The Foundation of Goodness is a holistic rural development model that seeks to bridge the urban-rural divide in Sri Lanka via 10 empowerment divisions across 900+ villages island-wide, and reached over 307,000+ beneficiaries in 2022 alone by way of 15 Empowerment Centres, free of cost.
It has been 18-years since the 2004 Tsunami waves struck the Southern coastal belt of Sri Lanka on Boxing Day, leaving a trail of destruction with thousands of lives lost to the catastrophe. The Sumatra–Andaman earthquake on 26th December 2004, with a magnitude of 9.1 on the Richter scale created a series of massive tsunami waves that struck Sri Lanka and neighboring states India, Indonesia, the Maldives, and Thailand among others. Since many Sri Lankans did not have any previous experience with a natural disaster of this kind, the damage was beyond imagination with thousands displaced and killed within a span of a few minutes.
Among the worst affected areas of the Tsunami disaster was Galle District, where in the little village of Seenigama, FoG Founder Kuhsil Gunasekera’s ancestral home was located. In 2004, a special ESSP programme was taking place when tragedy struck, and this very venue was turned into an emergency relief centre in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami and later, it became our project headquarters, the Centre of Excellence. On the 26th of December, a special event followed by religious observances was held at the plaque memorializing the lives lost 18-years ago to the Boxing Day Tsunami. Two minutes of silence were also observed in remembrance of the victims.
The main event at the OYOB Centre of Excellence was the highlight of other Tsunami commemorative ceremonies held at the Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centres island-wide.
It must be mentioned that 15 students of the Children’s Good Values Initiative (CGVI) of the Udumulla Empowerment Centre participated at the public event in memory of the victims of the Paraliya Train Disaster.
The 2004 Tsunami marked a turning point for the Foundation of Goodness in implementing our holistic rural development model throughout Sri Lanka, empowering thousands in need, in fact transforming the waves of destruction into waves of compassion!