Jayawickreme Foundation: Situation Report No.11, Weligama, 31.7.2005

The progress of rebuilding Weligama is slowly but steadily visible. Buildings are coming up step by step.

The City of Zirndorf Germany has donated the funds to build two houses for Tsunami survivours. Therefore we will be completing 13 Tsunami houses by January 2006. Out of this 5 houses are under construction at the moment.

The community of Ludwigslust Germany and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation are donating 1 fishing boat each and therefore creating urgently needed working places, which means sources of income for 5 families per boat.

The Ven. Susima Hamuduruwo, the head priest of the Gangaramaya Temple, organized an impressive foundation stone laying ceremony. At the auspicious time the foundation stone was laid for the construction of a Kindergarten/Sunday school with a community hall for 550 children at the Gangaramaya Temple in Pelena-Weligama. The country representatives of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung and Konrad Adenauer Foundations and “Aktion Rheinland Pfalz hilft” graced the traditional Buddhist ceremony. The project, which is sponsored by “Quickborn hilft” will be completed by January 2006.

Gangaramaraya Temple Weligama
Gangaramaraya Temple Weligama 2

Gangaramaraya Temple Weligama 3

Impressions of the foundation stone
laying ceremony for a Kindergarten/Sunday
school with community hall for 550
children at the Gangaramaraya Temple
in Pelena-Weligama.
Head Priest Ven. Susima Thero
Head Priest Ven. Susima Thero
with Mrs. Barbara Braun
(Aktion Rheinland Pfalz hilft), Mrs. Astrid Becker (Friedrich Ebert Stiftung). Dr. Carola Stein
(Konrad Adenauer Stiftung),
Sujith and Susanne Jayawickreme.

The country representative of “Aktion Rheinland Pfalz hilft” attended the ceremonial opening of the free of charge English school in Denipitiya-Weligama, which is financed by them. This school was meant to accommodate 90 students.

However, due to enthusiasm and desperation shown by the younger generation to learn English and also due to the fact that lessons are taught free of charge, employing the best of teachers, the number of students enrolled for exceeded the anticipated numbers. It was heart breaking to turn these youth away as they come from poor families who cannot afford to pay the fees charged by paid tuitories. Therefore we intend building an additional hall to ensure daily free English lessons for 180 poor village children. The connected kindergarten will enrol 30 kids and will be in operation from January 2006.

Even 7 months after tsunami dry rations and food donations are still necessary and urgently needed. Therefore food donations are still on our agenda. In addition to the camp we reported about at an earlier occasion there are 2 more camps in Weligama-Pelena - 90 % of Pelena has been destroyed by the Tsunami killer waves. 80 families are cramped up in wooden semi-permanent houses and live under horrendous conditions. They are pleading to distribute dry rations, as they are not looked after. To ease their inhuman burden we organized an instant donation. These people are waiting and hoping to get a decent house again, but none of them knows when and if it will be a reality.

As a result of rebuilding the tsunami affected areas there is already a shortage of timber and sand, which has made these two items already costlier.

The Munich Travel Agency “Mondius” has informed us that they are already organizing the next special 12 days journey throughout Sri Lanka from the end of November to the beginning of December: the group with a maximum of 16 participants will spent one full day in Weligama to observe our Tsunami projects and rural poverty alleviation projects. More information at www.mondius.de

If you like to get in touch with a German representative of the Jayawickreme Foundation, especially if you need press material on the work and achievements of our foundation, you may contact Mr. Christian Eckert, a Hamburg based journalist who offered his help to us regarding these matters.
He is able to hand over to you further information regarding not only our projects, but also other information, such as on traveling in Sri Lanka and preparing, contacts, places to go, what to avoid etc.
More information: eckert@che-media.de
or phone ++49 (0) 40 68 98 33 70 and mobile ++49 (0) 172 431 21 27.

We have added a German part to our existing web site as well. In time to come more service pages will follow. We will keep you informed.

The head priest of the Gangaramaya Temple has informed us that the totally destroyed monk quarters will be rebuild by the Government of Norway. He further said that the Government of Norway is going to help 30 Buddhist Temples reconstructing their damaged quarters and buildings along the affected coastline.


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Jayawickreme Foundation, West Charley Mount Estate, Denipitiya, Weligama, Sri Lanka
Phone/Fax: + 94 (0)41 – 2250225; Email: info@jayawickreme.org

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