A Volunteers Story

Shiva Logarajah (Third Year Law Student at Columbia Law School, New York, New York, USA) talks about his experience volunteering for Ocean Stars in Sri Lanka....

OceanStars :: Wednesday 14th September 2016 :: This Story

Picture: /files/latest-news/232/w288/volunteer.jpgOcean Stars ("OST") was an organization that I had only fleeting contact with before my first trip to Sri Lanka in August 2016.  Despite this, Dilanee and the OST Team went out of their way to organize a trip to visit some of their projects while I was there.  I visited the Mahadeva Children's Home in Killinochi, nurseries in the Batticaloa area (Amaplanthurai, Nallur & Karaveddy), and the Hope House in Amaplanthurai. 

On the whole, I was thoroughly impressed with the difference OST was making in people's lives in areas that have been devastated by war and natural disaster.  What really stuck with me was the fact that OST was going beyond the "life-support" aid that many of us tend to associate with NGOs operating in these sorts of environments.  The work OST was doing was, in fact, empowering people--particularly women and children--to be able to help themselves and their communities. 

I was born in the United States to Sri Lankan Tamil parents, and I have always been keenly aware of the suffering that people in Sri Lanka have endured after years of war and natural disaster.  OST is doing remarkable work--in a compassionate and well-appreciated manner--to help turn the page for many of these communities, and I look forward to supporting OST as it continues to assist people in Sri Lanka.

 

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Pub Quiz @ The Black Horse

Fantastic quiz night in Crookham Village

OceanStars :: Tuesday 6th September 2016 :: This Story

Find out more and Share the event at:

https://www.facebook.com/events/630801383764652/

Morgan Applegarth prepares to volunteer for Ocean Stars in Sri Lanka

The first is slightly selfish. For years, I've wanted to go travelling; to quit my job, fill a backpack and see the world. But, with my career and other commitments the chance never really surfaced - until now.

OceanStars :: Monday 5th September 2016 :: This Story

 
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Long story short, I've quit my job, bought a backpack and am now planning to see the world.
 
I've always wanted a purpose to my travels that went beyond sampling the best beach bars in Southeast Asia. I wanted to do some good, give something back and experience day-to-day life of other cultures.
 
The second factor is my first (and, so far, only) visit to Sri Lanka. In December 2015, I toured the country with my sister and brother in law with help from a local guide. One of the many highlights of the trip was spending time with our guide, who shed light on many aspects of Sri Lankan culture. A topic that came up occasionally was the 2004 tsunami and how areas we were visiting were still coming to terms with that fateful event.
 
Hearing tales from a proud Sri Lankan about the devastation caused and driving through towns that were shadows of their former selves really humanised the scenes that I'd seen on TV. The more we talked about the tsunami's impact and the longer I spent in the country, the stronger my feelings toward the event grew. The stories and scenes were sad and I didn't like hearing or seeing them about a country I was quickly growing to love.
 
In planning my travels, I decided Sri Lanka would be my first destination. I spoke with a friend who's not only well travelled in the country but involved with OST. Knowing my motives for travelling she suggested I read up on, and got in touch with, OST.
 
I took her suggestions and learned about OST; what its done and continues to do. Not only was I impressed, but drawing on how I felt during my December trip I wanted to get involved. OST seemed like the perfect opportunity to give back to communities of a wonderful country, once so wrongly hurt.
 
I'm really looking forward to visiting OST projects in Batticaloa and am sure this is the start of a long relationship between myself and the charity.

Getting Active on fun day in aid of Ocean charity

Money to 'make a real difference' to children in Sri Lanka

OceanStars :: Thursday 11th August 2016 :: This Story

Children have been treated to a day of fun in aid of a local charity.

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Everyone Active's Hart Leisure Centre, in Fleet, hosted a family fun day in aid of  Ocean Stars Trust.

Sandra Stokes organised the day and said "Having spent more than 30 years working with children under the age of five, I wanted to help young people in other countries benefit from better opportunities"

See the full report from Fleet News Wed 20th July

Howard Robson's Cycle Ride

Howard Robson cycles for Ocean Stars Trust and raises £800. Well done Howard!

OceanStars :: Wednesday 3rd August 2016 :: This Story

Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100

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Dear all, I just thought as a matter of courtesy I would let all you kind people know how I got on last Sunday, seeing as you have all been so kind and generous in offering help, advice, sponsorship and donations.

I duly arrived at the appointed hour and was in my slot 'E' at the Black start by 7.30 am. This was the easy bit, having been made easier than before by the offer of accommodation the previous night at Tim Allen's flat only a few miles from the Olympic Park. Thanks Tim!  The weather was good, and I didn't need my throwaway sweatshirt that I had packed as a contingency - the only concern was that the day might be too warm! The next hour passed quickly chatting to fellow cyclists around me, and our 'wave' set off at the scheduled time of 8.31 am. Each wave could choose music to set off by, and we left to the strains of 'it can only get better', which was better than last year when we had The Laughing Policeman!

In the commonly used expression by the younger generation, it was truly 'awesome' cycling through the traffic-free streets of London seeing all the famous landmarks, and not having to worry about traffic lights, cars and pedestrians! I quickly arrived in East Sheen, where I met up with my brother Mike and his wife Catherine who gave me moral support before the climb up Sheen Lane into Richmond Park. A slow down in the Park due to a couple of minor pile ups (seems to happen there every year), and then it was a pull into the first 'Hub' near Hampton Court for a quick grab of water and loo-stop.

I was very pleased with my progress, and my average speed was about 16 mph for the first two hours, meaning that I should be on target for a finishing time of about 7 hours, bearing in mind I still had the Surrey hills to do. Unfortunately that all unravelled at about mile 38/39 when we were all held up for about an hour and a half due to a 'serious incident'. Being in a sea of stationary cyclists which stretched as far as the eye could see it was difficult to know what was happening, and rumours abounded. We knew it must be something serious as helicopters were buzzing overhead. I now know that a total of 33 cyclists were taken to hospital, with 7 remaining in hospital, 3 seriously injured, following a nasty accident at Pyrford. Also sadly one person died from cardiac arrest.

After that, all thought of getting a 'time' went out of the window, and it was just a case of getting on with it, and wondering how we would get back to London and what contingency plans and diversions would be put into place. A quick stop at the second hub at the top of Newlands Corner and then it was full speed ahead, but not for long because by now most of the 26,000 cyclists had bunched up so badly that we came to a grinding halt at every pinch point. Because of the delays the organisers decided to cut out Leith Hill for most of the riders, myself included. So I got to the finish in The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace at 5.15 pm having ridden 93 miles. A total time of 8 hours 45 mins, which means I did it in about 7 hrs 15 mins by the time you take off the delay. In fact probably much quicker if you take into account all the other delays and pit stops. Also I had covered over 100 miles taking into account the ride to the start and back to Waterloo station at the end. And no punctures!

I was naturally disappointed with my time, but our thoughts and sympathy must go out the friends and families of those who were not so lucky.

On the positive side I have raised over £800 for Ocean Stars, and am looking forward to going out to Sri Lanka in October to see this money being put to good use. I have been told by Just giving that I was in the top 5% of fundraisers in July!

Once again a huge thank you to all of you.

Howard.

Charity Cycle

Jo Barton, an Ocean Stars Trustee & Janine Dunbar, an Ocean Stars supporter will be travelling to Northumberland on July 26th to cycle 100 miles along the Hadrian's Wall Cycleway on July 27th & 28th.

OceanStars :: Monday 18th July 2016 :: This Story

They are hoping the weather will be kind to them! If you would like to support them in any way, here is the Just Giving Link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Janine-Dunbar2?utm_id=13

Quiz Night

For Ocean Stars

OceanStars :: Sunday 10th July 2016 :: This Story

91 people gathered at Fleet Town Football Club for an Ocean Stars Quiz night.

Ocean Star Charity Quiz nightPicture: /files/latest-news/225/w288/img-1632.jpg

Our quiz Master was the now famous, dynamic and humorous, quiz guru of Fleet Mr Mike Gardner. A very enjoyable evening was had by all. Dominos pizzas fed the brains during the break and there was a raffle with 11 amazing hampers to be won.

The evening raised £1200 for the work of Ocean Stars Trust. Thank you to everyone who attended our Quiz pm.

Fun Day

Ocean Stars Charity Fun Day at Hart Leisure Centre Fleet

OceanStars :: Thursday 7th July 2016 :: This Story

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HART LEISURE CENTRE

Hitches La, Fleet GU51 5HS

SUNDAY 10TH JULY, TIME 10.30AM TO 3.30PM

£3 per child

BOUNCY CASTLE

CLIMBING EQUIPMENT

PLEASE COME ALONG AND SUPPORT THIS LOCAL CHARITY HELPING CHILDREN IN SRI LANKA

 

Lunchtime Cake Sale

18 students from Calthorpe Park School, Fleet who are going to visit Ocean Stars projects in Sri Lanka in October 2016 organised a cake sale in the school court yard on Monday 28th June.

OceanStars :: Thursday 30th June 2016 :: This Story

There were lots of yummy treats on offer! Ice cream, sweets, chocolate brownies, a variety of doughnuts, drinks, biscuits, pot noodles and drinks! The students are busy trying to reach their target of raising £8000 for the work of Ocean Stars. They have raised £5672.00 so far!

The cake sale raised another £302.00 towards this target.

Well done OST CPS team 2016!

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June 2016 Newsletter

What has happened, and what we are doing now...

OceanStars :: Wednesday 29th June 2016 :: This Story

Download our June Newsletter

Maureen Johnston Ocean Stars Chairperson reflects on our work so far in 2016

As ever it has been a busy and at times challenging beginning to 2016 for all the OST trustees. We continue to work towards our goal of providing equal opportunities for all children in Sri Lanka and con-sequently much of our focus remains on the development and provi-sion of pre school education in remote parts of north and east Sri Lanka. Thanks to our supporters, the hard work of our OSL team and the teachers themselves we now run 15 schools and provide educa-tion for over 500 children. As trustees we are working hard to ensure that our class-rooms are in as good a state of repair as possible and that the educational provision for the children continues to develop.
Our child sponsorship programme is ongoing and the children are visited regularly to check on their progress and to ensure that the sponsorship money is used correctly. Likewise we are monitoring the progress of our sewing and other livelihood projects, as we try to support families in building a better future for themselves.
We are constantly encouraged and delighted at the progress and development of OST's work but are very aware that none of it would be possible without your support. So a huge thank you from myself and the trustees for all your contributions. There is lots more to do as we try to bring hope to these remote, poor communities and we look forward to continuing to work with you.

Maureen

It is with deep sadness that we announce the death of Mrs Nadarajah who founded and ran Grace Children's Home In Vavuniya . She devoted the last 15 years of her life to the service of others and was an inspiration to all who met her. She was full of love and compassion and Grace was always a warm and welcoming home. She was "amma" (mother) to all the orphaned and dis-placed boys who entered her care. The children were able to leave their traumas by the front gate and enter a space where love and faith overcame all adversity. We will miss her. May she rest in peace.