Nallathamby who has previously conducted clinics in both the North and South with the Foundation of Goodness, began conducting weekly physiotherapy programmes in Seenigama to improve the physical well-being of the community & FoG Sports Academy.

Mr. Upali Dharmadasa, owner of ‘Upali’s by Nawaloka’ visited the MCC Centre of Excellence in Seenigama and conducted a cooking demonstration for the Women’s Enterprise & Empowerment students, sharing with them his years of culinary experience and expertise, which was a once in a lifetime opportunity for them while the Sri Lanka Unites ‘Life Without Violence’ Team conducted a forum theatre style programme to build awareness of domestic violence, a very valuable workshop for the residents of the Seenigama region.

We were also delighted to see triathlete Lakruwan Wijesiri who participated in the Kenyir Lake International Triathlon, place 1st in his age category and 3rd overall. It has been a great experience for us to support him as he steadily advances in the international sphere, and we wish him all the very best for even more future achievements. A very special thank you goes to Sri Lankan Airlines who sponsored this round trip, making it possible for Lakruwan to be there for the triathlon and also to Mr. Chandra Mohan from USA for all his magnanimous support.

The big news in June was that Founder/ Trustee Kushil unveiled his Twitter account. Since then, Kushil has posted hundreds of motivational quotes geared towards creating a happier life with less worries based on his personal experiences and the life lessons he wished they would have taught him in school. You can follow him on his account @KushilFoG.

Lahiru Pre-school celebrated its 10th year anniversary with a special alms giving programme and also had their annual pageant. To date, the pre-school has graduated 322 young students, free of charge and FoG developed a system for our students to take their exams online. This system has been introduced to the IT courses and the students have sat for their first online exams. In the future, we hope to introduce this system to all the other sectors as well.

Other achievements this month included our very own Tharindu Kaushal being part of the National Cricket Squad during the recent Sri Lanka vs Pakistan test series, taking five wickets during the first innings of his inaugural debut match at home and our Dive Master Roshan went to India for further training and has now qualified as a dive instructor, able to conduct diving courses and issue PADI licenses.

Other activities this month included the donation of 2 bikes to beneficiaries in Kalavanchikudi, Batticaloa and Navanthurai Jaffna and the first ever Staff Cricket Match which was played between the staff from Colombo, Seenigama and the Sports Academy who came together for a day of fun and team building.

During the month of July, the Foundation was honoured to be recognized as the Best Volunteer Sports Organization at the Silk Awards Ceremony 2015.

Another remarkable occurrence this month was that the deed for the land where FoG's North Learning & Empowerment Institute will be established has been signed by H.E. the President subsequent to the cabinet sub-committee approval, which means we can now make the plans to set up a holistic centre for Learning and Empowerment in the North which is a very exciting endeavor for us, with the Sri Lanka Institute of Architects coming on board with FoG to draw up the plans for the Institute.

We were also very excited for FoG dance troupe, 'Sama Goodness Rhythm' who went on tour to France representing traditional Sri Lankan dance styles at the Festival De Montoire which was a collection of 9 mini-festivals held across a number of French cities including Paris, Lyon and Orleans giving them the opportunity to explore new lands and introduce Sri Lankan Dance and Culture to the world.

The first batch of students to attend courses at FoG in 2015 also graduated in July, with The Women’s Enterprise and Empowerment Centre graduating 196 students (37 students from the Beauty Culture course,  33 from Bakery, 24 from Cookery, 17 from Dressmaking, 8 from Patchwork, 22 from Curtain Making, 3 from Beeralu Lace Weaving, 26 from Saree Work and 26 from Screen Printing) and the other courses graduating 296 students as follows; Computer (156 graduates), English (33), Tamil (23), Electrical Maintenance and Home Wiring (13), Photography (10), Compering (18) and Diving (16).

Another landmark achievement was the completion of FoG’s second Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Plant in Alapathgama with the help of our trustee Ashan Malalasekera and the Youth Progressive Foundation, and it was handed over to the 130+ families who did not have access to clean water previously, due to chemical contamination to the water supply attributed to the misuse of pesticides.

A very large donation that came our way this month were the 30 boxes of books donated for the second time by ‘Help a Child, Donate a Book’ as facilitated by Mr. Albert Teo, which was distributed amongst children, schools and libraries all across the island including the North, East, South and Central regions of Sri Lanka.

We also had the opportunity to host Kevin Pietersen's KP24 Foundation during their visit to the Seenigama Sports Academy and conducted a special coaching session to help the rural youth take their game to the next level and discussed a future opportunity for the 2015 Murali Harmony Cup Unity Team to tour Dubai as part of their cricket exchange programme.

In August, we were excited to announce that Gourmet Goodness Spices were now available online for sale internationally, please visit gourmetgoodness.lk/shop for more details.

August was also the month that the adventurous Mr. Thorsten Broese successfully hiked from Munich to Venice to raise funds and awareness for the Foundation of Goodness and FoG introduced Spoken English classes for all Seenigama staff to improve their language skills for both personal and career development.

Triathlete Lakruwan Wijesiri also went on to place 4th in his age category at the Half Iron Man event at the Ironman 70.3 Bintan Competition this month. This is the first time Lakruwan participated in an Iron Man event and he continues to forge ahead with his ambitions thanks to constant help from Sri Lankan Airlines, Mr. Chandramohan and other well-wishers.

The PMTT Charity Ride from the North to the South of Sri Lanka was one of the most stand out events for the year, and it took place from the 19th – 26th September with 40 international riders (mostly financial experts) driving 20 tuk tuks across Sri Lanka raising funds for charity and engaging in community aid projects including opening FoG’s 3rd R.O. water purification plant in Wellaragama, Mihintale to provide clean water for over 450 villagers. 

The Prefects of Elizabeth Moir School, along with Ms. Moir herself visited Seenigama as a community aid project. Earlier in the year, they raised funds for charity by organizing a fashion show and they utilized these funds for two tie-dye workshops conducted by Ms. Sonali Dharmawardena for the FoG Children’s Goodness Club members, in addition to donating money and material to help ensure the longevity of the project. They also organised a music workshop with Larry T. Hill.

Plates of Goodness, another of FoG’s sustainability income generation ventures was introduced in September and The Kingston group from Australia and Atlas group from UK participated in a hands on Traditional-Sri Lankan Cookery Demonstration in Seenigama.

In other remarkable events which took place this month, the students of the FoG Elocution Class sat for their very first practical exam and 25 of the students received honours with 1 receiving a merit. We are delighted by these results and congratulate the kids as they make further progress in their language skills.

October began with a bang, with Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer Missy Franklin from USA along with the Laureus Sport For Good Foundation visiting Seenigama, where Missy spent the day learning more about FoG, tried her hand at cricket and conducted a swimming coaching clinic at the Bryan Adams Pool where she also spent the morning going through her rigorous training routine. This was an incredible, once in a life time opportunity for the rural kids who learn to swim at our complex to meet and train with such an incredible sportswoman.

The excitement continued as the 4th Edition of the Murali Harmony Cup took place from the 7th to the 11th of October, with 365 cricketers in action in Jaffna, Mankulam, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu over 5 days across 100 km, with a special opening ceremony and meet & greet with Kumar Sangakkara taking place on the 6th. After 5 days of exciting cricket and a special visit by Sachithra Senanayake, Ananda College emerged as the Schoolboys’ Champion and Nittambuwa Ladies were the Ladies’ Champion. The teams were awarded their trophies by none other than Muthiah Muralidaran himself.

During this visit, Kumar Sangakkara distributed 20 bikes to rural impoverished kids in Kilinochchi, who have no means to travel to school, as part of his Sanga’s Bikes for Life Campaign with the Foundation of Goodness which has distributed up to 3,700 bikes in the North and East.

The Rathgama Village Heartbeat Project celebrated its 5th anniversary this month, which is a wonderful milestone for FoG. Rathgama is the second Village Heartbeat Project introduced by us and since then, we have opened another centre in Monaragala with plans underway for a fifth centre in Kankasanthurai.

In November, FoG Founder/ Chief Trustee Kushil Gunasekera spoke at the 2015 Skills Conference in Hyderabad, India where he also made a donation towards building toilets to improve sanitation facilities in rural India, a concept developed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as 'Clean India" and also attended the British Sri Lanka Association (BriSLA) Fundraiser in UK in aid of the Foundation of Goodness.

The British High Commissioner Mr. James Dauris visited the MCC Centre of Excellence and he was accompanied by Mrs. Dauris who had visited us previously with the Lady Mayoress of London. They were both delighted to see all the sectors in action.

The 2015 Murali Harmony Cup Unity Team made up of the most talented players from each team that attended the 4th edition of the Murali Cup went on a 10 day tour to the United Arab Emirates beginning 25th November upon invitation by Kevin Pietersen’s KP24 Foundation and the HopeSong concert was organised by volunteer Sanjay Pathmanathan took place at the Barefoot Café and raised funds for 130 school packs towards the Essential School Supplies Programme for the 2016 school year.

The Seenigama BPO Team has won the John Keells/ Infomate Monthly Quality Award for November 2015 which was a great success for us as it exemplifies the high standard of service provided by these village youth who have been trained and developed by the Foundation.

December was heralded by the historic visit to the MCC Centre of Excellence by the Northern Province Minister of Education, Cultural Affairs and Sports, Mr. Thambyrajah Gurukularajah, to tour our one of a kind holistic rural community model which is to be replicated in the North. As a goodwill gesture of further reconciliation, unity, harmony and peace, he presented 300 Essential School Packs donated by the Oru Paanai Trust to students from the South and the Foundation of Goodness returned this gesture by gifting 600 school packs towards children from the Northern, Eastern and Estate Communities.

We also commemorated 11 years of rebuilding and development since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami devastated Seenigama along with most of the Sri Lankan coastline.

We were kept very busy all month with the Essential School Supplies Programme, which is one of our oldest running projects. This year, we have targeted the delivery of 3000 school packs to be distributed to students all across the island in preparation for the new school year which will begin in 2016. The FoG team has been travelling all across Sri Lanka carrying out these distributions. Please visit us in the coming weeks to find the detailed story about these distributions.

Our 4th R. O. Plant sponsored by trustee and legendary cricketer Mahela Jayawardena has also been completed and we hope to have an official opening ceremony in January 2016 and hand the facility over to the villagers and 16 bikes were donated to Jaffna (4 bikes) and Alapathgama (12 bikes) in the North.

We also had some long running monthly projects sponsored by our kind donors which made a real impact over the course of the year including the donation of monthly grocery packs by Mr. Sapan Nainani & his family and Gemma Nolan, continuous gifts to the Anula Girls’ Home by Julie Kent, oral care programmes sponsored by Sonali Ranaweera via her charity Recycling4Smiles, and sponsorships towards the Navodaya Centre for Special Children by FoG Trustee Muthiah Muralidaran.
Also during the course of the year, we were lucky to host 139 volunteers from 16 countries including USA, UK, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, France, Kuwait, India, Sweden, Singapore, Slovenia and Russia who made a real and lasting impact towards adding value to all our work.

The FoG Sports Academy also had a very big year in 2015.

The beneficiaries collected money and provided an electrical connection for a needy family in the village as their community aid project for the year.

The Sports Academy had the wonderful opportunity to host 38 international sports teams along with a number of local teams to play friendly games with the Academy players. These teams include St. Andrew’s University, Gloster, Harrow College, UK Old Boys, Loughborough University, Fettes College, Ewell College and North Cote Lodge from UK, Ontario Academy from Canada, Sabu Weerasooriya Cricket Academy from Sri Lanka, Stockport Grammar School- UK, Royal Grammar School- UK as well as Gateway College- SL, Manchester Grammar School -UK, Victoria Veterans -Australia, Sacred Heart School -NZ, Aus Lanka South Melbourne -Australia, Kingston Grammar School -UK, North District Schools Team –Auckland- NZ, St. Paul’s College -UK,  CIMA Canada, Heidelberg Volkskool- Germany, Dalyellup College- Australia, St. Albans College- UK, Australian Hellenic Federation, Monkton Combe- UK, Royal Grammar High Whycombe- UK, PSCC Maritzburg College- South Africa, Puntfest Cricket Academy- South Africa, David Talalla Academy- Australia, Adams Grammar Girls School netball team -UK,  St. Benedicts College –Johannesburg- South Africa, Eids Cricket Club from Dubai, Insead Club Cricket Team match, Grootvlei Sort Academy, UK club team, New Plymouth College and Rugby School – UK. The main focus of these community aid sports tours is about both sides having exposure to playing in different conditions, against different players from various international backgrounds and training in addition to opening the eyes of many visiting youth to the hardship endured by less privileged players.

We also had special monthly coaching clinics conducted by Hemantha Devapriya and Jonathan Wright conducted special training for the elite squads. We also had the good fortune to have special coaching camps with National Netball Coach Hyacinth Wijesinghe, Dr. Holly Collison from Loughborough University UK, Andrew Claye, Russell Moon who conducted strength training, Master Shihan Kagawa Masayoshi (Black Belt 8th Dan) from Japan, and Badminton coaching with Dhanushka Kannangara which were focused towards improving the performance of our players.

The Marylebone Cricket Club sponsorship for 11 outstanding cricketers was also presented in 2015 for the 7th year running. Previous recipients of this scholarship include Pulina Tharanga who went to play for the National U19 team for the 2012 Asia Cup and Tharindu Kaushal who made his debut with the National Cricket Team during a test series in New Zealand in December of 2014.

All this attention and care towards our sportsmen and women seemed to pay off as the FoG Academy Volleyball Club Team participated in their first tournament this year, which was a district level tournament and emerged champions which is an excellent start. The Foundation of Goodness swimming squad also performs exceptionally well at the 2015 All Island Novices Swimming Championship, with R. M. Sachin winning the Under 20 Boys’ Championship.

The Seenigama Wimalabuddhi School Volleyball Team sponsored by the Foundation of Goodness, participate in the Zonal Inter-School Competition and win the U19 Boys’, U19 Girls, U17 Boys’, U15 Boys’ and U15 Girls’ championships and become Runners Up in the U17 Girls’ Championship and we were delighted when the FoG Sports Academy’s ‘Netball Seenigama’ Team beat out the Galle District Team at the finals to become the champions of the Southern District Netball Tournament. The Seenigama Netball team also went on to place 3rd at the All Island Netball Tournament while the Seenigama Volleyball team were the runners up at the Southern Province Volleyball Tournament and won the Divisional Inter Youth Volleyball Competition which means they are now selected to play for district level competitions. The FoG Academy Volleyball Team were runners up at the Southern Province Volleyball Competition and player Nipuna Madushitha was received the ‘Best Attacker’ trophy.

Tharuka Dilendra, Ishan Lakmal & Ashan Sagarathilaka from the FoG Karate Team were selected to participate at the Commonwealth Karate Championship organised by the Sri Lanka Karatedo Federation. T. L. Mendis and A. Geethanjana are also members of the Karate Team and they participated in the Galle District Karate Competition organized by Sri Lanka Karate Do Federation- Southern Province and placed first in their respective categories, qualifying for the Southern Province Competition. In addition, T. Mendis and his brother I. Mendis participated in the 1st Shoto Karate Championship organized by the Japan Karate Shoto Federation placed first in their categories.

We also congratulate Supuni Dilhara and Achini Madushika from the FoG Netball Academy who were selected for the Sri Lanka U19 Schools Team Tours of Malaysia in May 2015 and Sept 2015 respectively in recognition of their outstanding talent and skill.

Pulina Tharanga who was mentioned above was picked by the Cricket Selangor Team to play for them at the Malaysian Premier League tournament, where the team became champions and Pulina was named the man of the match.

July was a standout month as David Cruse and Keith Thompson organized a cricket tour in Sri Lanka for the Australian Hellenic Federation, and one of their most significant matches was playing the North Combined Schools Cricket Team in Mankulam (Northern Sri Lanka), following which they gifted bicycles to each of the players from the North Combined Team. The group also played a friendly match against the Seenigama Sports Academy Team.

The National U19 Cricket Team picked for the U19 World Cup in January 2016 visited Seenigama and spent two enjoyable leisure days at the Sports Academy, including playing a friendly match with the FoG Academy Team and learning life values.



06th January 2016



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