The Foundation of Goodness, an ever-growing humanitarian organization headed by former First Class Cricketer and Sri Lanka Cricket secretary Kushil Gunasekera, opened yet another project this time in Madagal Jaffna where thousands of people will benefit over the years.
Called the Village Heartbeat Project (VHP) it offers computer, information technology, English language, Sinhala language, science, mathematics, women’s enterprise and empowerment and sports benefits for hundreds of people in Jaffna who had no hope of starting life or rebuilding their lives after the end of the civil war.
Already nearly 300 children, young men and women who found it difficult to decide on their education or a career have enrolled at the VHP from as many as eight surrounding villages. The Centre also helps in skills development and has a library to help the beneficiaries broaden their knowledge-base and is home to a Children’s Goodness Club to ensure that the very young and youth understand the importance of performing good deeds that can help and benefit their community, for a brighter future.
The building for the project was gifted to the Foundation of Goodness (FOG) by Rajiv and Radhakrishnan who are presently residing in the United Kingdom in appreciation of the services rendered by the FOG which has similar projects in Galle, Ratgama, Hingurakgoda, Moneragala, Batticaloa, Ampara and Matara.
In donating their ancestral property to the FOG, the Radhakrishnans had no doubts that it will be utilized for the benefit of the Jaffna folks who have become restless and tired of political talk only.
“This is the kind of example that we need to showcase and bear testimony to the north-south reconciliation initiative as we believe that both parties together can make a major difference towards rebuilding a shattered community”, said Gunasekera.
Co-trustee of the FOG Ashan Malalasekera, the Chairman of Arinma Holdings made sure the project created empowering rural students, bridging the gap and helping to make better progress.
The architectural drawing to resurrect the building where the VHP Centre is located was done by renowned architect Anjalendran free of cost.
Other promoters of the project were Dr. Sangarapillai Nagendran from the USA, his brother Dr. Sangarapillai Asokan, Dr. Anton Sebastiampillai and Emil Kumar, both from UK, as well as Rashantha Devanesan.
The Foundation of Goodness first introduced its Village Heartbeat Project concept to bring Empowerment Centres offering a selection of its key courses and programmes to distant rural villages where opportunities and access to resources is scarce.
Many of the courses offered at the VHP Centres are crucial for the development of women, children and youth, giving them the opportunity to build their talents and gain more skills.
Gunasekera said the aim was to give these groups an opportunity to take control of their future, rather than remain victims of circumstance, by providing them with the necessary tools for success.
The Foundation of Goodness was established in 1999 and has worked extensively following the 2004 tsunami that devastated the lives of thousands of Sri Lankans to develop a one of a kind holistic rural community development model which today delivers a wide range of programmes to over 35,000 beneficiaries from more than 200 villagers in the North, South and East of Sri Lanka annually, free of charge.