Sri Lanka

Sivarajah and Shyamala Saiyanthan retiring after working for 30+ years in a Multi National Company and a Leading Bank in Canada, decided to do follow their passion of helping and ministering Sri Lankan people who are suffering with poverty and in need of support.

Sri Lanka is an island nation located in the Indian Ocean, just off the southeastern coast of India. Despite its modest size, Sri Lanka has a population of about 22 million people. Sri Lanka is a well-known producer of tea, rubber, coconut, and textiles. Sri Lanka’s economy is in a slump lately, and as such,
much of the population is going through financial hardships. Along with God’s and Assist Canada guidance, currently Saiyanthan’s have embarked on a journey of supporting three projects in Sri Lanka. The projects they support are as follows:


Project 1 CYDC: Saiyanthan’s work with an organization called CYDC in the village called “Mylankadu” in Northern province of Sri Lanka, where 150 children in the range of 6 – 16 years receive after school education. The Centre is also home for a church and Sunday school during the weekends. The parents of these children live on daily wages, which is not even barely enough for their daily needs. Some of the families (approximately 30) do not have their own Toilet facilities and all the families do not have clean water to drink or cook at home. Daily the families have to walk 3-4 Kilometers to the closest town to get clean water and carry them back in buckets, as they do not have money to buy Bottled water. This has burdened Saiyanthan’s heart and they are in process of building Toilets and also building a water filtration in the CYDC facility in order for the village people to have clean water in the proximity of their homes. So far two toilets have been built for two families.


Project 2 VTC : Saiyanthan’s working with a Youth Leadership Program, at St. John’s Vocational Training Centre in Batticaloa, on the east coast of Sri Lank. This region of Sri Lanka was severely impacted by the civil war – having the largest numbers of disappeared and war widows in the country. It is also one of the poorest districts in the country. It is also a district where there had been severe inter-ethnic conflict
among local communities, particularly the Tamil and Muslim youth communities. The Youth Leadership Program led by Darshan Ambalavanar each year supports 25-30 youth with holistic education to provide a strong foundation of English language studies, physical and mental health support, a strong grounding in ethics for young people to become citizens with strong democratic values. The program has a strong emphasis supporting young women. All of the students are from poor, or historically marginalized communities. The program also brings together Tamil and Muslim to live and learn together. Once the students complete their residential program in Batticaloa they are provided with scholarships to go to university in Sri Lanka and the South Asian region, or to pursue vocational studies. The key goals are to ensure that youth escape poverty. Additionally to help youth become leaders in their communities and to be persons with integrity and strong commitment to democratic values. The support for youth can last upto and through post-graduate studies. The program strives to ensure that each youth is supported according to their individual challenges, needs and gifts. Youth from diverse cultural and religious backgrounds participate in this program without any discrimination. The program is rooted in the commitment to share unconditional acceptance and affirmation of each youth.

Support:

I. Financial support provided for this program supports the residential and educational costs in Batticaloa, and scholarships for further studies in Sri Lanka or overseas.
2. Volunteering: the program also welcomes overseas volunteers who can work with our youth either online or in persons in Sri Lanka. Those who can teach various levels of English, Math, IT, Arts, Phsyical and Mental Health, Crafts/Design are particularly relevant. There is also a need for those who can
mentor students in various disciplines of post-graduate study.


Those interested to find out more about the program can contact the Director, Darshan Ambalavanar, at: director.sjvtc@gmail.com


Project 3: Mullivaikal: Saiyanthan’s working with Pastor Suresh in the, in the village called “Mullivaikal” in Northern province of Sri Lanka, where 40-50 children in the range of 6 – 16 years receive after school education. Mullivaikal is the place where the final battle happened between the Government Army and the Tamil Tiger group. The place is deserted and the families left there live in immense poverty. Pastor Suresh with his best possible ability has built a place where he runs the after school program and Church. Some days Pastor Suresh is able to provide some snacks to the children and if blessed have been able to provide a meal to the families on an occasional basis too. The building is not properly completed and needs a lot of work done to bring to a proper completion. The floor need’s to be cemented fully and polished, no doors or windows currently there, roof is very temporary and during rainy season the place gets wet. The toilet in the facility is not in good condition and there is no direct water supply to the facility either. Fixing the building and supporting pastor Suresh on his ministry will definitely show God’s love to the people in Mullivaikal.


Project 4 Nuwara Eliya : Saiyanthan’s have identified a critical need in Nuwara Eliya in the Central province of Sri Lanka.
Angel Joseph, is a full time credentialed worker and worship leader with the Assemblies of God, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka. She serves under Rev Sateeshkumar who graduated from Lanka Bible College and Seminary (LBCS), when Rev Ben Manickam served as Principal of LBCS.

Angel is the second of five children. She is an anointed worship leader and leads worship in all three languages. Angel is very conversant in Tamil and Sinhala. However, when she has to lead worship songs in English, she watches the songs on YouTube several times and memorizes the words. Such is her
willingness to serve the Lord.


Reality
Current home Angel resides in Nuwara Eliya is more of a shed than a proper home. During the cold windy, rainy seasons of the hill country, their home is exposed to the elements, and heating is a luxury they just cannot afford. Angel’s father passed away in 2023; her mother suffers from several health
complications, made worse by the exposure to harsh weather and the stress of not having a secure house. Angel’s family owns the land on which this temporary structure stands.


The Plan
The plan is to help construct a simple yet secure structure of brick and mortar with a concrete slab, so that their home is not exposed to the elements. It would be a great help if we could have this completed by December 2024.

Donors have contributed to the architectural drawing of an approved plan. This proposed structure will be a little over 1000 square feet and the estimated total cost for labor and materials is Sri Lankan Rupees 2.5 million (around CAN $12,000). This works out to be just CAN $12 per square foot. Every gift
of CAN $12 makes it possible for the construction of a square foot of Angel’s home.
Ways to give:

  • Be one of 12 to give CAN $1,000
  • Be one of 24 to give CAN $500
  • Help construct a square foot @ CAN $12 per Sq. Foot

All gifts over $20 will receive tax receipts from Assist Canada (https://assistcanada.org/sri-lanka)
Thank you for being a part of this venture.