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Caritas Sri Lanka launched a new Project funded by Caritas Poland to assist the Youth of the low income families to continue their studies. 26 such youths were selected from the Parishes of the diocese of Galle and another 29 youths were selected from the Self Help Groups in the Villages and Estates.
The very first gathering of the above youth was held recently at Caritas SED Galle, during which an orientation on the Goal and the outcome of the Project was given by the Director and the Staff of SED Galle.
The Pontifical and National Commission for Ecumenical and Inter Relegious Dialogue had their Board of Directors meeting in the diocese of Galle recently.
Most Rev. Emmanual Fernando,the Bishop Chairman Most Rev. Cletus Perera ,the Bishop Vice Chairman along with Rev.Fr.Pius Kennady,the National Director and the diocesan Directors paticpated in the events.
A gathering of Inter Relegious and Ecumenical Leaders from the district of Galle too was held in connection with the event.
Fr.Nihal Nanayakkara, the newly appointed diocesan director replced Fr.Michael Rajendram, who served in the same capasity for the last 2 years.
A team of 16 Volunteers visited from CHARIS Singapore, visited SED Galle and CoDeSeP and took part in the construction work of 50 toilets for the low income families in the Plantation Community in Deniyaya,
Prior to the involvement in the field, they too paid a courtesy call on the Bishop of Galle, Most Rev.Raymond Wickramasinghe, who appreciated the generosity shown by them towards the disadvantaged people in the diocese, and blessed them in their future endeavors.
They were so happy and generous in sacrificing their time, money and energy to have come to Sri Lanka and be with the beneficiaries for 04 days working along with them.
A Bio Sand Project which is to purify water for drinking purpose too was implemented. The team members too organized activities for children of the same community.
SED Galle and CoDeSeP are ever grateful to CHARIS Singapore for the continued support towards the most vulnerable people in the Diocese of Galle.
The Exposure visit for the Foreign Delegates of Caritas Family to Tsunami Housing Schemes in the diocese of Galle;
At the request of Caritas Sri Lanka, the above visits were organized by Caritas SED Galle, for the foreign Delegates who arrived in Sri Lanka for the 10th Commemoration of Tsunami Devastation in 2004.
They visited the scheme at Kabikoratuwa, Weligama in Matara District and another one at Kalupe, Kikkaduwa in Galle District simultaneously on 03rd December 2014.
The foreign delegates were received by the villagers and their children with bouquet of flowers and sheaths of beetle at the entrance to the respective Caritas villages and taken to the venue in a procession. Thereafter national anthem was played in front of the flag posts followed by 01 minute silence. After religious observances by a Buddhist Priest, lighting of candles and depositing of flowers at the memorial plaque took place.
After welcoming the foreign delegates, a female beneficiary at each site shared their tsunami experience followed by stakeholders sharing how they were involved in tsunami related work.
All foreign delegates were accompanied by the staff of Caritas Sri Lanka and Caritas SED Galle staff to visit individual houses and were allowed to talk to the beneficiaries freely. It was a novel experience for the foreign delegates as well as the villagers in this manner.
After partaking of lunch at the refectory of Caritas SED Galle, all foreign delegates were welcome to an open session by Rev.Fr Michael Rajendram, Director, Caritas SED Galle.
Rev.Fr Damian Arsakularatne, the former Director of Caritas SED Galle spoke of his past experience in relation to tsunami relief and rehabilitation citing certain memorable instances.
The day’s proceedings concluded with distribution of Project Book titled “Beacon of Hope” which reflects the response of the Catholic Church to tsunami devastation in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka.
“ We hope your life will be even better with the handing over of the ownership of the houses we built, for each one of you …."
Bishop Raymond reminds the beneficiaries at a simple event to hand over the Deeds to the owners.
The Most Rev Dr Raymond Kingsley Wickremasinghe, the Bishop of Galle emphasized this while addressing the people, at the ceremony in handing over of deeds to the occupants of Caritas Tsunami Housing Village at Kalupe, Hikkaduwa.
He remembered the contributions made by Caritas Sri Lanka, Rev. Fr Herman Fernando and Rev.Fr Damian Arsakularatne, the former Directors of Caritas SED Galle and the foreign community who donated financially to Caritas SED Galle to construct these beautiful houses in a massive tsunami reconstruction drive.
His lordship handed over deeds to 32 occupants of houses at Caritas Tsunami Housing Village, Kalupe,in Divisional Secetariat of Hikkaduwa.
These houses were constructed for those who lost their houses due to tsunami devastation occurred on 24th December 2004 by Caritas SEDE Galle, the Social, Economic and Development Education Centre of Catholic Diocese of Galle under the massive Relief and Reconstruction Programme.
Honourable Pujjapada Rathnadhamma Thero from the Bodirukkarama Temple,Kalupe, Honourable Manoj Mendis, the Chairman of Pradeshiya Sabha, Rathgama, a representative from the Disaster Management Unit at Galle and the Grama Niladhari of Kalupe also participated at the simple ceremony to hand over deeds to the occupants of houses which were constructed at a cost of over Rs 70 million.
Rev.Fr Michael Rajendram, the present Director of Caritas SEDE Galle was instrumental in organizing this simple ceremony to hand over the deeds of the houses.
Prepared by H.D.Austin Perera, Executive Manager of Caritas SEDE Galle.
to 34 Parish groups in 13 parishes in the diocese took place at the Shrine of Our Lady of Matara, recently. A total amount of 2.4 million was distributed to the above groups as revolving funds to be utilized for the low income Catholic members in each parish Group, as an "interest free loan".
This was the final activity of the above Project funded by the diocese of Stockholm, Sweden. Prior to this handing over of funds to the Groups, SED Galle mobilized and organized the Parishioners into Self Help Groups (SHGs) and conducted several special sessions to educate the Office bearers on several subjects such as Awareness, Leadership and Book keeping.
We are ever grateful to the Diocese of Stockholm, Sweden, for their generous contribution and Mr. Charles Camara, the country representative of DoC , who took a personal interest in the Project.
The Parish Priests and Sisters in charge of each Group in Parishes are also remembered with gratitude for the support and involvement in this Project.
Based on the experience and results of the above project, SED Galle wishes to implement the 02nd phase of the Project with more substantial activities in the future. .
A new Project has been launched by SED Galle to uplift the urban poor and most needy people living in the Divisional Secretariat of Four Gravette. This has been funded by Caritas Sri Lanka.
The picture below shows the very 1st meeting SED Galle had with the Stakeholders.
This project was made possible with the generous contribution by CHARIS -Caritas Humenetarian Aid & Relief Initiatives,Singapore. 45 Toilets were constructed were handed over to the beneficieries living at Beverley Estate,Halpantenna Estate,Hanford Estate and Thanipita Village in Deniyaya, under the patronage of his Lordship,Most Rev.Raymond Wickramasinghe on Sunday 17th August 2014.
Brothers of our diocese, as a part of their major holiday programme,recently had the rare opportunity to be exposed to the life situations and ground level realities in both the remote villages and estates. During their 10 days programme,they visited the villages in Galle, Matara, Hambantota regions and the estates in and around Deniyaya. They met the Community Leaders, Members of Self Help Groups, Children and Women Group members and also some of the stakeholders of both the organizations.They also took part in the monthly evaluation and review meetings conducted for the Staff.