A holistic rural development model that seeks to bridge the gap between the urban and rural communities in Sri Lanka via 10 empowerment divisions across 900+ villages island-wide reaching over 68,000+ beneficiaries annually, free of cost.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the many environmental problems we face and the urgent need for action. For FoG, this year has been one of increased environmental awareness, in taking action to conserve the environment in different ways. World Nature Conservation Day 2020 was marked on July 28th, recognizing the fact that a healthy environment is key to a sustainable society. The Earth cannot provide for our current way of life. The improper disposal of plastic materials including bags kills nearly 1 million sea creatures and rainforests are now cut down at 100 acres per minute. In a time of such heavy threats against our environment, it is the responsibility of every individual and organisation to do their part to restore and conserve, and the Foundation of Goodness is ready to take on the challenge.
Amidst many environmental endeavours, one of our key projects is the Goodness Agriculture Initiative, born from the recognition of the importance of education and awareness, to protect the environment for a better future! The main focus of the initiative is the introduction of a Planetary Health Education Programme to all our Village Heartbeat empowerment Centres as well as the MCC Centre of Excellence as part of the curriculum and the first lesson on Infectious Diseases & COVID-19 is currently underway at our Centres island-wide!
Former FoG volunteer Dr. Anusha Seneviratne designed this timely programme for our beneficiaries. She is a scientist currently working to help develop the Cell & Gene therapy industry, having previously researched cardiovascular disease for 9 years and obtained a PhD from Imperial College, London. Her concern about climate change and her time at FoG inspired her to create this course and educate the children of FoG to become future world leaders in sustainability and champions of nature.
Our Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centre in Thirukkovil, Ampara also distributed 100 plants, including coconut, chili, pomegranate, and lemon to our beneficiaries. These plants were donated by the Peoples’ Collective For Climate Justice, in lieu of World Environment Day 2020!
The Foundation of Goodness has also introduced a host of measures and initiatives this year, in order to have a more positive impact on the environment and give it more importance in all our endeavours. One of our earliest initiatives was a recycling drive, where we collected water bottles at the MCC Centre of Excellence, Sports Academy and Udumulla Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centre. We successfully removed 84KG of plastic bottles (approximately 2520 bottles) from the environment. We aim to have these recycling drives at all our Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centre across the country. In addition to this we also conduct regular beach clean-ups to maintain the pristine Seenigama coastline with the help of our volunteers and students.
Our beaches and oceans were also drowning in pollution, marring the pristine southern coastline of Sri lanka. Therefore, we have commenced an ‘Ocean Care’ programme, a pioneering initiative by our Dive for Good diving centre. We have successfully completed two Ocean Care sessions, where our divers scoured the ocean bed and collected nearly 30KG of trash each time. Our goal is to rid the area surrounding our dive centre of all pollution and inspire other centres all over the country to do the same.
We are also proud of our pledge, to plant a 1000 trees this year. We have partnered with THURU, a social initiative to accelerate reforestation all over the country. Our ten Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centres continue to plant trees and maintain beautiful home gardens, adding value and teaching important lessons to our beneficiaries as we are currently in the process of planning the planting of 800 trees all around the island in the coming month, by way of these centres and our beneficiaries. We also supported the Hameedias’ environmental campaign and planted trees at all our VHE Centres to mark Earth Day 2020
Every contribution counts towards a cleaner, greener environment, where we breathe clean air, swim in clear oceans and help our biodiversity thrive. We hope to accelerate current initiatives and begin new ones as we move forward towards a better future.