Many Words of Gratitude from the Families at the Food Drive

During these unprecedented times with many families facing financial crisis, Walter J Company, New Economics for Women, and American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)/ Labor Community Services (LCS), in collaboration with Sri Lanka Foundation, hosted a holiday food drive in an effort to reduce the food shortage to families in need during this holiday season on December 19th, 2020 from 9.00am to 12.00pm at the Walter J Company parking lot on 1930 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, Ca 90057.

Hundreds of families drove in as well as walked up to accept the food boxes with much gratitude and conveying blessings to the volunteers helping to distribute the food items.

Due to the great organization by the sponsors of this project the volunteers were able to execute the operations without any issues to the very end and shared their positive experience.

Holiday Food Drive


During these unprecedented times with many families facing financial crisis, Walter J Company, New Economics for Women, and American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)/ Labor Community Services (LCS), in collaboration with Sri Lanka Foundation, are hosting a holiday food drive in an effort to reduce the food shortage to families in need during this holiday season.

This will be held on Saturday, December 19th, 2020, from 9:00am to 12:00pm.

The distribution will take place at the Walter J Towers parking lot, on 1930 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057. All are asked to access the parking lot through Westlake Avenue.

Contactless drive-throughs are welcome; participants will simply drive their car to the designated pop-up tent, and food kits will be delivered to the trunks of the vehicles to ensure COVID safety compliance. Due to safety precautions and COVID regulations, no walk-ups will be permitted.

No eligibility is required.


Georgia wins Junior MasterChef Australia 2020 with her Sri Lankan feast

Sri Lankans around the world celebrated the epic win of Georgia who clinched the title of Junior Masterchef Australia 2020 which concluded on Monday and aired on Network 10.

Georgia whose maternal grandmother Charmaine hails from Sri Lanka is cited as a major influence on Georgia’s culinary leanings. Beating off stiff competition from 13 other contestants aged just 9-14 years, Georgia won a cash prize of AUS $25,000.

Each week Geogia remained calm and collected as she whipped up dish after dish of great cuisine which had the judges heaping praise on her. Tasting her coconut flatbread and potato curries the judges praised her ability to cook curry while mainating a perfect balance of spices.

Without hesitation Georgia credited her grandmother for teaching her all the elements of Sri Lankan cooking. In the final battle, Georgia’s culinary offering comprised pork curry, cashew curry, eggplant curry, plus yellow rice, pappadums and cucumber raita for her main. She followed it by a dessert, which she named ‘Tropical Mess’ which had five elements: toasted coconut ice cream, brown bread crumb, Davidson plum pearls, Davidson plum meringues and a lemongrass granita.

After winning, Georgia said she’s not too sure what she’ll do with the $25,000 prize money, but she will definitely use it for something fun and food-related.

SLYO Project Makes A Difference! Education Without Boarders | Operation Rise Above

Approximately 20 percent of youth in Los Angeles suffer from poverty, which interferes with their ability to purchase essential school supplies, and thus access a quality education. In addition, the pandemic has created further disruption for students as classes temporarily halted, interrupting learning.

To help mitigate these issues, SLYO and Project POH have partnered with Migalay’s Tamales restaurant and Yasel Puig’s Wild Horse Foundation to create the Operation Rise above initiative. The purpose of the initiative was to provide essential school supplies such as pens, backpacks, pencils, crayons, and colored pencils to underprivileged youth residing in the San Fernando Valley district. The event was hosted at Migalay’s Tamales Mexican restaurant on Saturday, October 3rd 2020 and was facilitated successfully with the help of many enthusiastic volunteers. Overall, school supplies were given to approximately 700 school-aged youth. SLYO and Project POH were grateful for the funds and essential school supplies provided by their sponsors: TJ Maxx Westlake Village, Kinecta Federal Credit Union, Sri Lanka Foundation, Team Rugby LA, the Go-Fund me donations and Facebook donations.

As a result of the donations, SLYO was able to purchase 700 backpacks with school supplies to provide to youth and families in need. The committee was also able to provide these individuals with free packaged meat sponsored by Yasel Puig’s Wild Horse Foundation. SLYO and Project POH would like to extend a special thank you to all the people that donated funds or supplies to make this event possible. Overall, Operations Rise Above, was able to help children ranging from Kindergarten to High School obtain important school supplies to help them get through the school year.

Written by,
SLYO Executive Committee

10th day of the 5th Gammadda Door-to-Door initiative

(News 1st): Amidst split opinions on the Constitutional Amendments, political debates, and inclement weather, issues faced by the people of our country has to be given our attention as well.

Gammadda teams today visited the people living in the Districts of Anuradhapura, Galle, and Mannar under the 5th Gammadda Door to Door initiative.

Most people in Galenbindunuwewa in Anuradhapura are suffering from kidney disease as they have been drinking brackish water for a long time.

A well has been constructed for these villagers to fetch water about two kilometers away from where they live, but that too is located near a reserve.

Just three months ago, a villager was killed by an elephant while trying to fetch water from the well.

People in Galenbindunuwewa are in need of clean drinking water and an elephant fence.

for more information go to:

Project Pursuit of Happiness and SLYO Presents

Operation Rise Above Sri Lankan Youth Organization (SLYO) and Project Pursuit of Happiness (POH) will be providing all the essential school supplies to underprivileged schools and students. This is a trying time for all of us. However, some families are unable to provide for their families and are finding it extremely difficult to navigate these waters. We want to utilize our network and resources to fill that void and help alliviate some of the hardships that these families are currently experiencing. We decided that the best way for us to help is by ensuring kids are not forced to pause on their education. We believe that if these kids have the proper support system, they will be able to rise above this current climate as well as set a solid foundation for taking care of their own families one day. Education is at the core of being able to rise above the issues that society throws at us, and kids should not be alone in fighting for that journey. This is the reason why we created Operation: Rise above. The idea is simple: provide kids with the resources they need to succeed so they can use their knowledge for power. We can use all the help possible as we a realizing there are currently a lot of kids being forced to put a hold on their education all over Los Angeles. With your help, we will be able to make an impact on these kids lives and give them the necessary tools they need to succeed. With even one small donation, you make make a major difference in their lives and the world. See more to Register and Donate!

Colombo back to normal

Colombo became a busy city once again with the easing of lockdown which was imposed since the outbreak of COVID-19 in March this year. Transport services are functioning as normal while shops and offices are also operating in line with health guidelines. The photos show Colombo is gradually returning to normalcy.
Pix by Pradeep Pathirana

Dry Ration Relief Materials to Sri Lanka

Dear Friends, In memory of most venerable Aluthnuwara Sumanatissa Nayaka Thero, we have started a fundraiser to help the poor and underprivileged families in Sri Lanka through Lankarama Buddhist Institute, LaPuente, California and Gangatilaka Viharaya, Iyamporuwa, Sri Lanka.

We will distribute dry ration parcels worth Rs. 5000.00 (nearly $30) each to the poor families. All the parcels will be dispatched to the poor families directly through the remote local temples and grama niladharis (local government officers) in different parts of Sri Lanka. We will purchase from SATHOSA, a government corporative company under subsidized rates.

Everything will be closely coordinated and monitored by the Lankarama Buddhist Institute and we will make sure to dispatch the relief parcels to the needy people directly through our local temples and government agents.

Please kindly join us in this noble course. Your generous help is very much appreciated. All donations should be made to Lankarama Buddhist Institute by cash or by check. You can also donate through our PayPal account.

Here’s the dry ration details that we are going to include in every parcel:
Rice 10kg normal
Rice 10kg keeri
Salmon 1tin 425g
Sprats 500g
Dhal 1kg
Flour 2kg
Coconut oil 1bottle
Soya meat 4pkts 110g (Raigam)
Chilie Powder 200g
Curry Powder 200g
Salt Powder
Noodles pkt 1 – 500g
Tea Leaves 200g
Sugar 1kg
Papadam 1 pkt – 100g
Pepper powder – 50g
B Onions 1kg
Garlic 200g
Kadala (large/s) 1kg
Kadala (medium) 1kg
Potatoes 1kg – local
Samaposha (large) 1kg
Milk Powder 1 pkt – 400g (Anchor/Raththi)
Turmeric Powder 50g
Corriander 100g.

Lankarama Buddhist Institute
398 Giano Ave, La Puente, CA 91744
Contact: +1-626-913-0775

Nalaka Gunawardhana’s message of Gratitude! Final Report

Thanks for all your donations and humanitarian efforts. Here’s our final report attached Please accept our gratitude towards Clarendon Foundation for all your efforts and donations.

Aruna received donations from us and many generous donors. Almost entire project was handled by him with his connections in SL.

Distribution of food during the Covid crisis
This was a group initiative by like-minded Sri Lankans around the world. A dedicated team of 12 volunteers, professionals based in Sri Lanka did the leg work and the coordination and funds management was done mostly from overseas. Background Due to the current Covid crisis and the island wide curfew imposed, there were thousands of daily wage earners who were unable to work and have had their lifelines suddenly slashed. There were many initiatives by local and overseas Sri Lankans at various grassroot levels to assist such families. Team of our friends living in Sri Lanka executed this humanitarian relief effort to assist such families by providing dry rations to the neediest.
Few capable Anandians took the lead to raise funds within their circles. Funding has emerged mainly from individuals both locally and overseas. Few contributed as a group.
All in all we have donated around Rs. 4.2M worth of goods.
The group is not affiliated with any NGO or political parties. We were very careful not to involve anyone with political interests or alliances.
Supplies & Logistics
Supplies have been sourced directly where possible from suppliers at better than market prices. Initially each pack of day rations consisted of 3Kg Rice, 1Kg Dhal, 500g Onions, 500g Soy, 2 coconuts etc. Each pack has an estimated value of approximately Rs. 700 /=. This we modified later little based on certain conditions and requirements. We also distributed in bulk to some elder’s homes and children’s homes.
Packing of these food parcels to the disadvantaged homes have been undertaken by volunteers and tri forces and distribution mainly by SL police force and Gramasevaka given that they can freely move around during the curfew.
The list of needy families had been identified by the support from provincial secretaries, police and gramasevakas. Most day earners had registered with these local bodies and they have assisted in identifying needy families.
Phase 1
2000 packs were distributed to families on 28th March.
Delivery consisted to the following areas: Maharagama, Anguruwathota, Rajagiriya, Meethotamulla, Borella, Nugegoda, Kottawa, Padukka, Nedimala, Boralesgamuwa, Pepiliyana, Nawinna, Madiwela Cost Rs. 884,100/=
Phase 2
2400 packs were distributed to families in phase 2 on 7th April
Delivery consisted to the following areas: Grandpass, Weththewa, Mathugama, Nawagamuwa, Mulleriyawa, Moratuwella, Wellampitiya, Mountlavinia, Kimbulawala, Hokandara, Anuradhapura – Dahayyagama, Ruhunupura, Pitakotte, Welikada, Boralesgamuwa, Pettah, Maharagama, Malseripura Cost Rs. 1,469,605/= Focused group in Kottawa and Agalawatte
125 Packs were distributed with the help of one of our friends in Kottawa and Agalawatte area 12th April Cost Rs. 111,250/=
Focused group in Aluthgama
135 packs to families in Ladduwa, Aluthgama area on the 12th April Cost Rs. 146,887/= Focused group in Peliyagoda
For 28 Families. Cost Rs. 48,515
Phase 3
Delivered another 885 packs on 18th April. 500 was for people stranded in Colombo who had come from villages to work. The balance 385 was for identified families in different areas requested by people known to us. Cost Rs. 662,953/=
Phase 4
325 Families were benefited. We also gave a bulk food donation for Madiwela Boys Home Cost Rs. 299,214/=
Phase 5
We have donated 310 packs for families in Bingiriya. These were mainly who depended on manufacturing and helping in coir related products and industries.
Cost Rs. 236,100/=
Miscellaneous distributions
Baddegama 50 families Cost Rs.52,300/=
Kandy 13 families cost Rs. 13,715/=
Kurunegala Cost Rs. 23,713/=
N95 masks for Ragama hospital staff Rs. 83,250/=
Handapanagala Methsewa Disabled childrens home (120 disabled children) Cost Rs. 97,417/= Galpatha Kaluthara Elders Home (38 elders) Cost Rs. 67,700/=
Payyagala Jayanthi Children’s home (42 children) Cost Rs. 40,200/= Appreciation
This was a very tiring but fulfilling experience for all of us. It wouldn’t have been possible if not for the wonderful team of volunteers, donors, Govt officials, members from tri forces and police. You all made it possible for us to help fill some of the empty stomachs in Sri Lanka.
Budu Saranayi. May god bless you.