Three decades of war left many families devastated in the north and east of Sri Lanka. Many families lost their head of the household. As they soon found it difficult to provide for the needs of the home, many mothers and even young girls became the breadwinners of the family. When its members are faced with such challenge, some communities consider it their duty or responsibility to help people rebuild their lives and restore their independence and self-sufficiency. One way to empower people is through livelihood assistance and vocational training programs.

In one such effort, Manitha Neyam Trust along with the Institute of Medical Science developed a Healthcare Assistant (Nurse Aid) training program at the Manipay Green Memorial Hospital. Thirty girls from the North and East of Sri Lanka enrolled in this one year training program.

As part of their program, the students spent time working with the residents of our Siva Poomi Elderly Home. Early this year, when I was in Sri Lanka, I was able witness the love and care the students provide to our Elders at the home. I took the opportunity to provide encouragement to these students for the noble work they are undertaking.

Today, I am happy to inform you that all 30 students who participated in the program completed the course, and all of them obtained employment in the Healthcare industry in the North and East of Sri Lanka. After such a successful first program, a second batch of students has been admitted and begun the Healthcare Assistant training program.

We congratulate Manitha Neyam Trust and its UK branch who fully sponsored the training program, and Dr. Surendra Kumar and the Institute of Medical Science for training these students. Herewith, I am enclosing few photos of the students working with the elderly at our home, and a group photo of the students.

On a Sad note: Attached below is a picture of Mrs. Rajeswari Ramalingam being helped to walk by one of the students. At age 103, Mrs. Ramalingam was the oldest resident at our Elderly Home. Unfortunately, she passed away last Monday at the Siva Poomi Home. She was a joyous person and an inspiration to many; we will miss this wonderful soul.