As a developing country, emerging from years of civil war less than a decade ago, Sri Lanka’s rural and suburban areas lack the same facilities as the capital Colombo. The Serendipity Foundation has embarked on several ways to support local hospitals and people.
Simple donations such as wheeled stretchers to suburban hospitals were the beginning of the story, where moving patients within the facility or simply having somewhere for a patient waiting to be seen was a challenge. The Lady Ridgeway Hospital, the main children's hospital was lacking a way to make their little stars' stay that little easier. In 2013, the foundation helped to create a play area; a colourful, engaging and most importantly safe space for the children to play in whilst they were recovering. This also helped parents to spend time with their children during recovery and hopefully capture happier moments. The next stage is to create a library area for the children with books and learning materials.
A major aim for 2017 is to support the procurement of a dialysis machine to help patients with kidney failure and disease. The Ragama Hospital is located half an hour from the nearest facility with a dialysis machine, meaning a patient's life hangs in the balance simply due to the lack of on-site facilities. Together with supplying sterilising machines and supporting requirements, we’re looking forward to one day providing patients and staff with an improvement in facilities.
Medical Mobile Unit
Due to the distance of medical centres and hospitals, attending regular check ups for the elderly can be difficult in rural areas of the country. Near Colombo, the foundation are supporting a mobile medical unit, manned by volunteer nurses and consultants to visit the elderly to check on the most vulnerable in society.
A visit consists of checking their vitals, including blood pressure, weight gain and loss, glucose levels and their general health. The physiological benefits are obvious, however the Foundation have also observed the psychological benefits of patients being reassured about their health.
They say give a man a fish and he can live for a day, however give him the tools to fish, he can eat for the rest of his life The cottage industries in Sri Lanka mainly involve handicraft and manufacturing, and the Foundation recently supported a local family whose heritage has been manufacturing eco-friendly bags. Previously, the family had to hire the machines to make the bags, which meant they had to allocate part of their small margins to their overheads. This made the production less sustainable to support their family. The foundation stepped in to purchase two machines for them, which meant no more rental costs. This also enabled some of the teenage children to become involved to also help in the manufacturing process. The family have now been provided with a self sustaining business that can support their needs to pay for bills such as utilities, transport and, of course, their children’s education.
Children of Sri Lanka
The New Year is an auspicious time for the many children across Sri Lanka, as it’s the time they are provided with the essentials for the year ahead. However, less fortunate children lack provisions to support their schooling simply because their parents find it difficult to afford the basic necessities. As an orphan they are even more reliant on the orphanage. Together with providing Christmas presents for the kids, the following week they receive books, stationary and essentials to take them through school. The foundation also supports children from poor families in rural villages with the same essentials so they can attend school.
The Foundation also sponsors an orphan at the nearby orphanage. The cost of sponsoring an orphan will cover their well being, schooling and any health related matters that needs financial support.