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Program launched to provide water to the needy

The MoU was signed by Nanda Abeywickrama, Chairman I/D/E/A/S and Dr Tanuja Ariyananda, Chief Executive Officer LRWHF on behalf of their respective organizations.

Initiatives in Development of Entrepreneur Approaches and Strategies (I/D/E/A/S) and Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum (LRWHF) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for a period of three (3) years to collaborate in providing financial and technical assistance to supply drinking water to water stressed households in selected areas of Sri Lanka. The MoU was signed by Nanda Abeywickrama, Chairman I/D/E/A/S and Dr Tanuja Ariyananda, Chief Executive Officer LRWHF on behalf of their respective organisations. The signing took place on December 12 at the LRWHF offices located at New Parliament Road, Pelawatte, Battaramulla.

Initiatives in Development of Entrepreneur Approaches and Strategies (I/D/E/A/S) is a non-profit company launched in April 1996 dedicated to promoting socio-economic growth through entrepreneurship, empowerment and community-led development projects. It extends technical and (completely collateral- and interest-free) financial support to micro and small enterprises, youth, women, the differently-abled and the disadvantaged. In addition to entrepreneur development projects, IDEAS offers outright grants to critical and highly-deserving community initiatives such as LRWHF and Biodiversity Elephant Conservation Trust (BECT).



Lanka Rain Water Harvesting Forum (LRWHF) is a Non-Governmental Social Service Organization established in 2007 with the aim of promoting the use of rainwater harvesting to satisfy and sustain people’s water needs. I/D/E/A/S and LRWHF have collaborated since 2017 in a thematic and institutional partnership focused on supporting the efforts of LRWHF to construct and hand over rainwater harvesting tanks to households with family members afflicted with CKDu in the Northern, North Central, North Western and Uva Provinces of Sri Lanka as well as to hospitals caring for CKDu affected patients (see photos).

The new Memorandum of Understanding reflects the commitment of the two parties to formalise and strengthen this collaboration whereby I/D/E/A/S will provide assistance in the form of grants and interest-free loans to selected water stressed households in Sri Lanka for the installation of rainwater harvesting systems, while LRWHF will act as the Executing Agency to administer these grants and loans, taking responsibility for the installation, monitoring, servicing and repair of facilities, and to train beneficiary households in the operation and maintenance of these systems.

I/D/E/A/S has pledged up to Rupees Three Million (Rs 3,000,000) over the 3-year duration of this joint undertaking which will be used to provide financial support to eligible individual households for the installation of rainwater harvesting tanks on a Grant cum Interest-free Loan basis. The outright grant would cover approximately 60% of the cost of each household tank with the balance being covered by the loan component, ranging from Rs 30,000 to Rs 45,000, recoverable over a period of thirty (30) months commencing with the commissioning of each tank. Eligible beneficiaries will be identified through LRWHF’s extensive network and presence in several provinces and districts of Sri Lanka. Selection criteria will include factors such as distance to drinking water source, women headed households, number of young children, chronic kidney disease, disabled persons, and income level.

The partners to this agreement also intend to promote a scheme entitled “Well-Wishers” wherein individuals or organisations would volunteer to support and underwrite loan repayments of the neediest households and foster income generating and skills development activities among them.

Further information could be obtained by reaching Dr. Tanuja Ariyananda, CEO, LRWHF; Email: tanuja@sltnet.lk

My Pandemic Forecast for the Winter 2021 by Dr Deepthi Jayasekera

We, the people of the world, are in a much favorable position today compared to last winter with this Covid-19 pandemic. After over 5 million reported fatalities, we have managed to enrich ourselves with more meaningful and effective tools in the armamentarium against SARS-CoV-2 virus including public health protocols, vaccines, attitude changes and, most importantly, monoclonal antibody cocktails. The real paradigm shift came from lifesaving therapeutics like Remdesivir, anticoagulants, IL-6 inhibitors and steroid treatment in severe infections. For mild to moderate infection, two novel oral antiviral pills from Pfizer (Paxlovid) and Merck/Ridgeback Biotherapeutics (Molnupiravir) were introduced this month after they garnered promising phase 3 clinical trial results. Once approved, these antivirals will revolutionize the approach to this pandemic with equitable access globally.

Merck’s Molnupiravir from Merck demonstrated 50% efficacy in preventing hospitalization and death if started early in the infection, preferably within 3 days of confirmation or clinical suspicion. This was the first oral Covid-19 pill to gain regulatory approval in the world after Britain granted conditional authorization few days ago. This antiviral, like Tamiflu (Oseltamivir) for the Influenza virus, should be taken twice a day for 5 days. Most importantly, Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics agreed to allow other countries to use their formula when they signed a voluntary licensing agreement to be manufactured and used worldwide. This is an unprecedented move by Biopharma, given the lack of these agreements for Covid-19 vaccine production in resource-deprived countries thus far.

The second Covid-19 oral antiviral, Paxlovid produced by Pfizer, is a protease inhibitor —a more time-tested platform for antiviral medications. This pill is taken twice a day for 5 days by patients with mild-to-moderate infections with at least 1 risk factor for progression, and it has showed 89% effectiveness in preventing hospitalization and death from Covid-19. The data for Paxlovid has recently been submitted to FDA for emergence-use authorization. More importantly, Pfizer announced that it has working to provide equitable access to the medication for all people at an affordable price after FDA approval.

Dr. Deepthi Jayasekara
Clinical Professor of Infectious Diseases, Consultant Physician
Chair of Internal Medicine, Emanate Health hospitals
California

The Corona calendar established in Sri Lanka, a tool to assess potential transmission risk

This is to describe a simple tool call ‘The Corona Calendar’ that developed as a result of community-led, health promotion intervention to engage lay communities to improve their responses to the spread of COVID-19 with guidance from Dr. Duminda Guruge, Senior Lecturer in health promotion, Rajarata University of Sri Lanka.

What is the ‘Corona calendar’?

The ‘Corona calendar’ is a monitoring tool to assess COVID-19 transmission risk in each household, work places as well as in the community as a whole. This is also an intervention to improve adherence and to monitor behavioural changes in response to prevention of COVID transmission by the people themselves. This calendar was first developed by the community members.

How did they develop the ‘Corona calendar’ and what was the impact?

This calendar was first developed by a rural community group in Sri Lanka, during the nation-wide lockdown to assess the risk of infection gaining entry into their house each time a family member or a visitor entered the house without adhering to safety precautions. The family members used a common criteria or check list (the universal precautions) along with different templates and/ or colour codes to mark the ‘Corona calendar’ to represent the risk of exposure. The children in families, as change agents initiated daily assessing and monitoring the risk factors and behaviours for COVID transmission; such as the number of times an individual had to go out, whether they washed hands before entering the house or wearing a mask properly, whether any family member was not adhering to safety precautions. They analysed the risk to each individual and to other family members frequently. For example, High risk (represented by Red colour) if an individual went out without adhering to safety measures on a given day; Moderate risk (Orange colour) for rest of the family members on the same day. If all family members stayed at home and they had no visitors on a given day, it was considered as no risk (Green colour). This practice promoted the level of adherence, motivated the individuals to comply and be responsible towards the national guidelines on preventing COVID transmission. Involvement of children increased the enthusiasm and success of this intervention.

“This was very useful as a collective measure to create COVID free homes and/ or communities. People taking control over changing their lifestyle and behaviour to prevent COVID transmission was the success of this intervention

Gradually, this concept was expanded to community level when youth groups and adults collectively started monitoring their adherence to safety precautions at village level and their workplaces. For example, they assessed the number of families who adhered to safety precautions and the families who increased the risk of transmission to their village. This ‘community corona calendar’ also measured whether their community members gathered as groups at shops or in public places, funerals, parties or social gatherings against the standard safety measures, whether they practised unsafe behaviours such as smoking, betel chewing and spitting. They assessed the level of risk to the entire village caused by irresponsible acts of people using these measures and took necessary action to prevent or minimize the potential risk to fellow villagers. They displayed findings in public places to increase public awareness and adherence. The assessment criteria for workplace included assessing additional culturally relevant risk behaviours such as sharing food at lunch time and networking while eating.

The concept became popular among other settings where our health promotion work continues. People in vulnerable settings such as urban-crowded-high-risen settlements (flats) and estate sector also developed and adopted various forms of ‘Corona calendars’, to assess and monitor the COVID-19 transmission risk. This was very useful as a collective measure to create COVID free homes and/ or communities. People taking control over changing their lifestyle and behavior to prevent COVID transmission was the success of this intervention.



For more information go to:http://www.dailymirror.lk

Community, Together Rallied to Relieve a “Heartbeat” so Precious!

Sri Lanka @Heart Organization was formed to represent Sri Lanka’s Interest in Congress and higher echelons of Washington DC. However, when Sri Lanka was losing a precious “Heart Beat” every 10 minutes due to Covid-19, decision was taken to shift course, to send Oxygen Concentrators to save lives. Colonel Lucky Rajasinghe, leader of the organization marshaled his troops, to commence Operation “Project Oxygen”. Sri Lanka Foundation which had experience in donating and handling medical equipment in Sri Lanka was requested to give expert advice to formulate the Strategy of handling finances and to setup groundwork for organizing the distribution. Sensing the urgency of the situation, Dr. Walter Jayasinghe, the leader of the Sri Lanka Foundation approved the request by Sri Lanka @ Heart organization with a very generous opening donation.

In Military like precision, Opinion of Medical Specialists with the knowledge of Virology in Los Angeles was sought to advice on Sri Lanka’s needs & quality of the equipment. Hospitals that lacked equipment were earmarked, renowned Local Agents who were dealing with quality brands were identified, and Rotary Club of Colombo Central was requested to coordinate the distribution of Oxygen Concentrators and Pulse Oximeters to the selected Hospitals. All these were done within the first week of the commencement of the Project.

The Dynamic Committee of Sri Lanka@ Heart Organization with the immense help of Sri Lanka Foundation (SLF) launched a well coordinated campaign, calling for donations from Sri Lankan Americans living in the USA. SLF, SLAASC of California and Nevada, Muslim Association of California, St Joseph’s College OBU (OJAC), Ananda College OBA (ACOBA-WC, USA), Holy Family Convent PPA of California, Methodists College PPA and Bishops College PPA were the major contributors. OJAC helped to identify initial agents with quality brands at competitive pricing. Sri Lanka America Association SC helped to identify the Hospitals which had no equipment at all to fight Covid-19. ACOBA-WC, USA helped to get in touch with the Pediatric Hospital in Peradeniya, where the focus is now turned on to helping hospitals with pediatric accessories to Children with Covid-19. Sri Lanka’s vaccination program has been done very successfully with 80% of the population over age of 20 been vaccinated fully. Now we appeal to the fortunate people of California, to send your contributions to help the children of Lanka.

It’s heartening to note that within a period of one month we were able to collect US $125,000 and to purchase from Local Agents, 65 Oxygen Concentrators of 10 liter capacity and 1500 Pulse Oximeters and equipment for the COVID-19 Pediatric ward at Srimavo Bandarananayake Specialist Children Hospital (SBSCH) at Peradeniya. All the equipment was installed under the supervision of Rotary Club of Colombo in 50 Hospitals spanning entire Sri Lanka.

The highlight of the campaign was to simultaneously provide the much needed help to Sri Lankan Economy by sending foreign exchange to Lanka, to purchase through local agents with quality products, thereby helping with the exchange crisis too. Distribution covered remote places like Tellipalai,Mannar,Valachchenai, Trincomalee, Thambuthegama, Embilipitiya, Nivithagala and Eheliyagoda, where no proper Oxygen equipment were available. Medical Professionals at these 50 Hospitals all over the island were delighted to receive such quality equipment and by any standard this was an enormous task achieved. Indirectly, we did stimulate the economy in Sri Lanka in a small way and provided some part time employment to drivers to earn that “Extra Buck” in distribution. All in all, while making available the O2 at the right time at the right place to keep a patient alive, was the greatest success story of the organizational work, proving that when the hearts are in one direction without any ego, we can achieve many accomplishments.

Stage 2 will concentrate on the children who are yet to be vaccinated, who may get exposed to Covid-19 with the opening of the schools. If you are impressed with the work accomplished and want to support, Please send checks/Zelle to ‘Sri Lanka Foundation’ – to the attention of Shirani Stanislaus-16756 Index Street Granada Hills CA 91344 – Zelle to Ingrid@srilankafoundation.org– Your Contribution is used prudently to protect a Child in Lanka.

We take this opportunity to thank all who contributed in abundance. Dr Walter Jayasinghe the Founder and President of SLF for his whole hearted support, the Hon Consul General of SL to Western States of USA, Dr Lalith Chandradasa for timely advice and guidance and to the team at SLF for giving their precious time to help to “Re-live, many a Heart Beat”in Sri Lanka.

Lanka @ Heart Organization of Western States of USA- “Transparency is Key”.

For more information contact:
Lucky Rajasinghe: 909-730-2847
Keshini Wijegoonaratna- 213-400-7705
Samantha Kurera- 951-963-1030
Rakshita Dissanayaka- 562-254-4865
Dushyantha Kurera- 909-974-9199
Rohan Sourjah- 310-567-8894

Sri Lanka’s First Fully Equipped Mobile ICU Donated to Ministry of Health to Combat COVID-19 By Premium International

At Teaching Hospital Peradeniya on 14th September 2021, history was created when Premium International donated, Sri Lanka’s first mobile ICU with cutting edge technology, conceptualized, designed and equipped by their innovative engineering team to the Ministry of Health to alleviate the burden caused by the acute lack of ICU capacity in the country.

The company who is a pioneer in transforming the healthcare technology landscape in the country is able to fabricate such based on the demands from donors to address this acute need, and is looking forward to collaborate with local or International donors.

Tashiya Piyadasa bestowed with the legacy of Table Tennis from her father; the former, eight-time National champion in Sri Lanka…

11-year-old Tashiya Piyadasa, recently claimed the championship in the under-11 category at the National Junior Table Tennis Championships held in the USA, June. Her beatific talent in table tennis (TT) made her be graded at No. 4 in the under-13 category. In advance, she has also received a TT scholarship.

Tashiya is the elder daughter of a former top table tennis player in Sri Lanka, Thilina Piyadasa. Her father, Thilina was an eight-time national champion in Sri Lanka till 2007. In 1996, while in school, he was selected as the most talented table tennis player. Tashiya’s mother Rifka Kamil is also a table tennis player who captained the Sri Lanka table tennis team in 1997 and was commended as the most talented schoolgirl player at the Milo awards ceremony in 1996. It is discernible that Tashiya is bestowed and inherited her scintillating TT skills from her parents. The Piyadasa family is now settled down in the USA. Currently, Tashiya is the TT champion in the USA in the under-11 age group.

Her ingress into TT is gradual. Though she was not keen on TT at the beginning, when she was about seven, she decided on her own to take up table tennis. Her father was her first coach. Then Udaya RAnasignhe, a former Sri Lanka national TT champion, who had also settled down in the USA, volunteered to coach my daughter. Under his tutelage and mentorship, Tashiya trained hard, followed the coach’s instructions, and took part in several TT tournaments. Currently, Tashiya’s coach is an Olympic TT gold medalist in the USA. She is Shao June, a well-known coach and the president of the California Table Tennis club. Under her mentorship, Tashiya put in special effort to win the title at a national level tournament in the under-11 age group.

Let us wish Tashiya, the girl with Sri Lankan roots to be successful with her all future endeavors.

For more information:
https://www.sundayobserver.lk

URGENTLY NEEDED 25 OXYGEN CONCENTRATORS DISTRIBUTED TO THE RURAL AREA HOSPITALS BY SLF & OTHER SL ORGANIZATIONS

SL ORGANIZATIONS IN Southern California, GREATLY APPRECIATE YOUR DONATION!!!!!

On September 4th, 2021 two lorries carrying urgently needed 25 Oxygen Concentrator’s took off to the hospitals in the rural areas in Sri Lanka for distribution. The rural area hospitals selected for the long awaited Oxygen Supply were Maslkeliya, Dickoya, Tricomalee, Meeghatanna, Karapitiya, Dankotuwa, Peradeniya and Thellapillai.

This project was funded by the Sri Lanka Foundation, Sri Lanka America Association, Sri Lanka Muslim Association, St Joseph’s College Old Boys Association, Ananda College Old Boys Association, Holy Family Convent Past Pupils Association, Methodist College Past Pupils Association and other generous individuals in Southern California.

We continue our efforts to raise more funds as we are now preparing to distribute 500 Pulse Oximeters and more Oxygen Concentrator’s to other rural area hospitals that are in crucial need to save lives.

If you wish to donate to this worthy cause please contact the following individuals:

Keshini Wijegoonaratna: 213-400-7705
Lucky Rajasinghe: 909-730-2847
Samantha Kurera:951-963-1030
Rakshita Dissanayaka: 562-254-4865
Rohan Sourjah: 310-567-8894
Rahim Mantara: 909-223-5866
Dushyantha Kurera: 909-974-9199


See attached Zelle Account for easy transfer:
Zelle Account Information

SLF Intl, Other Non Profits, School Organizations and Individuals in Southern California Community Join Hands to Provide urgent Medical Equipment to SAVE LIVES!!!

Sri Lanka Foundation Intl USA, Sri Lanka America Association of Southern California, Ananda College Old Boys Association, St Joseph’s College Old Boys Association and Holy Family Convent Past Pupils Association with many individuals in Southern California have come together to raise funds to provide most urgently needed Medical Equipment to the Hospitals in the Rural Areas.

Donations started to pour in and within less than a week the collection exceeded over $120,000. The following hospitals in the rural areas have been identified such as Dickoya, Maskeliya, Tricomalee, Dankotuwa, Meeghatanna, Peradeniya, Karapitiya and Tellapillai to deliver 3 to 4 Oxygen Concentrator’s which includes a two year warranty, installation and servicing. This is scheduled to go out in the next 24 to 48 hours.

After the completion of this project, we have over 15 other hospitals identified in the rural areas to deliver Oxygen Concentrator’s which awaits the next shipment to arrive.

We are extremely thankful to all the donors for their generous donations. All developments of the project will be posted on the website.

Aruni Boteju Initiates the Mission of Connecting Sri Lanka and Consul General with Direct Relief

Consul General of Sri Lanka, visited Direct Relief’s Santa Barbara headquarters to discuss the ongoing emergency response in the region and opportunities for future partnership in the South Asian country.

Through the coordination of Aruni Boteju, Direct Relief recently donated ventilators and adaptors (equivalent to USD $54,422 or LKR 10,854,346) to Sri Lanka.

Dr. Chandradasa toured the organization’s 155,000-square-foot warehouse, accompanied by several others, including Aruni Boteju, who coordinated the visit. Dr. Chandradasa spoke with Direct Relief CEO and President Thomas Tighe and other staff about the necessity of access to Covid-19 vaccines, as well as ongoing medical support.

Direct Relief is a humanitarian aid organization, active in all 50 states of the United States of America and more than 80 countries across the globe, with a mission to improve the health and lives of people affected by poverty or emergencies – without regard to politics, religion, or ability to pay. Direct Relief also has a long history of emergency response to Sri Lanka, including the aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Through the coordination of Aruni Boteju, Direct Relief recently donated ventilators and adaptors (equivalent to USD $54,422 or LKR 10,854,346) to Sri Lanka.

Don’t Miss Out!!!Thath Jith Dance Academy students in collaboration with Maitthree Vihara Buddhist Meditation Center are organizing a fundraiser to help people in need in Sri Lanka!

ALL CDC SAFETY GUIDELINES ENFORCED!!
Dine in (minimum capacity at a time)
Drive through & Take Away is available between 5.00pm to 10.00pm,
call and order early!!323-982-5996
Payments accepted in Cash, Write Checks to Maithree Vihara
Venmo-Prasanna Yamasinghe
Zella- On 323-982-5996


The entire world was paralyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sri Lanka is taking measures to combat and defeat the disease. Due to economic struggles rural and poor in Sri Lanka is struggling to put food on the table.

Thath Jith Dance Academy students in collaboration with Maitthree Vihara Buddhist Meditation Center are organizing a fundraiser to help and feed the day-to-day workers and their families in selected poor and vulnerable rural villages. Our goal is to provide groceries to feed 1000 families . The distribution of groceries will be done through collaboration with TV Derana , most popular TV channel in Sri Lanka.

Please join us, Thath Jith kids, by donating and sharing to feed the vulnerable families in Sri Lanka.
Thank you for your contribution, generosity and kindness.

Gofund Link:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/rt8mb-help-sri-lanka?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1