Build a Toilet Project
It was in February 2012 that we were taken to see a very small coastal village between Columbo and Negombo. Named Sagarasirigama, this is truly one of the poorest communities we have found so far in all of Sri Lanka. Its people are scraping the barest of livings as fishermen or labourers. Just finding enough food to feed the hungry family mouths is a challenge in itself. (Sri Lanka is now suffering from alarming inflation, and every week it seems to be even more of a challenge for these poorest of families to feed themselves.)
In February we had been introduced to one of the local community, an amazing guy called Gamini and his wife Rathnamalee. Although living in only slightly better circumstances than the very poor, they are a truly altruistic couple; their whole aim is what can they do to help those less fortunate than themselves. What an example for those of us coming from wealthy lifestyles, often surrounded by more food and material things than we know what to do with. This lovely couple took us around the village where they had identified the ten poorest families, who had no toilets at all. (We had previously discussed with our Star Action helper in West Sri Lanka, Shan, our idea for this project and he had talked with Gamini and Rathnamalee and they had prepared for our visit in this way.)
After our February visit we featured this project in our March Newsletter, and appealed for donations to build toilets. We are happy to report that this appeal has been very successful and during our recent trip we were able to complete three toilets, begin the work on three more, and give definite promises to three families that the work would begin as soon as possible on theirs. This makes a total of nine out of the ten originally identified families.
The work began on the construction of the first toilet the day after we arrived on this trip, and on the day before we left all the villagers turned out to greet us and to thank Star Action. They could hardly believe we were following through the earlier promise and gave us garlands of flowers and so many tokens of appreciation (see photographs). More toilets will be needed in the future, but meanwhile we are thrilled to have been able to accomplish so much so quickly, thanks to the generosity of so many Star Action friends.
Build a Toilet Project
Toilets – All Completed 2016.
1. Nihal and Chamilla Franky, with One daughter – Umyanga – aged 14 One son – Kavinder – aged 8
2. Nalam Shiroma and mother Daisy (husband killed in war) One son – Lakmal – aged 17 Two daughters – Shiromee – aged 15, and Agenta – aged 5
3. Ruwan Ajantha (father) and Nishan (mother) Two daughters – Nikma – aged 3½ and Presanay – aged 10
4. H.K. Kusumathi (mother – labourer) 2 adult sons – also labourers Sampath – aged 22 and Nishan – aged 20
5. Karalina and Munasingher 1 son – Sanura – aged 22
6. Dorothileech (mother) and Susil (father – labourer) 1 daughter – Nayara – aged 14
7. Pushpo Jayamaha (mother) and Greashan (father – labourer) 2 sons – Amila – aged 20 and Dilan – aged 1
8. Jude Niranjan (husband) and Kusuma (wife) 2 boys – Omal – aged 9 and Neemesh – aged 5
9. Sampath Fernando
(expecting baby in November)
PS. As you will see from the photographs, following the suggestion of one donor, every toilet door has a six-pointed star engraved on it.