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