DAI Fundraising Course Helps Christian Leader in Sri Lanka to Improve the Lives of 60 Children
Noel is helping to provide destitute children in Maskeliya with proper nutrition and the materials necessary to attend school.
The climate, geography and geology of the Sri Lankan Highlands is ideal for tea cultivation but it is very labor intensive. As a British crown colony, Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon, which is where the name for Ceylon tea was born. In the Nuwara Eliya district, where Maskeliya is located, more than half the district’s population of 711,000 live on tea estates. Tea workers earn about $4 a day, which is not enough to provide for the daily needs of their families.
As a result, most of the plantation workers’ children don’t get the proper nutritious food when they grow up and basic education is often out of reach for the children of tea estate workers. While the schooling is offered for free and each student receives a set of school uniforms the family is responsible for the other costs such as additional uniforms, shoes, exam fees and more.
Noel shares, "I had been working as a Program Manager at a World Vision program in the Maskeliya area since 2014 and met these children when I did my field visits. The children have become destitute because either the mother or father has left them or died. Some live with their grandparents as they have lost both parents. Most of them are malnourished and have no basic materials to continue education at schools. I had a burden for these children and always wanted to do something to help them."
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MAOL Program Brings Change
Noel joined DAI's Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program in 2011 through a local partnership with Lanka Bible College. He says,"I joined the MAOL program only to obtain a professional qualification for my career advancement. However, when I started to go through the different modules, I felt that this was not just a degree course but an experience that was transforming my entire life. It is amazing to realize how my behavior, thought patterns, speech and relationships have changed. Almost all the courses dug deep into my personal life and forced me to reflect on my entire thought pattern and behavior pattern to align them with the word of God.
Fundraising Course Transforms Noel's Dream into a Reality
"The concept paper for Caring Hands was developed as part the DAI MAOL Fundraising course, and presented to the class to solicit funds as a class exercise. The response was encouraging and I wanted to continue with the project. I talked with the volunteers who worked in my World Vision program and they agreed to help support the project. We had already been assisting some of these children through World Vision and sometimes we contributed our own money to help them. As World Vision was ending activities in the area I knew I had to bring this concept to life to support these children. I partnered with a local non-profit and together sought funds from different sources to assist each destitute child with nutrition packs and educational materials.
Gratitude for Enabling to Serve Meaningfully and Effectively
"I thank DAI for the Fundraising course, and the MAOL program, which inspired me to design this project and implement it successfully. When I came to understand the expenses undertaken by DAI to offer this program to us I felt so lucky and grateful to DAI. If not for the generosity of the donors, we would not be able to dream of following a valuable program such as this. Thank you, DAI all the donors and all the wonderful facilitators. You all are truly remarkable. I thank God for bringing all of you into our lives to enrich us and enable us to use the God given potential to serve His people meaningfully and effectively."
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