A holistic rural community development model seeking to bridge the gap between the urban and rural communities via 10 empowerment divisions across 500+ villages island-wide reaching over 35,000 beneficiaries annually, free of cost.
‘A series of eight devastating bomb blasts ripped through high-end hotels and churches holding Easter services in Sri Lanka yesterday, killing at least 207 people.’ – Daily Mirror, 22nd April 2019,
The 21st of April 2019, Easter Sunday, was a dark day in the annals of Sri Lanka’s turbulent history. The Foundation of Goodness has worked in disaster relief since the 2004 Tsunami, organising relief and providing aid for those affected. In response to what was the most devastating terror attack on Sri Lankan soil since the end of the civil war in 2009, the Foundation of Goodness decided to take a long term approach to the recovery and aid efforts initiated by us.
A mid to long term plan was in the cards and the goal was to ensure that victims’ needs were accurately assessed and suitably met. We needed to make sure that the victims were not forgotten and those that needed help, long after the initial furore had died down, still had a helping hand they could depend on.
We felt our efforts would be most effective in a community where we already had an established presence. Our Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centre in Eravur, Batticaloa District is also home to the Zion church that was attacked. Through our Batticaloa FoG family, we were able to network with community leaders and understand the ground level realities and needs of the victims. Which relief needs were most urgent and what would be the needs of the victims in the long run? Which families had been impacted the most and who had been rendered the most vulnerable?
To answer these questions, our teams conducted a thorough needs assessment and a carefully curated list of needs was drawn up with the participation of the community. Our goal was to help 88 families, who had lost their breadwinner and/or been injured from the fateful Easter Sunday attacks.
Phase I of the FoG relief efforts for the victims of the Easter Sunday Attacks at the Zion Church in Batticaloa was the provision of grocery packs for the 88 families for the period of 6 months from June – November.
Phase II saw scholarships being provided for 15 students who lost either one or both parents from the attack. These monthly scholarships will continue for a period of one year, so that the education needs of the children in the community will not be hampered, by monetary deficiency.
Phase III of the relief efforts saw FoG coordinate financial aid for 21 victims with long term medical needs arising from the Easter Sunday Attacks. Rs 100,000 was allocated per individual, for their ongoing medical expenses.
Meanwhile, a counselling programme lead by Sr. Canice takes place every Sunday for survivors at the Katuwapitiya Church in Negombo.