Our second blog focuses on our wonderful Ocean Stars Lanka (OSL) team based in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka

Naomi Booth :: Friday 1st October 2021 :: This Story

 

While life may be getting back to normal in the UK, COVID-19 lockdowns are continuing to affect daily life in Sri Lanka. This blog gives insights into some of the challenges the team are facing in their day-to-day lives. We are so grateful for OSL's continued hard work despite all the obstacles currently in place!

 

Living in Sri Lanka During COVID: Perspectives from the OSL Team

ShaliniHi I am Shalini

After the rapid spread of COVID 19, the Sri Lanka government announced a general lockdown all over the country which has been in place since March 2020. All the shops are closed. Only essential services can be open. Everyone has had to stay at home since March 2020. Home delivery and mobile services are only available. We are not allowed to go out during the lockdown period.  Anyhow NGO services were included under the essential service to serve the vulnerable people. THE OSL office opened and worked with minimum number of staff. We received travel passes from the Government authority to open our OSL office. And we served the OSL communities during the lockdown period with the support of OST UK without limitation. We delivered 2000 food parcels to our poorest communities without incomes and food to feed their children.

The economy of the country has been affected after the lockdown. The Import and Export businesses have been badly impacted. We faced difficulties in buying essential goods. This was due to high prices for goods, insufficient supply and import restrictions.

The Lockdown period has been difficult days not only for us but also the other people. We continue to be under lockdown. We are that praying that we will soon be able to come out of this difficult situation. And I would like to say a huge thank you to the UK trustee for all their support to the people of Sri Lanka.  

 


 

DishanthiniHi I am Dishanthini

During lockdown time I have not been out of the house. I could not go outside as my village was on 24/7 curfew for a long time. I could not go to the shops. When the curfew was lifted as OSL staff I was able to get a special travel pass so I was able to go to the office.  My job has been very difficult because I am the preschool manager and all our preschools have been closed for most of 2021. I have been responsible for making sure that all our 1000 preschool children have had access to Home Learning through our WhatsApp groups. Visiting sponsor children has also been hard with all the travel restrictions. There have been and are lots of food shortages and the price of food is going up every day. I was happy we were able to deliver about 2000 food parcels to our poorest Ocean Stars families due to the kindness of our UK OST supporters. I have been feeling very sad in my heart for a long time,

Thank you

 


 

JeganiHi it's me Jegani

Because of the ongoing Covid situation, Sri Lanka is now in lockdown and it means we can't go outside we need to stay at our home. We can't purchase food items, clothes and grocery items. My family has really struggled with the covid lockdown. But I have worked with the OSL team though I have had to work from home. As Sponsor Manager it has been sad for me as I can't visit the sponsor children. But I am happy that through WhatsApp call, I contact them and talk to them and support them and check up on their studies. We have had to stay at home for such a long time it makes us unhappy and sad. We cannot travel outside our area. However, I am so thankful that I have been able to work continuously with the OSL team and do good things for our families. Thank you, Ocean Starts trustees and supporters.

 


 

 

DilukshiHi this is Dilukshi

The current situation in Sri Lanka is, we are in Lockdown because the Covid virus spreading very fast and everywhere on our island.  It means we can't go anywhere and all the shops, banks, are closed. The police and the army are surrounding every area in our country. We can go out for emergency purposes only otherwise we can't go out during the lockdown period.  Most of the time I do my job at my home (work from home). Because I have struggled to get my pass for coming to the office as my district has had lots of Covid cases. During this lockdown period, my uncle is passed away due to Covid, and my family had to be in quarantine for fourteen days. We were not allowed to have a proper funeral for my uncle. In these days I am not able to do my job properly, because I cannot connect to my team directly and the main thing is Data, network problems. Sometimes I am unable to finish my work on time.  In the beginning, we had enough food for our family, but as the lockdown period has continued, we are struggling to get food. At first, I enjoyed this lockdown, Because I have lots of time to spend with my father and enjoyed spending time with my family. Now I feel very sad and depressed as Covid continues and we continue being in lockdown not able to do anything.

 


 

ChithraHi I am Chithra

 

Lockdown has made me feel very depressed and sad. There is not enough of food and the prices have gone up. I can't go outside to purchase the food, but I am so happy to have my job with OSL. I have been looking after our OSL garden and making sure the office is clean. We have grown lots of vegetables which has helped us during these difficult times. Giving food parcels to poor families has made me feel good in my heart. I pray that soon we will be able to live without Covid. Thank you, OST UK, for helping us.