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January – April 2013

241 pre-cast toilets 101 core houses

1176 flower pots

26 tube wells 12 repaired dug wells


241 pre-cast toilets

26 tube wells

12 repaired dug wells

With the funding of Japan Platform, HFHSL and HFHJ completed a project that provided 241 families with pre-cast toilets in Sannar Village, Mannar District. The project also completed 26 tube wells and repaired 12 open dug wells around the community, to assist these families with water and sanitation facilities. With these facilities, we hope that the returnees here will be encouraged to reintegrate and resettle on permanent land. One of the villagers Denushan said, "My family has been observing the procedure of setting the tube wells from the beginning and we are so happy to see the brand-new wells. We had to walk 1 km to fetch water before, but it's not necessary anymore. These wells are utilized by everyone, so we want to take care and maintain them in a proper way." The villagers were also provided with toilet brushes and buckets for the cleaning of their new toilets and training on how to wash hands properly.

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January– April 2013

101 core houses

1176 flower pots

Working in Mannar District, North of Sri Lanka for 2 years, Habitat Japan with funding from Japan Platform has assisted 101 families to construct core houses. All the families had been affected by Sri Lankan’s civil war and had no homes to call their own. They had been living in huts made of dried palmyrah leaves, wood and sand which are very susceptible to change in weather and are at risk of going underwater during the monsoon seasons. These houses now provide families with a safe and decent home.

For the many of the internally displaced, returning to their home communities after a long displacement is not an easy task. They are faced daily with a lack of decent shelter, sufficient water and sanitation facilities and a chance to make a stable income for feeding the family. To further encourage the rebuilding of their own communities, the people in Sannar Village, Mannar were presented with colorful flowers plants and some edible vegetable plants. Colorful flowers around the village would instill a sense of peace, and making plenty of vegetables available for consumption would not only save living cost but also help enhance nutrition level especially for the small children who are vulnerable to succumb to malnutrition. HFH Japan with its Campus Chapters (CCs), organized fundraising campaigns throughout Japan to fund this initiative.

Subahun a home-owner said, “My new core house has enabled me to start my own shop and now we are able to get a more stable income and save. As for my next plan, I am going to make a home garden in the next rain season and sell harvested vegetable. Through this core house, I could make a big step towards my dream. Thank you to Habitat for facilitating this.

Habitat for Humanity Japan Team in Sri Lanka Satoko Noguchi Satoko joined the project in April 2011 as the program manager and was based in the heart of Mannar District. Tough and methodical, she was termed the “Iron lady” for being able to deal with the cultural differences, unbearable heat and difficult living conditions; while completing the projects on time and assisting the people of Mannar District immensely. Nearly every month, Satoko travelled by public transport between Mannar & Colombo to coordinate the project. Her perseverance earned her a lot of respect from the people of Mannar and her colleagues at Habitat as well. About her time working in Sri Lanka she says: “Every ex-

perience I had was just fantastic! Sri Lankan people were so warm and have caring hearts. Making progress in the project was not an easy task, but thanks to the kind understanding of the local government and the hard-work of Habitat's staff members, we could manage it. I am happy to have another hometown in Asia to go back to.”

Aoba Morita Young Aoba moved to Sri Lanka in April 2011 to assist in the financial affairs of the Japanese Project. Meticulous and thorough by nature, she made sure that all accounts records were kept in check and audits were conducted as required. She also undertook the procurement tasks and saw to it that all purchases were recorded and procedures were followed. Her detailed reports showed transparency in the accounting and were well appreciated by the donor. Her thoroughness earned her a lot of respect from all at the Habitat office. About her time working in Sri Lanka she says:

“I am so glad that I could work for conflict-affected people in Sri Lanka with HFHSL. I was inspired by my colleague’ passion and people’s will to reconstruct their own life, and learned a lot from them. I wish I can get another opportunity to work for Sri Lanka in the future.” Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka will miss them!!!

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January– April 2013

Habitat Sri Lanka welcomes Mr. Tony Weerasinghe as its new Brand Ambassador To the delight of Habitat Sri Lanka, Mr. Tony Weerasinghe, CEO of MillenniumIT has announced his willingness to become Habitat Sri Lanka’s new Brand Ambassador. Below is his brief biography: TONY WEERESINGHE

Director of Global Development, LSEG and CEO MillenniumIT Founder and Chief Executive Officer of MillenniumIT, Tony joined the Group’s Executive team in October 2009 through the MillenniumIT acquisition. Prior to starting MillenniumIT he was Head of the Open Systems Division of ComputerLand and Country Manager of Oracle - both Sri Lankan based companies. He is a member of the British Computer Society and the Institute of Data Processing Management. In December 2009 Tony was appointed Director of Global Development for LSEG. In this role Tony is responsible for global co-ordination of the Group’s strategic business development through relationships and partnerships with other exchanges, electronic communication networks (ECNs), multi-lateral trading facilities (MTFs) and other market infrastructure institutions.

A community centre for Odussudan On 25th January 2013, Habitat Sri Lanka together with General Officer Commanding 64 Division Brigadier Dammika Panawala, Security Force Commander Mullathivu Major General L.B.K. Mark, Mr. Hemantha Jayawardena of MillenniumIT and the Divisional Secretary of Oddussudan, dedicated a community centre to the war affected people of Oddussudan. MillenniumIT funded a 51 house project in the area last year along with a community centre. This community centre is 850sq.ft and comprises of a reception hall, a computer room and visitors’ toilets. The centre will be used for the events and ceremonies held by the villagers such as wedding receptions, birthday parties, meetings etc. Two computers were also donated to this centre; one by the army and the other by MIT. Computer lessons are to be held in the computer rooms and computer literacy will be given by a computer instructor. A maintenance fund is to be created by the RDS with the assistance of the DS. Income generation will be from fees from the Computer Literacy classes, rents from hiring of the Community Hall, and periodical events.

The volunteer who went a step further… Sarath Nonis, a professor of Marketing at the Arkansas State University volunteered at Habitat Sri Lanka during the Rebuild 2012 in August last year. Upon his return to the USA, he took a step further and wrote a manuscript on

“Volunteer Tourism and Transformative Learning: A Platform to Engage Constituents from both Universities and their Local Communities”.

Click here to read this manuscript.

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January– April 2013

A Community Centre in 5 days “Build a community centre in 5 days? – Daunting!” was the first reaction of many of the 48 international students from the New York University of Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) who landed in Sri Lanka on the 22nd of March, 2013. Daunting, it seemed at first, but not impossible, as it was proved.

Engineers for Social Impact Under the “Engineers for Social Impact” program at NYUAD, these students from the Engineering Faculty (and who originate from all parts of the world), accompanied by 6 staff members decided to donate, volunteer their time and labor, and travel to Sri Lanka from Abu Dhabi to build a community centre for 24 underprivileged families living in Pattayamwatte village, Negombo. These families are part of a special project called ‘Rebuild Sri Lanka’ that saw over 150 International volunteers coming together with local volunteers to build their homes in August, 2012.

Blessings invoked On arrival to the build site, the volunteers were warmly welcomed by the home-owners, with garlands and grateful smiles. This was later followed by a traditional Sri Lanka welcome ceremony which involved the lighting of the oil lamp and national treats. A highlight of the ceremony was when a home owner’s child performed a traditional dance invoking blessings. Nayef Saeed, a student from UAE later commented “The welcome of the home-owners was quite surprising and very touching. I was not expecting anyone to be waiting for us and it suddenly hit me that I not just assisting to make just a building, but a place where these people will meet and have activities. The building suddenly became more than just brick and mortar for me.”

Building begins Building commenced the following day with the volunteers mixing mortar, laying bricks etc. Work was divided into small teams of different tasks and these teams were rotated so that everyone got a chance to experience everything. Although the weather was unforgiving hot, the volunteers got into a good tempo and worked diligently. On the build, Mingzhu Hou, a student from China said “It’s really fun, and I feel like I am doing something with my own hands – I love it”

Click to Read Full Article

January– April 2013

New York University Abu Dhabi Volunteers share Click here to read and learn what they had to say!


Katya Nandita

Tsega Amina





Kwame & Eder







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January– April 2013

Volunteers Speak...

Building in Samurdigama, Negombo, the Japanese Team “Zmile” looked tired but happy. Under the leadership of Professor Mark Zion (an American professor who lives in Japan), these Japanese students came from Tama University, near Yokohama, Japan. They study global studies and saved money for a whole year, working part time jobs after classes, so as to come to Sri Lanka to help the underprivileged. When asked about the meaning of Zmile, Haru, the team leader said, “We want to bring smiles to the people we assist and the home-owners’ smiles give us the power to work!” Why the Z? “because of our professor Mr. Zion!” Professor Zion himself is volunteering for the 12th time and he says, “My most cherished moments are when I hear stories from families that Habitat assisted. Most people remember the volunteers who came and assisted them and say that they would never have had a house, were it not for these volunteers!” Nagisa, another team member and a 5th time volunteer said, “volunteerism is give and take. We get the opportunity to see another country and get satisfaction from doing good; while working hard to assist the people who are in greater need than us.”

DPL Supports Habitat Donates and Volunteers!!! DPL - a fully integrated rubber glove manufacturer donated more than 200 gloves to the volunteers from the New York University Abu Dhabi who came to build a community centre at Pattayamwate, Negombo. During the build, the global hand protection provider also send 6 of its employees to volunteer for half a day at the build site. Nadeesha Ranasinghe, who is a human resources executive at DPL and participated in the build said, “My most memorable moment of the build was to hear the comments of the volunteers about DPL gloves. Especially, comments received from Philip - a Senior Engineering professor. This made me very proud of our product.” Danuja Kumara, who works as a Finance Executive at DPL also commented, “This experience was new and exciting for me. I found it very interesting to work with individuals from different cultures/countries. I really enjoyed everything and especially the group photo!”

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January– April 2013

Maria & Anthony (House no. 8) “We had to shift from house to house every year, but now, since we have our own house, it is a comforting thought to know that no one is going to chase me and my family away. I can proudly say that I have my own home and a permanent address and we are able to live as one family together. This is very important for us because before, we used to live separately; my son and his family in a separate house; me and my husband in another house. All were paying rent. We are able to live peacefully in this community because the level of security is good. Everyone is there for each other during an emergency. It is a comforting thought to know that we live in a happy, friendly and united community.”

Thusari & Niroshan (House no. 24) “We used to live with my parents. And now, it’s nice to have our own house. Another plus point in this place is the good neighbors. If we need help, we can always count on them. We face an issue with the distance though as the children find it difficult to go to school. We would be very grateful if Habitat can give us another loan altogether so we can complete the other 2 rooms and pay off the loans at once.”

Disna & Sugath (House no. 2 ) Disna said, “We used to live in a house where many more families lived with us. And now, it is such a good feeling to have a house all to ourselves and most importantly, a place we could call home! The children are happy to live in a different environment because they have better facilities to study and play. They have made friends with the neighboring children and they all get together to play in the evenings. They even made their own volleyball court. We also have a good understanding and relationship with the neighbors. We feel secure in this community because everyone is there for each other. My husband is determined to improve the house. He wants to build two more rooms so that there is more space in the house as right now there is not enough space and it is a bit difficult to carry on with the house work. I have also been able to grown manioc and Jak fruit trees, and flowers in my garden in my spare time. We face a bit of a problem when the children have to go to school and my husband has to go to work because it is a bit far. Sometimes the children get late to go to school if they don’t leave early. But despite these minor difficulties, we are very grateful for this house and for all the better facilities and other advantages.” Mallika & Shantha (House no. 10) “The volunteers sent us a letter and some photos and we reminisced the time we all got together to build the houses. It was wonderful! I remember how the volunteers enjoyed our food! We would really be happy if we get another chance to meet the volunteers and spend time with them even if it is just for a day. There are a few issues that we face here. One is that there is little space in this house and we have no plans to build the other two rooms as we don’t have the money and the resources. Another issue is that it is a bit far for the children and my husband to go to school and work respectively. Nevertheless, we are grateful for everything and we pray that our future continues to improve” said, Mallika.

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January– April 2013

Mary & Anthony (House No. 1) “We are very thankful to the volunteers, who made it possible for me and my family to live in a peaceful, quiet and safe environment in our very own home. And we all hope and wish they would come back to visit us someday soon. We have a roof over our heads to keep us dry and walls around us to keep us safe. My husband used to be a very irresponsible person. He used to drink and come home late at night. Since we lived in his parents’ house, he had the freedom to do anything he wanted and I had no say in it. But now that we are alone as a family in our own house, he has become a very hardworking and responsible husband and father who finishes work and comes straight home to see his children. He likes living here and going to work from here because he is so relaxed and at peace in this environment. The children and I enjoy living here too. My children have the space to play and I have the opportunity to do something I like, which is gardening. I have grown vegetables and flowers in my garden. My elder daughter finds it easier to study now because it’s a peaceful environment and she likes going to school from here. The saying that a person could achieve anything they want when they have a place called home is proved from this point. I am hoping to improve the house soon. I have to have the floor cemented before my 3 and a half month old baby starts crawling around and life has been a little tough as we are in debt because we had to get electricity for the house”, Mary says.

A Medical Camp in Pattayamwate Village, Negombo to Celebrate Independence Day On the 4th February, 2013, when Sri Lanka celebrated its Independence day, Leo Club and Lions Club of Negombo partnered with HFHSL and held a very much needed Medical Camp for the home-owners at Pathayamwatte village, Negombo (Rebuild Sri Lanka Site). Four doctors from the Negombo Base Hospital (a government hospital) volunteered their time and services for the people of this village. One of the doctors was an eye specialist and the others were general physicians. Nearly 100 patients received medical consultation on this day. There were 45 patients who required spectacles and it was arranged that these would be distributed on the 4th of March after ordering them as per the eye specialist’s prescriptions. The Lions Club of Negombo was very generous to donate these. All the medication that was prescribed was purchased by the Leo Club of Negombo and distributed to the patients on the same day. Habitat wishes to express special thanks to our vice president Mr. Lakshan Madurasinghe who facilitated this program and also participated in the organizations of the Medical Camp. We are also grateful to the Lions and Leo Club of Negombo who continue to support Habitat in various ways, to help uplift the lives of the underprivileged.

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January– April 2013

Volunteers this quarter          

GV team from Jordan under team leader Dr. Steve Mancuso GV team from Doha Middle East under team leader Mr. Steven Stahl GV team from Saudi Arabia under team leader Mrs. Suzie Rampling GV team from Japan under team leader Ms. Haruko Moriyama GV Team From Japan Under Team Leader Ms. Natsumi Miyosh GV team From USA under team leader Ms. Nicole Sagartz HRC South GV team from NYUAD under Engineers for Social Impact program HRC West GV team from Japan under team leader Professor Mark Zion HRC West Local team from Overseas School under teacher… Mr. Britton Riehm (Two Teams) GV team consisting of USA, Canada, Australian nationalities under team leader Mrs. Val Tomey

New Donors this quarter   

New York University Abu Dhabi Dipped Products PLC Mr. Mithila Wakista

Direct Online Donations to HFH Sri Lanka. 1.

You could directly donate to Habitat Sri Lanka through our web site: Go to & click on the |DONATE| tab.

2. Use the pre-defined values or enter your preferred donation amount in the text box. 3. You could use the currency converter with in the web site to convert your preferred currency into Sri Lankan Rupees. 4. Fill out the donation form with your details to complete the donation & obtain a receipt by email.

Your donations go a long way. Donate! So that more families can have safe, decent and affordable homes; Because everyone deserves such a home, Especially the smallest ones!

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January– April 2013

Families served in (Qtr 3) Jan - March 2013 Regular program HRC West HRC South HRC Central HRC East Total DRP

Technical Suport Training on SLT&P

Volunteer hours: Total

17,938 Families, And counting...

Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka No.22/5 Station Road Dehiwala, Sri Lanka. Phone: +94 (011) 2714274, +94 (011) 2714275 Fax: +94 (011) 4202788

73 143

(Disaster Response Program)

Mannar West

Brick by Brick, we have now served:

24 46

212 1



HFHSL e-Newsletter January-April 2013