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Message from the Chief Executive Officer The year 2015 has been an eventful year for the country and the Alliance Development Trust (ADT). The country experienced a change in government after 20 years. The change of administration brought about some dividends to local and international civil society groups and NonGovernmental Organisations; notably the greater freedom of movement to travel and work in once restricted areas particularly in the North of Sri Lanka.

assistance. The needs in 2015 were great and the resources as always were limited, but the ADT extended its help in whatever way possible.

The ADT reaches out to a broad group of marginalised people through its work in the areas of Relief Assistance, Community Development, Children and Psychosocial Development, Sustainable Livelihood, Water and Sanitation, HIV and AIDS, Leprosy training and empowering of war-affected persons.

Moreover, the ADT also impacted over 6,000 children and individuals through its efforts in the area of Children and Psychosocial Development and over 1,000 persons in relation to its work on leprosy. This included the empowering of 455 community leaders to train others in their communities on leprosy awareness.

Through these sectors, the poor and vulnerable are rehabilitated, supported and empowered to transform their lives through long-term and sustainable 6|Annual Report 2015|Alliance Development Trust

During the past year, the ADT worked tirelessly to uplift the lives of many who were disadvantaged. For instance, more than 1,000 persons in rural communities were trained in development education and over 200 persons in sustainable livelihoods.

We are thankful to the 72 staff members who are spread across

Sri Lanka and are based in the seven regional offices. These regional offices have been beacons of light, spreading hope, healing and wholeness. We also thank the government authorities, our partners and donors who have encouraged us and stood with us through good and bad times. As we move forward into 2016, we go ahead with the commitment to continue to serve the poor and vulnerable communities and empower and transform their lives.

GODFREY YOGARAJAH CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER


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SRI LANKA in 2015

HIGHLIGHTS T

he dawn of 2015 ushered in a new president, government and a multitude of promises. International governments welcomed the peaceful transition, anticipating fresh bilateral relations with Sri Lanka. While concerns were raised at the slow progress made on addressing minority grievances and Human Rights issues, the establishment of new institutions and undertaking of legal reforms by the new government were seen as positive steps taken in this direction.

Sirisena Sworn In A closely contested presidential election saw a large and diverse alliance led by Maithripala Sirisena coming up against Mahinda Rajapaksa with the promise of “good governance”. Sirisena was sworn in as the sixth Executive President of Sri Lanka on 9 November before Supreme Court Justice K. Sri Pavan, who later that month took oaths as the 44th Chief Justice. The elections saw a strong attendance at polling stations of more than 70%, with a high voter turnout also from the North, despite reports of intimidation of voters. Also significant was the permission granted to local observers by the Elections Commissioner to monitor the count.

Reconciliatory Moves In a landmark move the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) officially participated in the national Independence Day celebrations, where the government also expressed sympathy to the victims of war. Addressing one of recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, the previous regime’s ‘Victory Day’ celebrations on 19 May was observed as ‘Remembrance Day’ to recall all those who died during the war. Another significant move was the circular issued to all institutions by President Sirisena stating that there is no bar on singing the national anthem in Tamil, thus lifting the unofficial ban existing since 2010.

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A New Parliament In the run up to the parliamentary elections that was held in August, the United National Party (UNP) pledged justice for the thousands of war victims as it released its manifesto. European and commonwealth election observers, who were in the country to monitor the parliamentary elections, said the elections were well administered in a transparent and impartial manner. Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s new Prime Minister on 20 August after the UNP won the closely contested elections. The UNP formed a coalition government with the support of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP). The leader of the TNA, R. Sampanthan, was designated as the Opposition Leader of the eighth parliament. The TNA emerged as the third largest party with 16 seats.

Diaspora Talks The Sri Lankan government also held talks with Tamil diaspora groups and discussed in particular the needs of those displaced during the war and the need for constructive engagement with the diaspora. The new government also reviewed the proscription of 16 Tamil diaspora organisations and over 400 individuals by the previous government and delisted them. The government claimed that while they have been vocal advocates of Tamil rights, no tangible evidence was found to link them with the LTTE.

Justice and Accountability The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) agreed to postpone the release of the report on war crimes, following a delay sought by the Sri Lankan government. Certain civil society and Tamil political groups criticised this move however, seeing it as a failure on the part of the United Nations system. Following the presentation of the report at the 30th


session of the UNHRC, a resolution on ‘Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka’ was submitted with the backing of Sri Lanka. Even though Sri Lanka vehemently opposed the resolution only a year ago, it gave its assurance that the report and its recommendations presented at this session will receive due attention.

The Missing and Detained The Presidential Commission to Investigate into Complaints Regarding Missing Persons (PCICMP) resumed its public sittings amidst protests by civil society groups and the families of the disappeared. According to the PCICMP, it has “received in excess of 23,586 complaints inclusive of approximately 5,000 complaints from relatives of missing security forces personnel” since its inception in 15 August, 2013. They state that recorded evidences of these complainants are being analysed for further investigations through an independent team. The detention of Tamil youth and the delay in releasing Tamil political prisoners were also causes for concern. Amidst calls for the release of over 200 Tamils believed to be detained, prisoners launched hunger strikes across jails in Sri Lanka.

The Military Moves Out The mandatory military-style leadership-training programme initiated by the previous government for school principals and university entrants was terminated. Many viewed the programme as the militarisation of the education system. In addition to this the government took steps to ease its military presence, particularly in the North of Sri Lanka, amidst fears that these changes may lead to the possibility of a revival of the LTTE. The Sri Lankan Army affirmed however that it had disengaged itself from non-military activities.

Releasing Land and Resettlement The government took measures to release lands in the Northern High-Security Zones and those taken by the security forces to the original owners. Among the land released was sections of land once held by the armed forces in Valikamam North, Jaffna. Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court also lifted the stay on the transfer of 818 acres of land in Sampur in the Eastern Province to the displaced Tamils. Furthermore, 2015 also marked the return of Tamil refugees from various camps in Tamil Nadu, India with the assistance of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Crackdown on Bribery and Corruption Among the promises made was the investigation into bribery, corruption, large-scale fraud and allegations of nepotism by the previous regime. The Presidential Commission of Inquiry to Investigate and Inquire into Serious Acts of Fraud, Corruption and Abuse of Power, State Resources and Privileges (PRECIFAC) was one such institute aimed at investigating large scale corruption and malpractices. Concerns and dissatisfactions were expressed however over the delays in taking action against the persons accused.

Money Talks The Presidential Elections and the Parliamentary Elections that was to follow, brought with it political uncertainties that slowed investment. Sri Lanka’s economy grew however by 4.4% in the first quarter of 2015 and 6.7% in the second quarter (base year 2010). Construction which had driven growth in previous years declined markedly in the first half of 2015. Consumption-related sectors such as wholesale and retail trade sustained relatively strong growth. However, during the year, the Sri Lankan Rupee depreciated drastically, reaching an all-time low of 144 per US Dollar in November 2015.

Expression, Information and Movement International media organisations, noted the reduction in threats and cases of violence against the press in Sri Lanka which once was among the “worst offenders” in the region. Incidents of harassment were reported however with Tamil journalists in the North intimidated by groups claiming to be from the military. A positive measure taken in this respect was the cabinet’s approval of the draft Bill on the Right to Information (RTI) in December. Concerns were raised however at the flaws and shortcomings in the initial draft. Other significant developments included the lifting on travel restrictions for foreigners travelling to the North, imposed by the previous regime and the removal of the checkpoint at Omanthai.

Towards a New Constitution Among President Sirisena’s pledges was the reduction of the powers of the presidency. This was partly met through the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, adopted by Parliament in May, which reintroduced the section in the 1978 Constitution that banned presidents from running for a third term. The new constitution is expected to further limit presidential powers, accommodate new legal reforms and strengthen democracy and Human Rights in the country. Alliance Development Trust|Annual Report 2015|11


Branching Out Sri Lanka intermittently ravaged by war and natural disasters has created the urgent need for reconstruction, rehabilitation and sustainable development. The inception of the relief and development arm of the National Christian Evangelical Alliance of Sri Lanka – the Alliance Development Trust (ADT) was in response to the need for relief assistance created by the Asian Tsunami in 2004. The ADT’s organisational capacity and capability grew as it also began to respond to the needs of those affected by the ethnic war.

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n 14 December 2005, the ADT registered itself with the Ministry of Social Services, so that it could be better equipped to assist people affected by emergency situations. Over the years, the ADT has provided nutrition to people in camps for the internally displaced, renovated wells and toilets destroyed by the war, constructed houses for those who lost their homes to the tsunami and the war, rehabilitated ex-combatants, provided relief assistance to those affected by natural disasters and provided livelihood grants for the victims of war. Today, the ADT has grown and developed to be a widely recognised and respected relief and development organisation. The ADT’s service has been acknowledged and appreciated even by the Sri Lankan government, from which it has received accolades for its contribution particularly towards housing tsunami victims and rehabilitating ex-combatants. With over 70 employees, the ADT tailors its development projects in order to ensure that the marginalised and impoverished communities it reaches out to are empowered to rebuild their lives. In 2015, the ADT conducted its Community Development Programme in nine regions. This specially designed programme is centred on empowering the beneficiaries to be the stakeholders of the development taking place within their community.

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Thereby, community leaders and youth identified with potential to be the catalysts for change are trained since the very inception to identify the problems of the villagers and the resources available to address these issues. The strength of this programme also lies in the seamless integration of material benefits such as microfinance loans and the construction of toilets with educational and awareness programmes such as entrepreneurship training and good hygiene practices. Educational training is at the very heart of each project implemented by the ADT. Such trainings ensure that when the ADT gradually withdraws from a community at the end of the project period, the development reached will continue to be maintained

by the community leaders. This development programme also ensures that the leaders are adequately equipped in problem-solving so that the community will continue to progress even without the guidance of the ADT. The ADT is confident that by ensuring the sustainability of a community’s development, it will not only be able to help every member reach adequate living standards but also guarantee that the communities are equipped to overcome any challenge they face in the future. With this aim, the ADT continues to work in all regions of Sri Lanka, reaching out to several of the most impoverished communities in a post-war and developing Sri Lanka.

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Relief and Development The Alliance Development Trust (ADT) works towards uniting and empowering communities by reaching out to marginalised and underprivileged persons and communities across Sri Lanka. During the period in review, the ADT carried out projects both on regional and national levels. It worked mostly with communities that are located rurally and in an urban slum with limited access to basic amenities. The ADT also reached out on a national level to persons affected by Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), leprosy and natural disasters. Several programmes were also conducted to raise awareness with regard to conservation of water, substance abuse and alcoholism.

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he ADT ensures that it attains holistic development in all the projects it implements. As in the past years, the activities of the various sectors of the ADT were seamlessly integrated into its Community Development Programme so as to guarantee that the communities benefiting from this programme reaches sustainable development. The projects implemented therefore empower the communities by ensuring that they take ownership of the development taking place and of their own wellbeing. Thereby the ADT is certain that the communities reached through this Community Development Programme are capable of continuing to work for the development of their village even after the ADT has phased out. In 2015, the ADT’s work was mainly carried out in the form of Relief Assistance and through the Community Development Programme conducted through its sectors

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• • • • • •

Development Education Sustainable Livelihood Water and Sanitation Sexual and Reproductive Health Leprosy Children and Psychosocial Development

The ADT ensures that gender equality is promoted in all projects implemented. It also pays special attention to the protection of the environment in the villages selected for its development programme. The ADT also empowers differently-abled persons by including them in its various projects and tending to their needs. The participation of the youth of the selected villages is highly valued. The ADT understands that as the youth are the future leaders of their communities, they too need to be equipped as stakeholders of their communities’ development.


Relief Assistance The ADT responds to emergency situations caused by natural and man-made disasters. In the past, the ADT was among the first of many civil society groups which provided humanitarian aid for those affected by the ethnic war and the Asian tsunami of 2004. It continues to provide assistance to persons affected by situations caused by extreme weather conditions. Torrential rains in the Central Province often cause floods and landslides which in turn result in damages caused to residents

of affected areas. As many of the persons affected by such adverse weather conditions live in rurally located areas, there are those who are left out of aid distributions conducted by other humanitarian and government agencies. Heavy rains, floods and landslides experienced in the months of April and May, 2015 greatly affected the people of Kandy in the Central Province. Among the 100 families displaced by the floods were the workers of the plantation section living in Ganapathywatte, Kandy.

The ADT reached out to 35 families affected by the floods. Relief packs distributed among these families contained rice, legumes, sugar, milk powder, canned fish, a coconut, noodles, onions, sprats, papadam, spices, Samaposha (a processed cereal), biscuits and soap. The distribution which took place on 29 May, 2015 was conducted with the assistance of the District Secretary of Nawalapitiya and the community leaders of Nuwara Eliya.

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Rasu Vartharasu was not born in Madukalum, Vavuniya. He hailed from Ratnapura but had to leave his birthplace due to a political insurrection. In 1998, Rasu lost his home for the second time to the armed conflict.

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or 12 years Rasu stomached the starvation, thirst and hopelessness of the camps for the internally displaced. He was happy to leave the camp and return to Madukulam in 2010 despite the fact that they had to live in a small hut until they received assistance to construct a house. Even though he has led a gypsy-life, Rasu considers Madukulam his home. “I will not leave this village” he declares. “I have built my home and dug my well here. I have tilled this soil. This is my own village.” Rasu feels a deep fondness towards the villagers too. He takes the initiative to speak up in any situation on behalf of the villagers. Rasu’s knowledge of Sinhala is useful when interacting with the police,

army personnel or government officials and the villagers are grateful for his assistance. A few years ago Rasu was appointed as the President of the Rural Development Society (RDS) of Madukulam. His support was paramount in securing the assistance of the ADT towards the village. Rasu recalls how he first met the ADT when they had come to assess the needs of the peoples of Madukulam.“We felt that this organisation will help poor people like us” says Rasu, joking “we held on to them forcefully”. He explains that he got to know more about the ADT through the meetings and the training programmes, all of which Rasu has persistently attended.

“I will not leave this village... I have built my home and dug my well here. I have tilled this soil. This is my own village.” - Rasu

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Recently, Rasu assisted the ADT in organising a cultural event in Madukulam. This was a special occasion because seven neighbouring villages joined with the community of Madukulam to celebrate their cultural beliefs and practices and take part in the various games which were held. As the President of the RDS, Rasu had his fair share of responsibilities. He tied up posts and even cut coconut palms for the various cultural games. “I also helped with the preparation of the food and sweet meats” says Rasu, explaining the various dishes unique to the Hindu culture which were prepared. Even the guests who graced the occasion were welcomed according to Hindu customs. Rasu believes that this event helped foster unity between the eight villages that came together on 27 June, 2015.


Development Education Through its Development Education approach, the ADT assists communities to reach holistic development. It is this approach that seamlessly ties together the projects conducted by the other sectors of the ADT within the selected communities. Initially, marginalised and impoverished communities with little or no access to basic amenities are selected. Then the development education initiative is introduced to the village development committees such as the Rural Development Society (RDS) and the Women’s Rural Development Society (WRDS). In the event that such committees do not exist, the ADT facilitates the formation of a committee. The ADT then conducts continuous training for the members of these committees and those who volunteer their time for the development projects. It teaches them how to use the resources at hand to solve the problems the communities are faced with. The villagers are thereby equipped to not only participate in the projects but also facilitate the development taking place in their villages. The ADT conducts its development education programme in the following villages:

1. Varani Iyattalai J344 – Jaffna 2. Ulavanoor – Kilinochchi 3. Theravil – Mullaitivu 4. Madukulam – Vavuniya 5. Devanampiyatissapura Stage I – Anuradhapura 6. Kilikunjumalai – Trincomalee 7. Suhadapura – Colombo 8. Kahawathugoda 164E – Galle

“I am also happy that we were able to entertain the people of eight villages and to award those who won the various competitions” he expresses. He goes on to say that on their own, they could not have afforded to organise such an event. “We were very happy that the programme went so well” exclaims Rasu. “The other villagers enjoyed themselves too. It is the ADT that gave us this opportunity. It is thanks to the development brought about by the ADT that our community can now live happily.”

The ADT also carried out its Development Education Programme in nine divisions selected from the Batticaloa District.

Projects Conducted in 2015 • • • •

• •

7 training programmes for 74 members of development committees in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya 3 training programmes for 37 volunteers in Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Galle 2 training programmes on Basic Disaster Risk Reduction for 30 committee members in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu Skill training programme in management and an exposure visit for 16 members and volunteers of the development committee in Galle Weekly meetings with 37 members of the development committees in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Colombo and Galle Capacity building programme for 1,080 members of 270 Community-Based Organisations and sessions to gather feedback from 10 Rural Development Officers in Batticaloa Exposure visits for 45 youth in Batticaloa Facilitating 7 Community-Initiated Projects benefiting 4,800 persons in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Trincomalee and Colombo Appreciation of 14 volunteers in Colombo Alliance Development Trust|Annual Report 2015|19


Sustainable Livelihood Through its Livelihood Sector, the ADT has worked to bring about economic sufficiency to the homes of persons grappling with poverty. As in the past years, the ADT paid special attention to systematically identifying persons who are most in need of support to rebuild their lives. The beneficiaries of the special microfinance loans are also equipped with training in entrepreneurship and provided with marketing linkages. These loans are introduced with a very low interest rate and an easy repayment scheme. On recovering these loans from the primary beneficiaries, the monies are further distributed for the benefit of others in need. It is noteworthy that the development committees of the selected villages are involved in the process of beneficiary selection and loan recoveries. This ensures that the development committees are empowered to ensure the sustainability of this revolving loan scheme. During the year in review, the assistance provided by the Livelihood Sector extended beyond the limits of the eight selected villages. Special assistance was provided to war-affected persons during this period. A total of 200 widows and female breadwinners from the North were provided with sewing machines in a bid to help them start a cottage-based industry. Amongst these beneficiaries, 100 women from Kilinochchi were selected for a training programme in dress-making. Thereby in 2015, the beneficiaries engaged in livelihood initiatives of carpentry, sewing, animal husbandry, farming, home gardening, operating grocery stores and manufacturing food items. Certain other beneficiaries also used the support from the ADT to develop their current business ventures.

Projects Conducted in 2015 • • • • • • • •

A baseline survey to identify potential entrepreneurs in Mullaitivu A network meeting with 15 small entrepreneurs in Wattala 5 entrepreneurship training programmes benefiting 85 persons in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Anuradhapura and Trincomalee 5 training programmes on resource mapping benefiting 88 persons in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Anuradhapura and Trincomalee A meeting on creating marketing linkages for 10 members of the development committee of Colombo 3 day training programme on dress-making for 100 widows in Kilinochchi Distribution of 200 sewing machines for widows in Jaffna and Kilinochchi Distribution of 43 microfinance loans in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Anuradhapura and Colombo

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hamara’s death made her feel more miserable than the memory of her husband who abandoned Sunethra and their children. However, Sunethra knows this is not the time to dwell upon her sorrows. She needs to prepare 14 breakfast, lunch and dinner packets so that she and her three children can survive. Sunethra is very industrious and even though life tries to pull her down, she is determined to never give up. The sale of these food packets is not Sunethra’s sole source of income. She makes tea for the staff at a media institution nearby.


It was not the smoke from her firewood stove that brought tears to Sunethra’s eyes. She was preparing her Chamara’s favourite dish when she was flooded with memories of Chamara, her first born son, who she lost to an accident. She also provides lodgings for five boarders in her tiny home. However as her earnings are insufficient, her second son decided to help his mother shoulder their financial burden. Sanjaya who is only 17 years old, dropped out of school and found work at a packaging company. Sunethra feels sad that she could not persuade Sanjaya to complete his studies. Silently, Sunethra vows that she will not permit her younger children to suffer the same fate. This was the reason why Sunethra persuaded two colleagues and her lodgers to buy their meals from her. However, Sunethra still worries that her efforts would amount to nothing. Her monthly credit totals to SLR 15,000. Sunethra worries at the end of each month that most of her salary is spent to pay off the credit at the local grocery store.

Sunethra heard about the ADT from her neighbours. They told her that the ADT is helping the neighbours get back on their feet. “Tell them your story” they advised Sunethra. “They will help you too.” Even though life dealt her more troubles than her fair share, Sunethra’s request was a small one. She only asked that the ADT help her buy a gas cooker. She explained that it was difficult and time consuming to cook on her firewood stove. With deep gratitude, she accepted the microfinance loan from the ADT with which she purchased a gas cooker, two gas cylinders and provisions for the food packets. Circumstances are now

improving for Sunethra’s family; she manages to limit her monthly credit to SLR 5,000. This means that a smaller percentage of her salary goes towards paying off her credit. Sunethra now has money in hand to buy provisions at a cheaper price at the fair. She is limiting her expenses and maximising her profits. Sunethra tells the ADT that she hopes to renovate her house made of wooden planks and tin sheets. “I would like to build a two-roomed brick-house” says Sunethra as she discusses her hope for a better tomorrow. “I only want to provide for my children and live a good life free from debt.” Sunethra’s dreams are now within reach.

“I only want to provide for my children and live a good life free from debt.” - Sunethra

The ADT introduced its development projects to Suhadapura in 2011.

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James fell in love with a girl in his uncle’s village in Theravil, Mullaitivu. It was love at first sight. Since the first time their eyes locked, he could not look beyond the face of the woman he loved. He did not see the poverty that engulfed her village.

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e was blind to the destruction that the war had wrought in their lives. He only knew that he could not live without her and that his home was where she was. James left his home and his kin in Jaffna in 2013 to build a new home with his bride in her village. As a skilled mason, he was able to build his home by himself. But James could not afford much. Once he paid for the roofing sheets he realised that he could not afford any more building material. So the walls to his homes were made from weaved branches. In the rainy season, James and his wife move to his in-laws’ home so that they could stay dry. James’ greatest worry was that he

could not afford to build a toilet to complete his home. He felt powerless when his pregnant wife would run to her parents’ home to use the toilet there. James felt a greater helplessness at not been able to provide for his family when his wife gave birth to a baby girl. He feared that the insects that enter the temporary structure he calls home might harm the baby. He wanted to give her the very best in life but felt ashamed that he could not even afford to build a toilet for his family. The ADT gathered the community of Theravil to discuss their various needs. As villagers who faced the worst of the armed conflict which raged in northern Sri Lanka, they

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lived amidst deprivation and lack of access to basic facilities. The villagers told the ADT about their plight. The ADT offered to solve their problems. James was among the gathering. Excited by what the ADT had to offer, he wasted no time in applying for assistance to construct a toilet. In 2015, the ADT presented James with the material needed to construct a toilet. “It is a really good thing I got to know about the ADT” smiles James. “It was very difficult without a toilet because there weren’t any facilities close by. We had to use the toilet at my in-laws’ house.” James explains that he was able to build the toilet on his own and save the monies he might have paid as labour wages. “No other organisation offered to help us before. We are very grateful” expresses James. “This toilet is really useful to us!”


Water and Sanitation During the year in review the ADT, through its Water and Sanitation Sector, continued to implement projects aimed at improving access of rural and impoverished communities to potable water and adequate sanitation facilities. As in the past years, the ADT also paid special attention to raising awareness of the importance of water conservation and of good hygiene practices. The ADT continued to reach out to areas affected by the armed conflict in order to help them regain dignified living standards by constructing toilets as well as renovating and cleaning wells in war-affected areas. The construction and renovation of toilets and wells were implemented with the participation and contribution of the beneficiaries. Thus, the ADT ensures that the beneficiaries will take ownership of their toilets and wells and will continue to maintain them. In April 2015, the Water and Sanitation Sector marked World Water Day with a workshop for participants from seven regions. This workshop addressed topics on water consumption, water conservation, water contamination, the spread of communicable diseases through water and problems related to the use of water in Sri Lanka. The workshop with its interactive sessions was conducted on a Training of Trainers (ToT) basis so that the 33 participants will in turn train others once they return to their communities. The sector also addressed a dire need of an urban slum in Wellawatte, Colombo when it constructed a drainage system for the benefit of 25 families affected by floods.

Projects Conducted in 2015 •

• • • • • •

A conference to mark World Water Day benefiting 33 persons in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Colombo and Galle Construction of 15 toilets benefiting 64 persons in Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu Installation of a storage filter and extension of water outlets benefiting 302 persons in a school in Galle Renovation of 1 common well, 1 tube well and 4 wells benefiting 467 persons in Jaffna, Vavuniya and Galle Cleaning and chlorination of 3 common wells benefiting 70 persons in Mullaitivu Construction of 3 drainage systems benefiting 245 persons in Colombo 2 hygiene seminars benefiting 70 persons in Mullaitivu and Vavuniya

A boy drinks water from the new tap installed for his school in Galle

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Sexual and Reproductive Health The Sexual and Reproductive Health Desk – Project Positive – conducted several programmes with the aim of creating greater awareness on HIV and AIDS as well as knowledge on sexual and reproductive health. In 2015, the projects conducted by Project Positive extended beyond the limits of its selected villages, reaching out to groups that are most vulnerable to contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). Project Positive continued to create awareness amongst adolescents and youth also conducting programmes aboard MV Logos Hope which was docked at the Colombo harbour in November. During the period under review, the ADT also assisted persons affected and infected by HIV and AIDS. The ADT provided them with care and counselling through the transit home it maintains for this purpose. The transit home also proved to be a safe haven for Persons Living With HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) who travel to Colombo from rural areas for treatment. Such persons usually cannot afford lodgings in Colombo and thereby seek overnight accommodation at the ADT’s transit home before leaving for their villages. Further, Project Positive distributed gift vouchers from a leading supermarket for adults and stationery packs for children from 75 families affected by HIV who live in abject poverty.

Projects Conducted in 2015 • • • •

A programme on sexual and reproductive health benefiting 45 youth in Colombo A workshop on sexuality, truth and grace for 80 adolescents in Colombo Distribution of school packs and vouchers benefiting 100 HIV infected and affected children and adults from 75 families Caring for and counselling 15 PLWHA through the transit home in Colombo

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he only came to know that her husband had contracted HIV when she was pregnant with their child. Shanthi recalls that this was a very stressful period for her. Her husband struggled with an addiction to alcohol. Further, it was during her pregnancy that Shanthi’s husband began to distance himself from her. Shanthi also faced several obstacles in giving birth; she was subjected to differential treatment at the hands of the hospital administration because of the stigma against HIV and AIDS.


Shanthi* remembers the carefree days of her youth which she spent in her parental home in Kayts, Jaffna. She was against the marriage her mother arranged for her. Nevertheless, honouring her mother’s wishes, Shanthi married her cousin who had returned home from his job in South Africa. When their son was 6 years old, Shanthi’s husband died of cirrhosis. Shanthi was desperate; her in-laws were not willing to sustain her son and her. She survived with the help of her sister who sheltered them until Shanthi’s brother-in-law thwarted her goodwill. However, she continued to feed Shanthi and her son and contribute towards their household expenses. A few years ago, Shanthi’s sister’s assistance came to a sudden end. Without a source of income, Shanthi and her son fell on to the streets once again. Moreover, her now adult son has grown apart from her. Their relationship which had soured over the years led him to abandon her at an hour when she needed him most. The trauma and desolation she has faced through the years had greatly affected Shanthi. She also battled with unseen terrors as depression is a side-effect of the Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART)

treatment prescribed to her. As she was desperate, Shanthi had to accept her sister’s offer to seek treatment in a facility for psychiatric treatment. “My sister said that I was mad” Shanthi discloses, explaining the days she spent at the facility. “It was impossible to stay at the asylum with the other patients.” Unable to bear it any longer, Shanthi stepped out of the facility even though she had nowhere to go. It was at this time when Shanthi was most desolate that she sought help from the transit home founded by the ADT. This transit home is now all that Shanthi has to call home. She has very little contact with her

relatives and she does not receive any assistance from her son. Shanthi has no means of income. She is unable to secure employment because of her health condition. She is thereby extremely grateful for the shelter she finds at this transit home. “It has been a year since I came here” smiles Shanthi. She goes on to explain that she spends her time watching her favourite musical programme on the television and engaging in religious observances which help her find peace. “I am very happy here!” *Beneficiary’s name has been changed to protect her identity

She is thereby extremely grateful for the shelter she finds at this transit home.

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Chaminda Ratnayake is a well-respected figure in Poojapitiya, Kandy. People of all faiths admire this community leader who offers a warm smile to everyone he meets.

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he people also hold Chaminda in high regard for his work to create awareness on the spread of leprosy and his efforts to help those affected by the disease. Most did not know that leprosy was prevalent in Sri Lanka. They considered it a highly infectious disease and did not want anything to do with leprosy patients. They were thereby amazed to find out that Chaminda was not only trying to reach out to those affected by the disease but that he was teaching others to accept and provide necessary care for those living with leprosy. Chaminda who heads the Fridsro Community Fellowship in Kandy, initially came to know about

the rise in leprosy-related cases when he attended the ADT’s Touch National Conference in 2014. He was surprised to learn that this disease is completely curable and that it spreads through respiratory droplets from a leprosy patient who is not receiving medication. He realised that as a community leader, it was his responsibility to create awareness on the spread of leprosy and to fight the stigma which discriminates those who are affected. He diligently followed the Vision Casting Seminar and other trainings conducted by the ADT. He also joined the Touch Anti-Leprosy Campaign’s steering committee as the representative of the Kandy District which has further equipped him to raise awareness on the disease and its misconceptions. The ADT

“Those who have been trained are now conducting awareness programmes.”- Chaminda

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has further assisted Chaminda to network with organisations with similar interests in combating leprosy and related illnesses as well as those who advocate for rights of disabled persons. In September, Chaminda conducted his first Training of Trainers (ToT) programme for a group of 50 community leaders in Kandy. “This 2 day programme was conducted very successfully” said Chaminda, explaining that according to the ToT concept, these leaders will go on to train others too. “The manual we received from the ADT to guide us in this training programme is excellent. The 21 sessions laid out in the manual are practical and effective.” As the Touch campaign has been recognised by the Ministry of Health, Chaminda has also received support from the local Public Health Inspectors (PHI) in conducting this programme. He is now linking those trained under him with the PHI officers and teaching them the importance of good networking.


Leprosy The spread of leprosy in Sri Lanka is often overlooked. Even though there are new cases reported annually especially from Colombo, the general public believes that leprosy is completely eliminated from Sri Lanka. There is also a stigma associated with the illness that further discourages persons from getting themselves tested for leprosy. This stigma also proves to be a challenge in reinstating persons affected by the illness into society. Since the launch of the Touch Anti-Leprosy Campaign in 2014, the ADT has worked closely with the community leaders who were equipped through the various training programmes conducted last year. A steering committee was formed with 25 such leaders who trained others on a Training of Trainers (ToT) basis. The ADT continued to train and equip the community leaders through its Vision Casting Seminars to raise awareness on the disease, its spread and the treatment available. Through its programmes, the ADT also aimed at empowering its trainers to accept persons living with leprosy and to provide them with the necessary care in order to successfully reintegrate them into society. During the year under review, the Leprosy Desk of the ADT also focused on networking with government agencies and other civil society and like-minded groups. The ADT attended several workshops with the aim of creating better networks. The ADT’s Leprosy Desk was also represented at a panel discussion conducted by the Leprosy Mission of England and Wales on 3 December at the ‘Leprosy Defeated. Lives Transformed’ conference and workshop. In 2015, the ADT also worked closely with the Anti-Leprosy Campaign (ALC) of the Ministry of Health and

“Those who have been trained are now conducting awareness programmes on their own together with the help of the police, the government officials and the health officials” he explained. As a member of an inter-religious forum, Chaminda is happy that he is able to take the message of leprosy awareness to a wider community. “We are bringing them back into society, bringing them back into our midst. We are helping them retrieve that social status which they have lost” he said expressing his commitment to accept and reintegrate leprosy affected persons into society.

Projects Conducted in 2015 • •

A training programme for 25 members of the steering committee 21 Vision Casting Seminars for 1,028 community leaders from Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara, Kurunegala, Kegalle, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Monaragala, Puttalam, Colombo, Ratnapura, Matara, Hambantota and Mattala • Training of Trainers programme for 724 community leaders from Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara, Kurunegala, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Monaragala, Puttalam, Ratnapura, Matara, Hambantota and Mattala • Mobilising 21 leprosy teams from Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Mannar, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara, Kurunegala, Kegalle, Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Monaragala, Puttalam, Colombo, Ratnapura, Matara and Hambantota

Alliance Development Trust|Annual Report 2015|27


Children and Psychosocial Development The ADT believes in empowering children to be catalysts of change in underdeveloped communities. Through its Child Centred Community Development Programme the ADT reaches out to children living in rural and underdeveloped areas who do not have opportunities to better their circumstances. During the year in review, the ADT worked through its Children’s Sector to uplift the lives of children living in the eight selected villages. The Change Makers Clubs initiated in these villages help the children learn about taking ownership of development programmes and preventing social issues which affect them. During the reporting period, the children benefited through the distribution of educational and sports equipment, medical attention, nutritional support and even educational trips to historic sites and other places of interest. In 2015, the members of five clubs succeeded in registering their clubs with the local government authorities, which greatly helped them secure support for their activities. The Change Makers Clubs also received guidance and support to implement a project of their choice for the benefit of their communities. Through such child-initiated projects, the children are thereby trained to identify the needs of their communities and actively engage in projects that address such needs. The Children’s Sector also includes youth of these communities in several projects implemented so that they too might positively contribute towards improving their communities’ living standards. Often, the youth of selected communities are encouraged to volunteer their time for the Change Makers Club activities and they are further trained to meet the various demands they face as volunteers. The ADT also launched a special Conflict Transformation Programme in 2015, for the war-affected areas of Kaddaparichchan South, Alimnagar and Kavantissapura in Trincomalee. This programme builds child-friendly spaces for children to develop their various skills. The various projects conducted through this special programme focus on training its beneficiaries to be agents of peace and coexistence in their communities.

Projects Conducted in 2015 • •

• • •

5 programmes on career guidance for 152 persons in Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Trincomalee and Galle Support for 8 extracurricular activities benefiting 800 persons in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Colombo and Galle Distribution of educational material to 8 clubs benefiting 800 persons in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Colombo and Galle 4 activities to improve child participation benefiting 550 persons in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya 5 medical examinations benefiting 137 persons in Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Colombo and Galle 5 training programmes on club activities for 31 volunteers and committee members in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Colombo and Galle 8 meetings with 200 parents in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Colombo and Galle

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C

hamara ran about carrying chairs from nearby homes into the school’s makeshift hall where World Children’s Day was scheduled to be celebrated. Chamara and his friends had planned the day’s programme for weeks. He had spent the whole of the previous weekend practicing for their little drama. Everything had to be perfect! The special invitees were warmly welcomed with a dance and the presentation of flowers. The World Children’s Day for the ‘Rantharu’ Change


The children were hard at work that morning. There was so much to do and so little time until the special invitees arrive. The air was electric with excitement. They waited with bated breath till it was time for the day’s proceedings to unravel. Makers Club in Kahawathugoda 164E, Galle thus commenced with the lighting of the traditional oil lamp. Then there was a song and dance performed to rhythm and perfection. The drama presented by Chamara and his friends was greatly anticipated. Chamara played the role of a little boy who goes to the temple with his younger sister, parents and some friends. The little girls are then abducted by a gang of thieves who wish to sell them for a good price. It is with the help of a vigilant government agent that the little ones are saved from the abductors. The message these little ones presented to the adults present was well-timed. It was not so long ago that all of Sri Lanka was horrified by the brutal death of a little girl. The little actors and actresses pleaded that the adults pay closer attention to their children. “Give us the freedom to bloom and fly” sang Chamara and

his fellow actors. “Please create a beautiful world for us!” The drama was applauded by the guests who went on to advise all those present on the importance of child protection. “Your children showed you the truth today” said Sub-Inspector Thilakaratne of the Ahangama Police Station who was among the special invitees. He advised the adults to pay attention their children’s behaviour and whereabouts. “We can only give you guidance and prosecute the perpetrators once the crime is committed.” Chamara beamed as he lined up with his friends to collect the gifts

distributed among the 80 children who had gathered to enjoy this special day. Some of his friends had also received awards earlier for their winning entries for an art competition and a quiz held by their club. Chamara who is an active member of the club, is thrilled that the day’s proceedings went well. “I am extremely happy that I was able to take part in the drama” shared Chamara. “I never thought that I will be able to perform like that!” With a quick goodbye he then ran off to help put away the chairs and clean the school hall.

“I never thought that I will be able to perform like that!” - Chamara

Alliance Development Trust|Annual Report 2015|29


Projects Conducted in 2015 (continued) • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Regular Change Makers Club meetings benefiting 700 children in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Colombo and Galle 2 awareness programmes on the prevention of social problems benefiting 980 persons in Mullaitivu and Vavuniya 9 educational trips benefiting 412 persons in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Colombo and Galle 7 training programmes on child rights and protection for 203 volunteers and members of development committees in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and Trincomalee 6 child-initiated projects benefiting 210 persons in Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura and Galle 5 programmes to raise awareness on the importance of education benefiting 182 persons in Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Trincomalee and Colombo Installation of 4 sign boards on child rights and protection benefiting 1,800 persons in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Galle An awareness programme on HIV for 46 persons in Jaffna Registration of 5 Change Makers Clubs benefiting 600 persons in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya and Galle 6 programmes promoting nutrition and good health among 361 persons in Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Colombo and Galle Support for club libraries benefiting 385 persons in Jaffna, Anuradhapura and Galle 8 programmes to mark World Children’s Day benefiting 1,367 persons in Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Colombo and Galle Meetings with 83 persons to facilitate the Conflict Transformation Programme in 3 villages in Trincomalee An art competition for 53 children in Trincomalee Year-end gatherings for 977 persons in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura, Trincomalee, Colombo and Galle

A little boy plays with the sports items distributed by the ADT in Kahawathugoda 164E, Galle

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Alliance Development Trust|Annual Report 2015|33


You cannot say 47 year old Thiruchelvam Puviarasi from Tholpuram West, Jaffna, has been in the midst of the ravages of the armed conflict because she bears a smiling, jolly disposition and dons a hat made by her out of palmyrah fronds.

I

n 1995, she and her family were displaced in the armed conflict. One of her children were just born and the other children were very little during the height of the armed conflict. She feared for their safety. They took a collective decision to move away from the line of conflict, and live in Puliyankulam, Vavuniya with their relatives. When a ceasefire was declared in 2005, Puviarasi’s family moved back to Jaffna to discover that they had lost some of their property in the war. Today her sons are aged 23, 21 and 19. Two of her sons have finished their Advanced Level Examination and are seeking employment whilst one is employed as a sales representative. Though Puviarasi’s husband is also employed and works as an electrician, the family’s income is insufficient to

support themselves and their aged and dependant aunt and uncle. When she heard of a free class at the Women’s Rural Development Society (WRDS), Jaffna in making palmyrah products she thought it would be a good idea to enrol with the intention of engaging in self-employment. “After the class I found that I did not have the money to buy the raw material to manufacture the handicrafts. I then turned to the Industrial Development Board (IDB) which then sourced a 20,000 Rupee loan from the ADT’s Business Development Unit.” She used the funds to buy the raw materials for the manufacture of the products. It is not difficult for Puviarasi to find the fronds from which she manufactures her products. She buys it

“After the class I found that I did not have the money to buy the raw material .....I then turned to the IDB who then sourced a 20,000 Rupee loan from the ADT.” - Puviarasi 34|Annual Report 2015|Alliance Development Trust

for about SLR 40 each. For the rest of the materials - like the dyes – she has to go to the marketplace in Jaffna. First she brings in the fresh fronds and then she cuts them and dries them. It is a labour intensive task which she does with a lot of enjoyment because she knows she is creating beautiful things that will please people as well as earn a revenue for her. She adds dye to give it colour and then protects it with varnish. Puviarasi along with several other women now make baskets, hats and other handicrafts that are displayed and sold at the WRDS. She earns an income of about SLR 6,000 a month. Once she pays her loan instalment, she is left with SLR 3,000 a month. The income adds to that which her husband and son earn and they are able to enjoy a better standard of living. “I also grind ulundu (gram) to improve our collective income.” She is the President of the WRDS in her community and hopes to improve the product range and marketing of palmyrah frond based products. “The ones that are most in demand are the flower bouquets and the baskets.”


Business Development Unit The Business Development Unit (BDU) was established 7 years ago to help poor women raise themselves out of subsistence level through the help of interest-free loans. In war and post war situations many women suffer economic insecurity with no means of livelihood.

I

n some communities they are even stigmatised and excluded from society because they do not have a husband. They are compelled to take up livelihoods traditionally held by men in society. According to Vijayakala Maheswaran, Deputy Minister of Women’s Affairs, 90,000 war-affected women bear the burden as the sole breadwinner for their families in the North and East of Sri Lanka. There is limited work for them and the needs of their families require them to start a livelihood that is managed from their homes. They find it difficult to borrow loans from regular banks because they lack collateral or a credit history. Unable to secure a bank loan these women are left with an abysmal margin often repaying the middleman, sometimes at rates as high as 10% a month. Had they been able to borrow at more advantageous rates, they would have been able to help themselves out of subsistence level. The BDU found that it was possible with a small amount not only to help such women survive, but also to create the spark of personal initiative and enterprise necessary to pull themselves out of poverty, rebuild their lives and maintain sustainable livelihoods.

The BDU has created a system of revolving loans that is recycled and reinvested thereby slowly increasing its group of beneficiaries. Of the beneficiaries, 100% are women and over 80% of the loans are paid back. Initially, the BDU gave loans through the ADT’s Livelihood Sector but then graduated to working with the Industrial Development Board (IDB) in Jaffna and now works closely with their beneficiaries. In the year 2015, the BDU gave loans of SLR 5,000 each to five female entrepreneurs in the Jaffna District. Most of the recipients worked in food processing, tailoring, candle-making and manufacturing of palmyrah handicrafts, joss sticks and camphor. In 2015, the BDU gave a widow in Mullaitivu a loan of SLR 10,000 and another widow several gifts which comprised a sewing machine, a second-hand bicycle, two school bags for her children and a grant of SLR 5,000. The International Widows Day 2015 was celebrated by the BDU on 23 June 2015. Eight successful female entrepreneurs from Jaffna who benefited from the BDU were felicitated. The beneficiaries received an opportunity to share the experiences, progress and challenges related to their respective cottage industries and to discover new avenues of marketing their produce. They also received advice and information on product development and marketing linkages. One new beneficiary, Thilakavathy, received a loan of SLR 20,000 to improve her tailoring business.

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Media and Communications The Media and Communications Unit continued to systematically report on the activities and achievements of the ADT. The ADT’s website was used together with its social media presence to apprise those interested in the ADT’s programmes and activities about the communities benefiting and needs yet to be addressed.

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uring the year under review, the Unit also participated in several initiatives that explored the use of media and technology for social change and advocacy.

The Unit uses a variety of reporting techniques to highlight the work carried out by the ADT and concerns affecting marginalised groups. Information retrieved through field visits or through briefings with the officers concerned is presented through reports interspersed with audio interviews, photo essays, infographics, etc. In 2015, the Unit also explored the use of audio-visual photomontages to showcase the stories of female entrepreneurs who have benefited through the ADT’s livelihood programme.

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The quarterly newsletter - Alliance News - that reports on the latest news and events from its head office in Colombo and the regions, is also published online on ISSUU, a digital publishing platform, to reach a wider audience. In a bid to eliminate waste while increasing the quality of the magazine, the Unit redesigned the newsletter to be more user friendly, efficient and better reflect all the programmes conducted under the ADT. The number of hard copies was also reduced. All those interested in receiving the Alliance News and are comfortable using email and digital media receive flyers through which they are directed to the publications hosted on ISSUU.


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News

Godfrey Yogarajah the CEO of the Alliance Development Trust (ADT) was conferred the title of ‘Deshamanya’ Sri Lanka’s second highest national honour. Mr. Yogarajah was conferred with the title at a special ceremony held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH) on 7 August 2015 under the patronage of Dr. Ranadeva Kariyawasam, the Director-General of the Samastha Lanka Nena Guna Padanama. Mr. Yogarajah, who has provided leadership to the ADT, is a renowned advocate, who has championed Religious Freedom and Human Rights in Sri Lanka and across the world. He is also the recipient of the Good Samaritan Award (2004) for Religious Freedom presented by Advocates International and the Pro Fide Award (2005) presented by the Friends of the Martyrs in Finland for his contribution to the rights of minorities. Under the leadership of Mr. Yogarajah, the ADT has received commendations from the government for its work in relief, rehabilitation and development.

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CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Godfrey Yogarajah SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM Godfrey Yogarajah Mahesh De Mel SENIOR MANAGERS Paul Navamani Rajeeva D. Godagedara S. T. Thoumiyan Raghu Balachandran

REGIONAL TEAM LEADERS

Manager – North/ Team Leader Vavuniya Team Leader Jaffna Project Officer Mannar Manager – Batticaloa/ Trincomalee Coordinator – Anuradhapura Coordinator – Gampola Coordinator – South

Abraham Ragulan Sivalingam Thirukkumaran Julius Coonge Ebenezer Dharshan Brian De Silva Peter Joy Johnson Gurusingha Arachchige Manel

APPRECIATIONS We are grateful to our partners, donors and friends who have generously given of their resources and time. We thank the government authorities and other stakeholders who have cooperated with us and given their fullest support to carry out our programmes. We are indebted to our staff who have tirelessly and with great dedication, passion and commitment created an immeasurable impact on the communities we serve.

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