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Smiling Village

Mawala, Wadduwa, Sri Lanka  

 "Helping Hands Smiling Souls"

We are a group of spiritual friends recognising that

everyone needs a helping hand at some time in their life.

We are not profit oriented and not linked to any government authority.

If you would like to contribute to help the needy and the poor in Smiling Village, we would love to hear from you today - because we can always use an extra pair of hands.

While browsing enjoy a beautiful Sri Lankan song.

Sinhala Test MP3.mp3

The main objective of "Helping Hands Smiling Souls" is to provide support to families and individuals who are suffering as a result of extreme circumstance and give them a relief from poverty, destitution, sickness, misfortune, or helplessness, having no regard to colour, race or creed. The aim is to help the disadvantaged; physically, mentally, socially and spiritually, and to bring hope and meaning into the lives of these people.

Thank you very much for your help and I have no words to express my gratitude and the joyful happy life that Upathilaka and many others enjoy because of your generous donations. I thank you for the enormous support and the trust that you all have shown towards me. This has inspired me to put more time and effort to expand these charitable activities and to set-up a small scale charitable organization to help the needy and the poor in my home town Mawala, Wadduwa – Sri Lanka.

  Smiling Village scholars at Mawala, Wadduwa

We have 15 students under this Smiling Village scholarship scheme. in August 2012 I met all of them at Mawala, Wadduwa. It was a great gathering to discuss their progress in studies etc. I wish to thank several of my clients for the generous monetary donations which have helped me tremendously to develop the charity project www.smilingvillage.com and to look into the needs of many families in Mawala, Wadduwa, Sri Lanka. 

 Photo Album:  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10151128096846432.436186.597061431&type=1&l=3e222a5831

 Open invitation - dinner for the villagers at Mawala  (15 photos)

   During our visit to Sri-Lanka in August, 2012 we invited all the families in our village Mawala, Wadduwa (www.smilingvillage.com) for dinner. The dinner that we were hosted, can also be thought of as a Sri-Lankan version of the American Thanksgiving Dinner, where the rice and curry are served in a traditional manner. The main purpose of this dinner was to thank the divine powers for giving the new rice crop and also to give an opportunity for the villagers to meet and enjoy a pleasant evening with a good meal. Over 500 people attended this dinner, including many families in which the average income for the family is approximately AUD$200 or less per month. The Smiling Village charity project was setup to look into the needs of these people at Mawala, Wadduwa – my first home.

 Pilgrimage to Kanadaviharaya

Couple of families (family income less than AUD 150 per month) had the wish to visit a very well known Buddhist temple – Kandaviharaya. Since it was not affordable for them to do this day trip and to travel as a group we managed to organize this mini pilgrimage. They had a very enjoyable day and good meals.

 
 

Mawala - Ariel Photo: Click this link or paste to the browser.

http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=6.665215&lon=79.958657&z=17&l=0&m=b


Mawala junction which has not changed for the last 35 year. One can still enjoy a peaceful living surrounded by a river and beautiful tropical vegetation.

 Proud to be a vegetarian : Best speech ever ! 

This is a video that one must see. Please spend 10 minutes to listen. Do not worry about the advertisements during the first 60 seconds.

Upathilaka (the man who was suffering severe heart problems in Sri Lanka in August 2010). He is now doing very well and has started to work again as a three-wheeler (Tuk-Tuk) driver. I thank Upathilaka who paved the path for me to jump out of my way to set a fund raising program. This whole fund raising activity and your generous support and trust helped me to set up our project- Smiling Village - “Helping Hands Smiling Souls” 

Upathilaka's new project: Upathilaka has now fully recovered from his heart problems and looking forward to setup a small grinding mill (to make powdered chili) as the villagers prefer to buy home made chili powder. He was given Rs 130000 (AUS$ 1000) to start the project. 

I look forward to visiting Sri Lanka again in July 2013 in order to meet all these students and children and to also attend to following;

·        To help a poor family to complete their house. Due to lack of funds they have had to stop the work after raising the walls of this very small house. They have lived in this small room for six years and there is no roof covering for most of the house. They are very hard working people but cannot earn more than Rs.15000 a month. They need about Rs.7000 ($700) to complete the roof.

·        Another family living in a mud hut for the last 50 years wishes to build a small house or strengthen the existing walls. The Sri Lankan government has agreed to give Rs.100000 if they can start some work with the funds they have. I am looking forward to helping them to put the foundation and to help them to get the funds from the government.

·        There are plumbers, electricians, masons, handloom weavers, growers /farmers etc who need some funds to develop their self employment. I need to talk to them and assess their activities and potential before helping them.

·        There are a few more poor university students that I need to meet and interview to learn about their difficulties so that I can organize scholarships.

·        There are many who are sick but have no money to get a simple treatment or to visit a doctor. I want to help them to get necessary medication and treatments.

People still live in very small houses like mud huts in Mawala - Photos of those houses given below

Except one, all of these students are from the Mawala Village school having 2 buildings for about 200 children.

It will be great, if we can find people who wish to sponsor a university student (scholarship) by giving about A$ or US$ 30 monthly. These students are extremely poor and their family income is about AUS$ 150 per month.

 

Any contribution (by word, deed or kind) towards the activities of “Helping Hands Smiling Souls” will be greatly appreciated. Every dollar given with love and compassion is equal to a million dollars.

 

 In August 2010, Daya was admitted to Nagoda Base hospital with a sever infection in her leg. She was hospitalise for 3 weeks. Her medication was funded by the Helping Hand Smiling Souls.

Kanthi is a mother of two and she goes to the village market to sell vegetables. She was given money to develop her vegetable business. 

A reading glass recipient. He is now 58 and had no money to buy glasses.

He is so happy as he can read the paper now.

 

Very often I visit the children Orphanage in Kalutara. I love to talk to these children and encourage them to do their studies well. They were given presents, cakes and sweets. Kalutara is 32 KM south of Colombo at the south west coast. This is my birth place.

 

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Activities planned for the year 2011

I look forward to visiting Sri Lanka in July 2011 in order to meet all these students and children and to also attend to following;

·        To help a poor family to complete their house. Due to lack of funds they have had to stop the work after raising the walls of this very small house. They have lived in this small room for six years and there is no roof covering for most of the house. They are very hard working people but cannot earn more than Rs.15000 a month. They need about Rs.7000 - 8000   ($700 -800) to complete the roof.

·        Another family living in a mud hut for the last 50 years wishes to build a small house or strengthen the existing walls. The Sri Lankan government has agreed to give Rs.100000 if they can start some work with the funds they have. I am looking forward to helping them to put the foundation and to help them to get the funds from the government.

·        There are plumbers, electricians, masons, handloom weavers, growers /farmers etc who need some funds to develop their self employment. I need to talk to them and assess their activities and potential before helping them.

·        There are a few more poor university students that I need to meet and interview to learn about their difficulties so that I can organize scholarships.

·        There are many who are sick but have no money to get a simple treatment or to visit a doctor. I want to help them to get necessary medication and treatments.

- To have a meeting with the school principles of the Mawala School and the Wadduwa Central School in order to know more about the needs of intelligent students having financial difficulties.

Tharika Nadeeshani is a student at the Colombo University. She is now in the 2nd year studying art subjects to become a graduate teacher. She gets Rs 3000 every month from Danthika Borst in Atlanta, USA. She is the only child in her family.  

Dilini Senaviratna is a student at a teacher training college in Galle, southern province, Sri Lanka. She will be completing her studies very soon. She looks forward to be a teacher. She gets Rs 3000 from Milan Shan in Perth,  Western Australia.

Charith Sanjeewa is a student at the Arts faculty, at the Rhuna University in the southern province of Sri lanka. He also get Rs 3000 every month donated by Jonty Crossick, Brighton, UK.

Niluka Kumari is now in her final year at the Sabaragomuwa Campus about to complete her studies in Business Managment. She is also studying accountancy. she gets monthly Rs 3000 from Sharon Davies in UK.

Nadini Piymika Fenando is about to complete her 1st year at the faculty of Medicine (Karapitiya Medicle college) at the Rhuna Campus. She also gets monthly Rs 3000 from Jonty Crossick in UK.


Nilanthi with her father. Bhawan in USA giving Rs.3000 to educate Nilanthi who entered Karapitiya Medical College June 2010, Galle, Sri Lanka.

She is a very smart student and sends e-mails in very good English briefing me re her studies and progress.

 

Shayan Ridmika is studying since 2010 at the medical faculty at University of Peradeniya, Sri lanka. He is a very bright smart student who wants to be a doctor. He gets Rs 3000 every month donated by Mahesh Hettiaratchi in Sydney, Australia

 

Pamela and her father. Debra in USA gives Rs.3000 for Pamela who has entered the University of Jayawardanapura June 2010. Pamela has written me couple of letters briefing me how she progress with her studies.



·        Brad in Northam helps Nirupa Sanjeewanee by giving Rs.2800 to learn English at the British Council and also to learn about computers. She was given admission to the Ayurveda Medical College. However, she wish to try again to enter the Medicle College this year -2011.

 

 

         A young lawyer –Margaret in Brisbane educates a high school student Nawodya by giving Rs.2800 a month. She is very good in Chemistry and biology.

 

Gayan Buddhika gets Rs 800 every month from Theja for his tuition classes. He has being in this program since 2008. He looks forward to enter the University soon to study drama.

 

Hashini is in grade 6 at the village school and her sister Ramesha is in grade 5 at the Wadduwa school. There are altogether 7 children in their family. These 2 girls get Rs 3000 every month from Theja

Kavisha wants to be a teacher. She is in grade 5. She is very good in her studies. Piumi gives her monthly Rs 2000 for her tution.

Sarath and Geetha (friends in Australia) give Rs.2500 through my scheme to Anuruddika, a year 12 student.  In the photo Anuriddika nad her mother.

Wasana Malkumari gets Rs 2500 monthly from Anoma Fonseka in Perth. She has done her studies very well. She is looking forward to enter the University soon. In the photo she is with her mother

The projects that I have initiated and developing at present:

 I am providing some financial support to a few poor people (who are in very small businesses / self employment) to develop their business activities (this is a system similar to Muhammad Yunis - micro-finance - micro credit system to help very poor entrepreneurs.)  I will give them 10-30 thousand Rupees, interest free (A$100 – 300) to improve their business, to buy tools, goods or very simple machinery etc. I will deposit Rs.500 to open an account for each individual at the People's Bank of Sri Lanka. What they have to do is to deposit 10% of the net profit generated from the business (monthly for 1 year) to their account. They cannot withdraw money without my signature. After one year if I see that they have saved substantial amounts, then they will be given 50% of the saving to invest to develop the business. At the end of the second year they will be given 100% ownership of their accounts. Also they will be given more money to invest at 2-5% interest. That interest will help me to help some more people. (Need to check with the banks re lending rates at that time).

Also I help poor people to get medication and necessary medical treatments. I have my niece and another relative working as doctors at the Nagoda District hospital in Sri Lanka. With their help I can help patients who are suffering from critical medical conditions and are finding it difficult to get medication etc. These two doctors will devote more time to my poor patients.

During my stay in Sri Lanka in August this year, I also organized an Eye Clinic for the poor old people (25-30) to get reading glasses (new) for free. An Eye surgeon (a relative of mine) helped me to organize this clinic and another optician agreed to supply the frames and glasses for a minimal cost. We managed to give reading glasses including bi-focal lenses to 25 people (age 50-70 years) who were unable to read or see the television prior to this.


A project started in year 1985

Number of years a family of 10 with grand mother was living in a small mud house not bigger than one of our bed rooms. After spending $1200, I managed build a brick house and provide electricity supply to the house in year 2008. Until 1985 they were sleeping on the mud floor and had no furniture. Then I introduce beds, chairs and tables to them. With my little bit of pocket money I managed to help them for the last number of years in many issues (food, medicine, books, cloths etc). Even with these 7 children they were using kerosene oil lamps which were rather dangerous. Now they have electricity since 2008 and children can read their books without using oil lamps. Year 2009 they were given a gas cooker and a cylinder for cooking as they were using fire wood. Now two of the girls get tuition fees from our project "Helping Hands Smiling Souls".

It took so long to provide all these facilities to them as I had to do all that with my little bit of income and I was enjoying doing that. Now as a group we can do much more. We can afford to spend more and more to make many others happy.