Traveling from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, we arrived at this quiet village of Warapalana in the district of Yakkala in 45 minutes. Twenty elderly ladies live in the Warapalana home for women. It feels like the perfect place to spend one’s old age being surrounded by trees and vegetation. Most of the women who live here have no families and some of them have never been married. One 80 year old lady said “I never got married. I do not have any children who would take care of me. I am glad to be here. They take care of me very well. ” They all had similar stories.
Three years ago I met the visionary woman who built this home. An unmarried single woman herself who did not have any siblings, she thought of such women and what happens to them when they get old. She had a piece of land and was preparing it to build a home for women who have nobody to take care of them as they get older. I was so impressed by the enthusiasm and dedication of this woman that I decided to help her. We assisted her by sponsoring the water well, the water tower and tank, toilets and shower.
This time I was visiting to donate some much needed furniture for the home. It made me very happy to see how one woman’s dream has come true and so many ladies have benefited from her vision.
At the request of Vineetha Alwis, we arranged to donate bedside cabinets with drawers for all the residents. When she made the request, she said “I feel so sad to see that the few belonging that these ladies own are wrapped in plastic bags and they keep them under the beds. We need to help them.”
On the 21st of February, when I arrived in Sri Lanka, I went to the old age home straight from the airport. After touring the place we all sat down together and had a wonderful conversation. Some of them told me the stories of how they came to live in this home. After a short blessing ceremony they asked questions. One lady even did a long prayer for me. They all were happy to receive the bedside cabinets. We talked and had even a few good laughs. It was a pleasant and joyful time.
For women who do not have families or have been abandoned by families, old age can be lonely and difficult. I was so happy to see that the twenty women who live in this home have a family and friends and are being well taken care of. Let us all wish them healthy and happy long lives. Special thanks to Vineetha Alwis and everybody who supports TGS.