Sri Lanka is a beautiful country that many people visit for their summer holidays. Still, behind the glossy resorts and sandy beaches, the country is marred by decades of conflict, natural disasters, and urgent humanitarian crises.
The country relies heavily on tourism for a lot of its income, but beyond booking a sunny break, there is much more you can do to help Sri Lanka and its people in a more direct way.
One of the most significant issues facing Sri Lanka is food insecurity. The country has made massive strides in many areas of its development, but hunger and malnutrition still plague Sri Lanka. In 2020, the Global Hunger Index ranked Sri Lanka 64th out of 107 in terms of hunger. While this is relatively good compared to many countries in the region, it still means countless Sri Lankans are malnourished and facing food insecurity.
There are several reasons why food insecurity is prevalent in Sri Lanka, but one of the biggest factors is that the country has been stuck in a drought since 2016. As of October 2019, over 634,000 Sri Lankans were negatively impacted by the drought. It’s extremely difficult to cultivate crops with such intense dry seasons and less rain in the wet seasons. This means those who rely on agriculture as a form of income are struggling to maintain their output. As a consequence, there is a food shortage across the country.
One of the best ways you can help Sri Lanka is to support our Widow and Orphan Food Parcel appeal. We distribute much-needed food aid to widows and orphans – often the most vulnerable in society – as well as helping wider communities in need access vital food provisions.
From 1983 to 2009, Sri Lanka was torn apart by an intense civil war. The government and the Liberations Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) were embroiled in a deadly conflict that claimed the lives of over 250,000 people, the majority of whom were innocent civilians. As the conflict tore through the country’s north east, some 300,000 people were forced out of their homes and displaced, including many children who either lost their parents in the war or who were separated from them and interred in government camps.
There are more than 21,000 children in orphanages in Sri Lanka, with more than 19,000 still having one or both of their parents alive. These figures are a testament to the effects of internal displacement, with so many Sri Lankans having nowhere to call home and losing all prospects of a solid income. This means many families cannot care for their children, believing orphanages to be the best option. The problem is, so many people were displaced that the number of orphans exceeded and continues to exceed the number of provisions available in care homes.
This sees many children sleeping on the floor and going hungry, often without suitable clothes or access to healthcare and education. The good news is that you can elevate the living standard for orphans in Sri Lanka who have been impacted by displacement through sponsoring an orphan.
When you sponsor an orphan, you will be providing them with support in every aspect. Not only will you put food in their mouths, clothes on their backs, and books in their hands, but you will also be enabling us to better the conditions of orphanages as a whole. Sponsored orphans will gain access to healthcare, and therapy will also be given to those who have witnessed the harsh realities that have affected so many people in Sri Lanka.
What Can I Do to Help Sri Lanka?
If you’re still wondering how you can help Sri Lanka and the many innocent people who are experiencing hardship, here are a few things you can do outside of donating to our food and orphan sponsorship programmes.
Zakat is a religious due that is required of all eligible Muslims. If you’ve yet to donate your Zakat, consider using it to donate to our Sri Lanka appeal. This will allow us to use the aid where it’s most needed, and Allah (SWT) will reward you for spending your Zakat on such a worthy cause.
Many fundraisers are held for various countries in need, but few people know what is happening in Sri Lanka. Through fundraising, you can raise awareness of what is going on in the country and bring attention to the many issues it is facing (including the UN investigation into humanitarian crimes committed during the civil war). Not only this, but you will be raising vital funds that we can use to help those who need it the most.
Orphans in Need has boots on the ground in Sri Lanka, but we always welcome the opportunity to bring more volunteers on board. Through volunteering, you’ll help us with fundraising and raising awareness of our causes, including in Sri Lanka.
If you want to help Sri Lanka, please donate to our Sri Lanka appeals today.