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.
We have always had the most incredible people cross our threshold as volunteers at the Foundation of Goodness. This year we had the good fortune to meet the wonderful Sugden family, who had a unique, hands-on approach to philanthropy. The family of four brought a personal touch to all their activities. They transformed themselves in to builders, carpenters, teachers and even cement mixers to provide assistance to the under-served people of Southern Sri Lanka.
“We would like to say a big thank you to the Foundation of Goodness for enabling us to carry out our voluntary projects in Sri Lanka. It has been great fun and extremely rewarding to be involved in the various different types of activities, from making benches for the child resilience centres, to building a house for a family in need. This has been a great opportunity for us to not only teach our young girls some of their cultural heritage, but also to hopefully make a difference to the benefactors of our work.”-said Matthew and Dr. Charmila reflecting on their experiences at the Foundation.
The family personally built desks and benches for our FoG Kahawa and Akurala Child Resilience Centres, painting them bright shades of orange and blue. It was a thoughtful donation to the children who study at our Centres. This was the first time we had received furniture built by the donor themselves!
Their next project was to rebuild the home of a young mother in Kuleegoda. She was living in a thatched house in dire circumstances, and Matthew and Dr. Charmila got personally involved in the construction, not just funding the rebuilding efforts but also lending their time and labour. Dr. Charmila is now an expert at mixing cement! They got everyone involved in their good deeds and the FoG electrical class teachers and students volunteered their expertise in installing the wiring system of the new home.
Matthew who is an IT consultant by profession conducted a class introducing the 3D Max Software to our Computer Class students. The family also donated 5 brand new computers and computer chairs, which were distributed to rural schools, in the area.
Dr. Charmila who is a Paediatric Consultant at Preston Hospital in the UK, was born in Sri Lanka and had migrated at the age of 14. Their two daughters Naomi (9 years) and Yasmin (3 years), have been just as hands on as their parents in all the wonderful work they have been doing in the island.
The girls have joined their parents in cleaning up the beach, donating grocery packs to the needy, buying supplies to a patient suffering from Cancer and even providing the FoG Centre of Excellence with an electric blood pressure monitoring machine and guitar!
“I feel inspired by our work to help less fortunate people” said nine year old Naomi.
We at FoG are truly inspired by the kindness and sincerity of this incredible family, who got to know the people of the villages, gave of their personal time and energy while making thoughtful donations that make a real difference in the lives of the less fortunate. The Sugden family’s generosity and humanity has touched all our hearts.
Charmila has been a Doctor for 22 years and now works as a Paediatric Consultant at Preston Hospital in the UK. She was born in Sri Lanka and left at the age of 14. She is now an expert at mixing Tokyo cement.
Matthew works as an IT consultant, he has his own computer graphics company. He also builds and renovates houses in the UK. He has embraced Sri Lankan life by learning to speak Sinhala and buying his own TukTuk, which he is very sad to leave behind.