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VOLUNTEERS SWING INTO ACTION
IN SEENIGAMA
 

To offer of one’s time and service for the benefit of humanity, either through serving a community or the environment, is indeed a meritorious act.

The Foundation of Goodness has been blessed with a number of volunteers that have given of their time and expertise to help uplift the lives of the less privileged in Seenigama and its regions. So it was with much happiness that our latest volunteer Quendreda Geuter from the UK was welcomed to Seenigama in July.

Quen sits with two others at a lecture at
the FoG run Seenigama Diving School & Training Centre, sponsored by IYF/Nokia USA

Quen (as she is popularly known) armed with a MA in Development Management has already started to streamline activities of the 30 management sectors that are run by the Foundation of Goodness. She has been thoroughly enjoying her work here, which she says is fulfilling and rewarding.

Recently, while in Seenigma, Quen received a group of visiting volunteers from the UK. Following their visit, she was inspired to write this colourful story.

VOLUNTEER ON VOLUNTEERS

For those no longer satisfied to sit by the pool and soak up the tropical sun, the Foundation of Goodness offers the opportunity to volunteer in the village of Seenigama, to give skills, experience, to bring ideas and manpower. For a day, a week, or for two weeks, there is lots of work to be done to help re-build this community. Blazing the trail of this new kind of holiday is the Different Travel Company, who arranged for ten English volunteers to spend their time working in the village over the last two weeks.

The group was made up of Sluman and Hannah families, Jo and Ginnie Tinkler and Susie Aliband, mother and daughter Jo and Jinny and intrepid traveler Suzie. They spent their two weeks in Hikkaduwa shuttling in tuk-tuks and minibuses to Seenigama. They achieved a huge amount and will be remembered by the staff and children for their energy and enthusiasm, the new games they introduced and for their hard work in the afternoon sun to bring environmental improvements to the area.

Cleaning the railway tracks and the beach

Activities included: a clean-up of Aviva Village housing complex and railway tracks (20 bags filled and children inspired to join in), beach clean up and tree-planting at the Sports Academy, outdoor sports activities (including an introduction to wheelbarrow races), a cookery class with local women at the women's enterprise centre (mmmm... trifle), IT and English classes, drawing with the participants of the Children’s Goodness Club, adult English conversation club, games with the inmates of the Balapitiya Girls Orphanage and the establishment of 5 model home gardens (with plants kindly donated by the Different Travel Company).

Home Gardening model project underway

MORE VOLUNTEERS
In the first week of September there was another group of enthusiastic volunteers in Seenigama.

The UN Model Volunteers busy at work
at the Seenigama School

A group of five Model UN volunteers Raqeeb Thameem, Minal Cabraal, Anitra Varia, Taamara de Silva led by Vinayak Rajendran spruced up the boundary wall of Seenigama School last week. The aim was to clean up the boundary area before school reopened for the final term of the year. This volunteer group’s work here marked the start to a larger volunteer plan that will see the, visit Seenigama on a few more occasions.

Giving his perspective on the role volunteers play in the work being carried out by the Foundation of Goodness, its founder/trustee Kushil Gunasekera said “since the tsunami tragedy struck worldwide volunteers in large numbers arrived to make a positive difference, paving the way for our journey, to begin the process from almost ruin and to the rural community model that it is today. We wish to pay a huge tribute and my heartfelt gratitude on behalf of the Foundation of Goodness for the manner in which they have dedicated for the cause, which is hugely admirable and praiseworthy. Now with 30 sectors in operation volunteers of different disciplines continue to extend their support, adding value in elevating the standards in enriching quality of life of the disadvantaged for their wellbeing, happiness and prosperity. Our facilities including guest accommodation attract volunteers to give of their time in line with the theme “the beauty of life does not depend how happy you are, but how happy others are because of us.
Speaking further Gunasekera said “I’m sure when they reflect on ‘doing good’ in their advancing years, they can rejoice for a second time and more.”

Should you wish to become a volunteer and do humanitarian work with the Foundation of Goodness you can learn more by visiting our volunteer page.

“Even if you’re on the right track,
you’ll get run over if you just sit there”
- Will Rogers

 

2008.09.15

 
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