With tourism such a big part of Sri Lanka, we believe it is important for the children to develop English speaking skills to assist with future education and job prospects. We fund a weekly class for the children, which also includes all textbooks. After class, we treat them all to dinner and sweets.
Even though Sri Lanka is surrounded by warm blue seas and many inland water bodies, too few children learn to swim and are afraid of the water. We now run weekly lessons with a qualified instructor to help the girls overcome their fear and be safe around water.
Over the years, thanks to kind donors, we have gifted many laptops, tablets and phones to children and families who could only dream of owning such items. To ensure these items are put to good use we organise computer classes with a view to enable participants to stay competitive in the job market.
Some of our beneficiaries live in extremely poor-quality housing that lacks basic facilities. Our building projects are carefully planned and costed to ensure the best outcome possible. So far we have built a toilet block at the home of two sisters who live with their mother and grandmother, and provided access to running water for another girl and her family.
When Justin first volunteered at the orphanage in 2013, he wanted to treat the children to a fun day out doing something they had never experienced. His first sponsored trip out was to movie theatre, which proved a big success. Every year since, with permission from local authorities and guardians, we have found new and exciting places to take the kids, such as waterslide parks, sporting events, and even an overnight wildlife safari.
Karuna care kits
Every month we give each of the children a 'Karuna Care Kit', with a reusable bag containing sanitary items, soaps, toothbrushes and tooth paste, deodorants and laundry soap. The bags and all items are sourced in Galle, supporting the local community. Each kit costs about $20 and is a great donation item for anyone wishing to help.