For eighteen years, the Sri Lankan government fought a long and difficult war with a separatist group called the Tamil Tigers. By the time the government negotiated a cease-fire with the separatists in 2001, about seven thousand people had lost their lives.
Although more than a year has passed since fighting has ended, the damage and destruction of war will continue to hurt Sri Lankan people for many years to come. The worst victims in a war are always helpless children. Though we do not have an official estimate of the number of war orphans in Sri Lanka, there are thousands of them living around the country.
When I travel to Africa, Asia, or Russia I always take time to visit orphanages and spend time with children. On my last trip to Sri Lanka I got the opportunity to visit with one hundred and fifty orphan girls in Nugegoda. These girls had lost one or both of their parents due to various reasons.
Triple Gem Society sponsored uniforms for all the girls and their teachers. I spent three precious hours with the children. They sang songs and we had tea and cookies together. As expected, I gave a short talk advising them how to live in peace and harmony in their community and gave them blessings. They had written a series of poems about my visit. Five girls dressed in white uniforms sang them beautifully. The whole experience touched my heart deeply. Can you picture yourself growing up without your parents? Can you imagine how painful and difficult life would be for a child to grow up without the love and support of parents? Unfortunately, there are thousands and thousands of such children in this world who have lost this important birth right.
We all must think of those children and remember that our kindness is needed for their survival and well being. If we can come together and care for them, whenever possible, this world will be a little bit friendlier and better place for them to grow up.
Even though Triple Gem Society sponsored this project, it is the labor of love of Mrs. Vinitha Alwis that helped us to complete the work. Many thanks and blessings to Mrs. Alwis and her friend Mrs. Samanmalee for their kindness and hard work.
May every orphan child in this world experience love and kindness from those who did not have the misfortune of growing up without the love, warmth, protection and security of a family.