In Sri Lanka, in the hinterland of Matara, about 12 kilometres from the coast, Specchio dei tempi built a village immediately after the 2004 tsumani. Five family homes, a medical centre, the small office building: initially it was used to give assistance to those who had suffered serious trauma and fractures in the tsunami. However, after a few years these needs ceased and, in agreement with the Sinhalese government and the Court of Matara, we decided to convert the facilities into a shelter for unfortunate girls. Thus, for over 8 years, we have been hosting girls who have experienced abuse and abandonment. It is our commitment against violence against women: a concrete project that we deal with on a daily basis, not just on the day of the “red shoes”.
Today there are about twenty girls living in the family homes that we are modernizing. Specchio dei tempi supports completely the economic weight of the initiative which, in practice, is carried out by the Buddhist monks of the Oba Mama Association, led by Reverend Ratanasare, the spiritual leader of southern Sri Lanka.
We have also been supporting the Matara Orphanage for three years. That is, an orphanage run by Buddhist monks on a court order. It currently hosts 13 children, more than half of whom are under 6 years old. All of them have different stories to tell but all dramatic. From the child who lost both parents struck by cancer, to the one who never had parents, to the one who was abandoned in the hospital by his family only because he was sick, to another who suffered violence, to others who were simply “street children” who have been given a roof. When the Japanese foundation that supported this orphanage ended its business, we were there. We didn’t feel like leaving these 13 children and teenagers alone. So we help them. If you want, you can do it too, with us.