The year 2009 was remarkable as it signified the end of the war. Despite the happy ending, there were mixed sentiments amongst people due to losses caused to many during the span of the three-decade-long war.
People from every nook and corner of Sri Lanka and the world over rallied to re-build the once separated island in hope of easing their burden. In spite of all support extended, the children left orphaned by war were still desperately seeking a lifeline to build their future on.
‘Light to Life’ reached citizens worldwide through an array of media in October 2009. An initiation by Rotary International District 3220 Sri Lanka and JWT Colombo, ‘Light to Life’ (LTL) aimed to provide rehabilitation through education for youth in the war torn areas.
“The Rotary Club is committed in our endeavours to support youth and have partnered in numerous projects. LTL however, was different in many ways because of the timing of the project, the spirit of everyone involved, undying support received and not forgetting the unique cause to which we are lending our support too,” stated Imthiaz Ismail – District Governor, Rotary District 3220 Sri Lanka.
The project has successfully completed its fund collection with an admirable figure of Rs. 3 million, from a donor base comprising of corporate and individuals both locally and overseas. Although, the project’s initial aim was to fund education in the area of Kilinochchi, this objective had to be altered due to unavoidable circumstances.
Alternatively, LTL Committee has identified St. John’s College Jaffna, which houses orphans from war, to be the commendable cause that would receive this initial donation.
St. John’s College currently provides housing for 621 war affected children from all religions. War does not choose its victims and the same is applicable when lending support. It was hope and faith that drove the college to accommodate these children without any funds.
“The college’s primary objective is to pave way for their future. It is not an easy task to provide education, accommodation and food for so many children, but its generous blessings like these that make it possible,” explained Rt. Rev. Diloraj Canagasabey – Bishop Elect of Colombo.
S. Shanker, a student from St. John’s College Jaffna speaking at the event, said: “I am thankful to St. John’s College for taking me and many other children who were left without options after the war. I now have a clear vision as to what my goals in life are and how I will aid in the growth of my country. I currently study maths at college and plan to become a civil engineer, assisting in the growth of Jaffna and in turn the entire country.”
LTL is a sustainable project that will continue to monitor and fund educational requirements of children in war affected area. The initial donation made towards St. John’s College Jaffna is the first of many to follow.