2016 Recap

The year began for the Foundation of Goodness with the opening ceremony for the new Business Process Outsource Centre building sponsored by Sri Lanka Cricket Inc (New South Wales) with funds raised from the Tsunami Aid Project. The Business Process Outsource Centre will be harnessing the talent of rural youth to carry out back office operations for overseas clients whilst working in the comfort of their own village environment.

Also in January the Pahalagama (Ampara) Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Plant sponsored by FoG Trustee and legendary cricketer Mahela Jayawardena was declared open. This plant provides clean water for the 600 people living in Pahalagama as well as those in the surrounding region and is the 4th R. O. Plant established by the Foundation of Goodness.

Essential School Supplies deliveries for the 2016 school year was also completed in January with 3,236 rural students receiving the school packs in order to start the new school year. Our greatest hope is that this will help the children build a bright future and escape the cycle of poverty they are currently trapped in.

In February FoG triathlete Lakruwan Wijesiri participated in the 2016 South Asian Games in Guwarti, India Sri Lankan triathlon relay team who were able to secure a Bronze Medal. A big thank you goes to his sponsor Mr. Mohan Chandramohan from USA for helping Lakruwan achieve his dreams!

There were 2 special fundraisers organised by our caring well-wishers and volunteers this month including The Sri Lanka Sports Association of Queensland Inc. (SLSAQ) Dinner Dance Fundraiser also in Australia organised by its President, Mr. Jayantha Pathikirikorale, and the ‘Hear to Dance’ Fundraiser organised by current FoG Volunteers Jessica, James and Sabrina in partnership with FoG’s Goodness Rhythm Dance Troupe to raise funds to purchase a hearing aid for a young beneficiary.

The Jean Marc Beguin Champillon Group raised funds for 110 bikes to be handed over to rural beneficiaries without any other form of transport, and 10 bikes were donated to very needy students at the Kurunegala Digampitiya Vidyalaya, while 100 bikes were donated to students from all across the northern region.

The second half of the North/ South student exchange sponsored by the American Centre was also completed in February when the FoG Sports Academy Netball and Cricket teams, along with the students from our Tamil Class visited Jaffna. The Seenigama Team were able to win both their matches against the Jaffna District Cricket Team in a tightly contested encounter while the netball girls tied their game against the Jaffna District Team but went on to win their game against the Victoria College team. The students also had the opportunity to visit the Holy Family Orphanage and spend an evening of fellowship singing songs and getting to know each other. This programme hopes to establish ties of friendship and understanding between the north and south to enable peace and reconciliation to take place in the spirit of grass-root level action.

School Uniforms sponsored by Tesco, UK and provided by Hirdaramani Group were donated to students from Weheragala Maha Vidyalaya- Ampara, Sirisanda Vidyalaya- Polwatta, Dombagoda Vidyalaya- Ahangama, Morawaka Dewalegama Maha Vidyalaya & Primary School- Galle, to help the students start the new year with brand new uniforms and big smiles on their faces.

32 computers donated by Barker College- UK, with the support of LBW Trust and Batting for Change, were distributed amongst 5 IT Centres at the FoG Aviva Centre, MCC Computer Centre, the Udumulla and Rathgama Village Heartbeat Projects and the Oddusuddan IT Centre which will benefit 685 rural kids and youth annually in an effort to increase IT knowledge in rural villages and give kids easy access to computers.

In March we were delighted to open the Matara - Gandara Village Heartbeat Project launched in partnership with the Najeeb Deen Foundation (who are sponsoring the project in its entirety) which was declared open by FoG Trustee and cricketing great Mahela Jayawardena. This is FoG’s 4th VHP Centre, with the others located in Udumulla, Rathgama and Monaragala.

  The yearly Marylebone Cricket Club scholarship for up and coming cricketers were also awarded this month to 11 members of the 2015 Murali Harmony Cup Unity Squad in recognition of their talent, and with the aim of developing young cricketers from all around the nation by the President of MCC, Mr. Roger Knight, during his visit to Sri Lanka.

Also in March, a team from FoG visited 82 families impacted by the Koslanda- Meeriyabedda landslide which occurred in November 2015 and conducted a psycho-social workshop in addition to distributing groceries and household items to help them get back on their feet and regain normalcy speedily including a long term scholarship for 50 students.

In April, 72 almost new state of the art computers were donated by Mercedes Benz, Australia in partnership with Batting for Change and LBW Trust as part of their ongoing effort to increase rural IT access which is essential for educational, career and personal development.

We were also incredibly privileged to see the Bryan Adams Foundation Swimming Pool being used by up to 35 physically challenged beneficiaries thrice a week to help their rehabilitation therapy. 

In May Sri Lanka faced unexpected devastation when Cyclone Roanu caused severe floods and landslides across the island. The Foundation of Goodness was able to put in place a multi step post-resettlement flood relief plan to help countless families get back on their feet. The first step of this plan was completed on the 29th of May, handing over dry rations sufficient for a period of 1-2 months to help 100 families’ in the Wellampitiya areas to overcome their immediate concerns with step 2 and 3 of the project to follow soon, providing housewares and scholarships.

Also in May, the Foundation of Goodness was honoured to welcome Netball Australia to our Sports Academy for a special tour and coaching session. Netball Australia donated valuable training videos to the Sports Academy following their training session and we hope to establish a partnership between the two organizations which will help showcase the immense talent of rural sportswomen.

Once more joining hands with LBW Trust and Batting for Change, we were able to distribute 80 scholarships to ladies pursuing tertiary education in the South over the month of May, with 20 more distributed in the North and East in the month of June. To date, LBW Trust has worked with the Foundation of Goodness to present 275 scholarships to students from across Sri Lanka in addition to the recent sponsorships.

Our greatest venture in the month of June was the launch of the 'MIND SHAPER: What The Classroom Didn't Teach' App which is now available in the App Store and Play Store! Download today to enrich your lives with essential quotes on topics such as life, good values, inner beauty, leadership and happiness by Kushil Gunasekera to raise funds for the Foundation of Goodness.

FoG’s Goodness Rhythm Dance Troupe were invited by the Marylebone Cricket Club to perform at the prestigious MCC Lords grounds during the 2nd day of the England vs. Sri Lanka 3rd test match (held on 10th June, 2016). Two additional performances took place at the Lords Nursery Ground on the 9th and at the Westminster City Hall upon the invitation of the Lord Mayor on the 8th. The Dancers were flown to and from England courtesy of Sri Lankan Airlines. 

Following the completion of Step 1 in providing 100 families with dry rations, Step 2 of the Cyclone Roanu relief effort was completed in June, distributing household packs to 121 families as well as year-long educational scholarships and Essential School Supplies Packs to 112 children from these families who are all from severely flood affected areas such as Wellampitiya and Mulleriyawa.

In July, FoG realized a landmark achievement when our 5th and 6th Village Heartbeat Project Empowerment Centres were declared open in Eravur and Thirukkovil. These centres were established with the kind sponsorship of our trustee Mr. Ashan Malalasekera along with his Youth Progressive Foundation.

Another North/ South Student Exchange programme sponsored by the American Centre enabled students from the FoG IT, Beauty Culture and Dress Making courses held in Kilinochchi and Oddusuddan (Mullaitivu) to visit Seenigama for a cultural exchange. They were greeted by the MCC COE Tamil Language Students and participated in special programmes to promote friendship and understanding as well as giving the northerners an opportunity to explore the southern coast. Programmes of this nature seek to break down barriers between cultures and promote a united Sri Lanka.

Also in July, the Foundation of Goodness sponsored the donation of a water tank to the village of Ambagahawewa by the 23rd Colombo Club to give the villagers easier access to water which is essential in developing their quality of life.

The Sports Academy welcomed its first ever community aid sports tour for swimming, when the New Castle Girls’ High School from UK visited Seenigama and organized a friendly swimming competition with our swimmers. Following in its’ lead we hope we can see more community aid sports tours join us for swimming in addition to the more popular cricket and netball tours.

In August, we were able to complete phase 3 of the FoG Flood Relief Programme and 323 children from Aranayake who were adversely affected by the landslide caused by Cyclone Roanu received educational scholarships for the period of 1 year.

We also had the pleasure of welcoming Australian High Commissioner, His Excellency Bryce Hutchesson, his wife Elizabeth Ward and the Second Secretary (Political) to the Australian High Commission Ms. Edwina Sinclair, Director of Laureus Spain Paula Garcia for a visit to the FoG MCC Centre of Excellence and Sports Academy in Seenigama.

71 students selected as the best performers of 2015 from all FoG sectors and courses attended a leadership workshop where they participated in seminars by Rozaine Cooray from Forte on the subject of ‘From Crisis to Character', as well as those on life skills and life values by Kushil Gunasekera and FoG Staff.

The 5th edition of the Murali Harmony Cup took place from the 20th – 25th September across 5 venues in the North, with FoG trustees and legendary cricketers Muthiah Muralidaran, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardena in attendance to motivate and advice the 16 boys’ teams and 8 ladies’ teams that participated from all across the island, with Nittambuwa Ladies and Mahinda College- Galle taking home the ladies and boys’ trophies respectively. We at the Foundation of Goodness are incredibly privileged to have organized this event for reconciliation and rural cricket development over the past five years, helping thousands of cricketers from around the island come together in the spirit of cricket to promote friendship and unity.

Cricket scholarships sponsored by the Patsy & Norbert Mellawa Scholarship Fund were handed over to outstanding young players from the north in Under 13, Under 15, Under 17 and Under 19 categories by Hon. T. Gurukularajah, Northern Province Minister of Education, Cultural Affairs and Sports with Ranjan Mellawa and Christine Seneviratne also in attendance during the final day of the Murali Harmony Cup in Kilinochchi. Cricket bags were also distributed to five schools in Kilinochchi to help develop school cricket in the north.

Netball Australia partnered with the Foundation of Goodness once more in September to deliver a two phase training programme in the North and South of Sri Lanka. Phase one took place in the south for 10 netball coaches from the north and south and the second phase was in the north for the netball teams trained by these coaches with 120 individuals participating. The training included leadership programmes conducted by the National Peace Council and a motivational lecture by Jayanthi Kuru-Utumpala, the first Sri Lankan to summit Mt. Everest. The coaching programme was conducted by Josie Janz-Dawson, an Australian national netball league player for the West Coast Fever and Olivia Philpott, International Development Manager for Netball Australia. 

25 students from St. Rock Maha Vidyalayam and Kanagarathnam Maha Vidyalayam  from Jaffna accompanied by 2 teachers visited Colombo from the 16th – 18th September as sponsored by the Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka to attend an SOSL concert and expand their experiences through travel and sightseeing while also building bridges of friendship between the North  and South.

8 international teams participating in the Red Bull World Campus Cricket Tournament visited the Foundation of Goodness in Seenigama and played a friendly match with the Sports Academy players.

A second phase of cataract surgeries for rural beneficiaries were initiated in September by the Sri Lanka Association of Geneva, with 9 patients from the first batch of patients successfully recovering their sight following the surgeries, which were carried out in partnership with Help Age.

In a landmark achievement for FoG, The Seenigama Ladies Cricket Team defeated the Palink Ladies at the Ladies Division 2 Finals and qualified as a Division 1 team going forward, which is a great victory for the team, their coaches and the Sports Academy.

In October the Bendigo Bank (Australia) Charity Bike Ride from the North to the South took place between the 24th and 29th to raise funds for the Foundation of Goodness. The ride started with a special event donating 100 bicycles to students from the North and came to a conclusion at the MCC Centre of Excellence in Seenigama. A huge tribute to all the riders for this noble undertaking.

Also in October, Elizabeth Moir School became the first ever international school to introduce the Good Values Initiative to their students in partnership with the Foundation of Goodness, to encourage the student body to become more involved in community welfare and caring for the needs of rural underprivileged villagers.

2 Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Plants sponsored by the PMTT Charity Ride were handed over to the villagers of Mullekumbura, Buththala and Kallanchiya, Galnewa to help them gain access to clean drinking water as both villages have polluted water sources increasing the risk of Chronic Kidney Disease amongst the residents. These are the 5th and 6th R. O. Plants constructed by FoG with 4 others previously completed in Unchilakaddy, Alapathgama, Mihintale and Dehiatthakandiya in the Northern, North Central and Eastern regions of the island.

The Good Talents Competition made up of sections on English essay writing, grammar, a listening exam and spelling bee took place at the MCC Centre of Excellence, with the participants divided into years 10- 15 and Over 15 age groups, and winners were selected for the top three places in each category. This competition was introduced to encourage fluency in the English language amongst the villagers.

In November FoG Founder/ Chief Trustee Kushil Gunasekera was a panelist at the Credit Suisse – The Economist 2016 Philanthropists Forum in Singapore as well as speaking about his thoughts, personal experiences and lessons learnt on the subject of volunteerism at the United Nations International Volunteers Day 2016 in Colombo.

The ‘Punchline: Live Stand-Up Comedy Show’ was organized by Sanjay Pathmanathan on 25th November at the Ananda College Kularatne Hall, Colombo to benefit the Foundation of Goodness, with proceeds going towards the Essential School Supplies Programme to help rural impoverished students ahead of the 2017 school year.

33 ladies made up of FoG staff and past/ present pupils from our Women's Enterprise & Empowerment, Sports, Diving, IT and Business Skills sectors participated in the Women's Entrepreneurship Day conference held at the Mt. Lavinia Hotel on 18th November, providing motivation and guidance for female entrepreneurs as well as giving them the opportunity to register with the Regional Development Bank for business development loans by way of micro-financing.

During the very last month of the year one of FoG Founder Kushil Gunasekera’s long held dreams finally came to fruition. In partnership with Anchor Milk, the Foundation of Goodness were able to launch the ‘Only Good News Paper’, a trilingual paper containing only good news distributed across Sri Lanka free of charge to inspire and motivate Sri Lankans to do more good in their everyday life.

The Goodness Rhythm Dance Troupe has begun performing weekly Charity Dance Shows at 8.30 pm every Saturday at the Bansei Hotel in Hikkaduwa in an effort to generate sustainability income for the Foundation of Goodness. This is yet another initiative by the Foundation of Goodness in our journey to become self-sustainable, ensuring the security and longevity of all our humanitarian projects island wide.

In commemorating its 10th Anniversary, the Bryan Adams Foundation reached out to the Foundation of Goodness with an offer to renovate and refurbish the Bryan Adams Swimming Pool Complex, which was one of its very first projects. The complex was fully refurbished and opened for use once more in December under the name ‘Bryan Adams Foundation Swimming Pool Complex’, and continues to play an essential role in countless village youth developing their swimming skills.

The Foundation of Goodness commemorated the 12th Tsunami Memorial on the 26th of December, and as the year drew to a close it was an opportunity to look back on the long journey we have taken to rebuild stronger and better since the disaster, slowly spreading our humanitarian efforts across the island, and as 2016 draws to a close we have now been working in the post war north for 6 years, with 72 consecutive monthly visits, and look forward to opening our 7th Village Heartbeat Project Empowerment  Centre in Mathagal Jaffna in early 2017. The spread of the Village Heartbeat Projects have also been a great achievement for us, with centres now open in Udumulla, Rathgama, Gandara (Matara), Monaragala, Eravur and Thirukkovil. This also means that we are now able to serve over 30,000 beneficiaries annually, across 200+ villages island wide, reaching rural beneficiaries in every corner of the island to bring them much needed opportunities that bridge the gap between the urban and rural sector, so that they can realize their true potential.

We are incredibly grateful to all of our donors, sponsors, trustees, friends, well-wishers and dedicated staff without whom we would not have been able to make such a big difference in the lives of so many. Together, we can continue to make a positive and lasting change in the lives of others.


05th January 2017



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