The last year was a memorable twelve months for the Sri Lankadhara Society. The Society, which was founded in 1922 by well known philanthropists and national activists – Dr. & Mrs. W. A. de Silva, celebrated its ninety year unbroken record of service to under-privileged elders and children during the Annual General Meeting held in October 2012.
The annual general meeting was followed by a concert where the children and elders displayed their talents. The celebrations commenced with a religious ceremony and a treat to all resident children - 25 girls and boys in the Infants’ home, 65 girls from 5 to 18 years in the Balika home , 35 female elders in the Senior Citizens home and 25 male and female elders in the Day Care Centre.
We are very proud to announce that for the first time two children from our home sat for the GCE AL examination and Sureni who had been with us from infancy obtained three ‘A’s in Economics, Business Studies and Accounts while Sadha Lakmali, who joined us two years before the GCE OL, had two ‘A’s in Sinhala and Buddhist Civilization and a ‘C’ in Dancing. We are confident that both girls will be selected for admission to the University and hope to support them to complete their education. Two other girls will do the examination in August 2013 and we are hopeful of excellent results from them too.
All our children attend St Clare’s Girls School in close proximity to the Lankadhara Society home. Education is compulsory up to GCE OL. We record our gratitude to the Berendina Stichting Foundation of Netherlands who have supported us since 1999 to provide extra help to supplement the school curriculum in English, Mathematics, Computer skills, Vocational training – culinary skills / dressmaking as well as aesthetic pursuits of Art , Music and dancing.
In addition to studies we ensure the children have a pleasant and enjoyable time in the Home, where excursions are arranged to places of interest during their vacations. Last year the Balika Home children were taken on two day-trips of with the first being to Kurunegala to visit an ancient temple and the second to Galle Fort and Martin Wickramasinghe museum in Koggala. Further we arranged an overnight trip to visit the Hambantota harbour and Kataragama. They were also taken to the local cinema for two shows – “Vijaya and Kuveni” and “Mouse”.
The Infants were taken on a day trip to an estate in Kurunegala where they enjoyed a sumptuous meal and had loads fun and entertainment.
The Elders were taken to Kelaniya temple and also participated in all the activities connected with Elders Day Celebrations.
In the context of escalating costs the Society is now in need of additional finances to support these activities and also continue to build on our achievements in 2012/13. The monthly Government allowance of approx: US $ 4.65 per child/elder is way too meager to provide a satisfactory standard of living in the Homes. We organized several fund raising activities during the year including a raffle draw which was held on 28th February and a year- end sale was held during December 2012. The funds accruing from such efforts helped to supplement a small part of the Society’s needs. In addition we are helped to a great extent by benevolent organizations and individuals who have contributed in many ways including meals, clothes, finances as well as their personal time.
The Most Pressing Need….
Our urgent concern at the present is to carry out repair s / refurbish the 92 year building (where repairs have been done so far on an ad hoc basis depending on availability of funds ) housing 65 girls from 5 to 18 years and the administration block in order to ensure the safety of the children. A preliminary estimate of the expenditure is approx: US $ 120,000.
The first phase is estimated at US $ 25,000 viz repairs to 24 toilets on ground and first floors of both east and west wings of the building -water proofing walls, anti corrosive treatment of iron girders, plastering of walls etc., We are hopeful of a donor helping us to carry out the repairs in this phase.
We now appeal to kind donors to assist us to carry out repairs to the roof, gutters, doors and windows which is estimated to cost US $ 22,000 and the front façade estimated at US $ 10,000. (Detailed estimates could be made available on request) by contributing to our “Building Fund”.