Few people know that Matthias and I have so called “sponsored” children abroad. The whole story started four years ago in Alexandria, where we were aghast by the child poverty: little children, disheveled and hungry, didn’t let go of us on the streets. There, shocked and bitter, we decided to find a way to help the children, to give them a chance for a better life, even to some degree. I chose the “Save the children” organization and Matthias – “Plan International”. The 10 – 30 dollar, which we transfer to these organizations monthly, are invested in the development of the whole area, improvement of school procurement and healthcare conditions.
Meet Dilmika, the sponsored child of Matthias whom we were happy to visit on Sri Lanka!
Visiting the children by sponsors is highly supported by both organizations. We planned the visit on Sri Lanka approximately one and a half month in advance and the communication with Plan was easy and unambiguous. Our visit of four-year-old Dilmika and his family was very well organized and we felt very welcome by the Plan workers as well as by Dilmika’s community.
As arranged, we were picked up at 8 am at our hotel and brought by car to the community. After a short introduction round and the handover of the presents (we bought some food articles on the way there), we were welcomed at the table. At first, we were worried that the family made too much effort to prepare so much food, but afterwards Badhra, the Plan worker, calmed us down and explained that this was a sign of hospitality and it couldn’t have been different when guests are coming.
To break the ice, we brought a ball with us and played a lot with the children. The older sister of Dilmika joined us and we had a lot of fun rolling the ball all around the garden. Afterwards Dilmika has shown us many trees, which are growing in the garden – mango, papaya, guava, jackfruit – and was very open and happy during the whole visit, what made us content as well.
Additionally to our travel-camera, we had a Polaroid camera with us and took many pictures together with Dilmika and his relatives, which they could keep.
In Dilmika’s community, several generations live together – we even met his great grandmother! We also met his younger sister, only two months old. This child wasn’t yet in the database of Plan, so the Plan workers took pictures of her and registered her parameters.
Unfortunately, the communication was rather with hands and feet only, as we don’t speak Sinhala and the family doesn’t speak English. However, Badhra helped us a lot and translated our eventual questions and the answers and the mood was bright and friendly!
At the end of the visit, we were asked to plant a coconut tree and to give it a name: we have chosen “Friendship”. Translated into Sinhala, it is called “yahalukama”.
We had great time with Dilmika’s family and were happy that Dilmika himself was very open and gladly played with us! We enjoyed the time in this little community and will be happy to visit them again when we are back to Sri Lanka.
After the visit, the Plan workers kindly brought us to the intersection, from where we took a tuk-tuk to Trincomalee, our next destination point.