During the worst economic crisis in Sri Lanka’s history, our partners have been reaching out to help vulnerable communities.
With inflation now above 50%, the cost of everyday goods like food, fuel and medicine has skyrocketed. Essential services have shut down and there have been widespread power cuts. As frustrations boil over and protests escalate, our partner, the Methodist Church Sri Lanka (MCSL), has called for people to refrain from violence and called on leaders to facilitate a swift return to electoral democracy (read full statement).
The human suffering is difficult to comprehend.
Early in the crisis, our partners pledged to do everything in their means to alleviate suffering.
They’ve been doing exactly that. Much of it is happening through Deaf Link and the disability outreach work of the church.
Established by MCSL, Deaf Link is a centre committed to providing access to education for children with disabilities and occupational training to adults with disabilities.
Despite the difficulties of public transport, the Deaf Link team of Rev Gnanarajah and Rev Kandeepan were able to travel in June to visit participants of the Empowering People with Disabilities project in rural areas identified as most vulnerable. They delivered dry ration packs to project participants and to other families identified as needing assistance.
“Due to the present economic crisis in our Island, many people are affected,” said Rev Kandeepan.
“We gave help according to our capacity, but the local Rural Development Society said there are many more families who need help. Hopefully more can be provided as soon as possible.”
“Those who received dry ration packs expressed their gratitude to Deaf Link and UnitingWorld,” said Rev Kandeepan.
The Deaf Link team also visited self-help groups run by the project, which connect people with disabilities to share knowledge and encourage each other through the crisis. The project also promotes home gardening by providing seeds, training and assistance to market their produce.
A member of the self-help group who lost one of his hands during the civil war was keen to show his home garden and how he can cultivate it with just one hand (pictured right).
The Deaf Link team were planning to visit projects in the Eastern Province this month, but due to exorbitant costs of transport they instead met with the Coordinator in the region to get updates.
Please pray for their important work.
You can help our partners reach the most vulnerable during this unprecedented crisis. All funds raised will support the work of the Methodist Church Sri Lanka providing assistance through through their church and community networks.
People with disabilities are some of the most vulnerable people in Sri Lanka. Without support, disabilities can become a huge barrier to accessing appropriate education, employment and full participation in community life. Because of this, people with disabilities are up to five times more likely to live below the poverty line.
The Deaf Link project mentioned is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) and impacted the lives of 2,625 people with disabilities in Sri Lanka in FY 2020-21.