Thai Pongal

We wish our friends in Sri Lanka and around the world a Happy Thai Pongal festival.

Naomi Booth :: Friday 14th January 2022 :: This Story

Picture: /files/latest-news/445/w288/pongal-fest.jpg

Pongal festival or Thai Pongal festival is a four-day harvest festival celebrated in Tamil Nadu, South India. One of the most popular Tamil festivals, Pongal is celebrated as offering of prayers to nature.

Pongal festival is celebrated for four days from the last day of the Tamil month of Margazhi (mid-December - mid January) to the third day of Thai (mid-January - mid February) and coincides with the festival Makara Sankranthi and Lohri Festival of north India. This year, the date of Pongal festival is from 14 January to 17 January 2022.

The word Pongal means boiling over and the Tamils refer Pongal as Tamizhar Thirunal (the festival of Tamils). In Astrology, this is the period when the sun traverses from the Tropic of Capricorn to the Tropic of Cancer via the Equator (from 14th January to 14th July), and this movement is termed as Uttarayan. Following are the four days of Pongal Festival.

1) Bhogi Pongal date is on 14 January 2022

2) Surya Pongal date is on 14 January 2022

3) Maatu Pongal date is on 16 January 2022

4) Kaanum Pongal (or Kanum Pongal) date is on 17 January 2022


Pongal rice

To celebrate this day, people in Tamil Nadu make Delicious Pongal Dish. Pongal is a famous dish prepared with rice. The origin of this rice dish was from the Indian subcontinent, in Sri Lanka and Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. It is a traditional food and most historic taste of the south.

What is Pongal Dish Made of?

Pongal Dish is made of rice mixed with moong dal, ghee, cashew nuts, raisins, and mild spices. The spicy variety consists of moong dal, rice, cashews, curry leaves, pepper and ghee. The ingredients are good for winter and is made of the right balance of carbohydrate, protein, and fats.

Picture: /files/latest-news/445/w288/pongal2.jpgTwo varieties of Pongal Dish:

The two varieties of Pongal are:

  1. Chakkara Pongal: a sweet Pongal made of jaggery
  2. Venn Pongal: Spicy Pongal made with pepper, and chilli.

Picture: /files/latest-news/445/w288/pongal-1.jpg

Happy Diwali

May the lights of Diwali shine for us all in the year ahead.

Naomi Booth :: Thursday 4th November 2021 :: This Story

Ocean Stars UK would like to wish all our friends, supporters, staff, preschool families, sponsor families and preschool teachers a Happy and Blessed Diwali.

Picture: /files/latest-news/438/w288/aa69ff7d-c838-4af6-89f7-e3481196b0a1.jpg Picture: /files/latest-news/438/w288/9be8493b-efc2-4ddc-9b6f-35abb31ee12f.jpg Picture: /files/latest-news/438/w288/48e5ad5e-2dd7-42d4-8cb3-46db4d1775f3.jpg Picture: /files/latest-news/438/w288/077710cf-afa2-41d4-b167-11bc13151e6e.jpg


Gift Aid Awareness

Naomi Booth :: Wednesday 6th October 2021 :: This Story

Picture: /files/latest-news/435/w288/gift-aid.jpgOST is pleased to announce Gift Aid Day and thank all our donors who have signed up to our Gift Aid scheme.

Why not become an Ocean Star and donate a regular sum each month and help us to empower children and families in Sri Lanka through education and community empowerment schemes? You can donate as little or as much as you like. A regular gift-aided donation helps us to plan strategically towards our projects and expenditure. Our website and newsletters will keep you updated regularly on how your money is spent.

If you would like to sign up to a monthly donation and make a real difference to those less well off than us then we would be delighted to hear from you. Please email us in the first instance at and we will get in touch with you about setting up regular giving to Ocean Stars Trust.

Thank you.


Congratulations to all our sponsor students who recently passed their GCSE exams in Sri Lanka.

Naomi Booth :: Monday 4th October 2021 :: This Story

Picture: /files/latest-news/434/w288/k12-gcse-results%20%281%29.jpgOne of our students Shiyanujan Balachandran who has been sponsored since the age of 5 obtained 9 Grade A's.

Through having the support of monthly sponsorship money our sponsor students are able to enhance their studies by accessing extra classes and investing in learning resources. Sponsorship does truly change the life of a child and gives them the tools to enhance their life opportunities and carve out a route out of poverty for themselves and future generations.

For £15 you can change the life of a child and make a huge difference. For more information and to sponsor a child please email us at

Finance & Governance Volunteer Trustee Vacancy

If you would like to join our team and make a difference to children and families in Sri Lanka we would love to hear from you.

Naomi Booth :: Wednesday 8th September 2021 :: This Story

New Trustee AdvertThe mission of Ocean Stars Trust (OST) is 'to identify and overcome the barriers to equal opportunity for children in Sri Lanka through education and social enrichment, sharing friendship, hope and joy'.

Interested in being a Trustee?

Please download the trustee information sheet.

Download Trustee Info

More Information

For further information contact either the OST Chair Maureen or the OST founder and Head of Operations Dilanee Bunter at


Please apply to Maureen Johnston at not later than 9h October 2021 with the relevant CV information and indicate how you could contribute to our team. We look forward to hearing from you.


9th September 8pm

Naomi Booth :: Tuesday 31st August 2021 :: This Story

Quiz night fundraiser

We would like to invite you to our next virtual mini-quiz on Thursday 9th September at 8pm. Thank you to everybody who has taken part in our virtual quizzes so far.

Please sign up and join us ! You will also be helping Ocean Stars to continue with our work in Sri Lanka helping children and families. Thank you.

We look forward to seeing you on screen in September!

Teacher Training

Ocean Stars Lanka has started their residential Teacher Training for 93 preschool teachers in Sri Lanka.

Naomi Booth :: Friday 13th August 2021 :: This Story

OST UK would like to offer a huge thanks to Fonthill Foundation UK for funding this event.

Feedback from Day 1 has been very positive. The teachers found the quality of training to be of a very high standard and appreciated the practical workshops that enhanced their own skills. This event is running over 3 days. We would also like to thank our team in Ocean Stars Lanka team for their hard work in putting this programme together.


Amazon Smile!

During these difficult times in Sri Lanka, here is a simple way you can help us to raise funds to support our communities.

Naomi Booth :: Thursday 10th June 2021 :: This Story

Picture: /files/latest-news/426/w288/pd-socialassets-instagram-1080x1080-uk2.pngPrime members who shop Amazon Prime Day deals from 21st – 22nd June can do more than discover great deals:

Simply shop at or with AmazonSmile ON in the Amazon Shopping app, and AmazonSmile will DOUBLE donations to Ocean Stars Trust at no extra cost.

OST 2021 Covid-19 Appeal

As the Covid-19 situation gets worse day by day in Sri Lanka our Ocean Stars communities are suffering and we are inundated with requests for Food Parcels and Hygiene Parcels.

Naomi Booth :: Monday 7th June 2021 :: This Story

Picture: /files/latest-news/425/w288/ost--2021-covid-19-appeal.pngThe hospitals are overwhelmed and patients are being housed in temporary shelters.

We have already had requests for, and supplied, medicines for Covid-19 patients.

£10 will buy a food parcel for a family for 2 weeks:

  • 15 kilo bag of rice
  • lentils
  • milk powder
  • tea
  • sugar
  • chickpeas
  • moong dhal
  • gram ghal
  • green peas



Donate Now Via BACS

Account Name: Ocean Stars Trust
Sort Code:
Account Number:
2021 Covid-19 Appeal

Please support our appeal if you are able to and help us to make a difference to our communities who are suffering at the moment.

Thank you.

Times are hard in Sri Lanka

Our team are helping with medical and food aid

Naomi Booth :: Thursday 3rd June 2021 :: This Story

Picture: /files/latest-news/424/w288/ocean-stars-help-sri-lanka-news.jpgTimes are hard in Sri Lanka and our staff are inundated with requests for medicines from the hospital and food parcels for poor families.

Ocean Stars has been very busy helping bring relief to our communities in Sri Lanka.

The News story showed: Dry food parcels for families affected by livelihoods and medicines for patients suffering from Covid infection were handed over under the auspices of the voluntary charity Ocean Star Lanka.

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