Helping others is a noble virtue in the society we live in, and should be practised among the youth as well as the younger generation of the current society.
When I lived in Europe, I started helping people in need. During that period, I never forgot my motherland, Sri Lanka. Every time I visited my motherland, I always remembered people who came to see me with smiling faces hoping for help. Although I was living in Europe, I felt a sense of pride in my country every time I remembered the politeness and cultural values of the people of Sri Lanka. Because of this, I continued to help the people of Sri Lanka through my relatives residing in the country. It was at such a time that I met Ven. Haputale Panjarama Thero. Being pleased by his social mission, I arranged to support him. According to a request I made, a series of programs were implemented to free people who were victims of drug abuse. Along with that, a program was started to educate school student leaders and youth club leaders about the dangers of drug use. The results were very successful. The ability of Haputale Panjarama Thero to organize any task effectively and in a very short time was outstanding.
Impressed by the outcomes of the first programmes, I started the Sahanoda Foundation with him with the noble aim of helping the poor and needy. Through the Sahanoda Foundation, various social care programs were implemented across the country. I also participated in them in many cases.
In many such places where we conducted programmes, I realised that many of the low-income seniors who had adopted children and raised them to be capable individuals in society were without any support in their old age. I thought that it is our duty and responsibility to take care of such helpless elderly people. Accordingly, Haputale Panjarama Thero and I had a long discussion on this matter and started Sahana Udaya Elder Vivekasram for the helpless elderly people who had no one to help them.
It was a great achievement for us to be able to win the award for the Best Elderly Home in Sri Lanka after a few years of starting the elderly retirement home.
The worst tragedy that Sri Lanka faced was the Tsunami disaster. At that time, I came to know through the media that a large number of children who had lost their parents were helpless. At that moment, I contacted Haputale Panjarama Thero on the phone and informed him to find out about these children and prepare a suitable program. As a result, it was possible to start the Sahanoda Parent Guardian Fund to provide scholarships to 650 children who lost both or one of their parents.
Finally, I am very happy to have been able to establish the Sahanoda Foundation to provide aid to the financial challenges of low-income families who are in need.
My only wish is to see Sri Lankan society become a law-abiding, just and civilized community.
Mr Bandula Weerawardena