Newsletter July 2020

Dilanee Bunter, Founder and Operations Manager of Ocean Stars Trust, reports on what has been a challenging 2020 so far for the charity, as with many other UK charities.

Naomi Booth :: Tuesday 30th June 2020 :: This Story

"I was in Sri Lanka in January 2020 and had the privilege of visiting our all-island projects, distributing new uniforms, spending time with our Ocean Stars Lanka team and opening both a new music classroom at Urani High School and a new preschool building at Thantha for Little Stars. All this seems like a dream now as we complete almost 12 weeks in lockdown in the UK.

During the UK lockdown, Sri Lanka has been on 24/7 curfews with people being allowed out every 4th day to get essential items during a 6-hour window. It soon became clear to us that several of our preschools located in poorer villages relied on a daily wage income and there-fore children and families were struggling to find their daily meals. After considering carefully the hardships endured by people everywhere we launched our Covid-19 appeal for a month from April to May. We were truly thankful to everyone for their support and for their generosity which meant that we were able to provide 300 food parcels to our neediest and poorest families. The local government offices were also very appreciative of the help we were giving to their communities.

We would like to thank our Ocean Stars Lanka staff who have worked non- stop during curfews from home and subsequently from our office to make sure that all our communities and families had enough to eat and remained healthy. We set up from the beginning of lockdown weekly zoom calls with our OSL team. Zeddy, our Monitoring and Evaluation Supervisor joins our zoom calls from Kenya so we span 3 time zones with the UK getting the early morning slot!! We have begun to really value these weekly meetings as we have completed lots of major admin tasks and talked about our weekly plans. Home learning has become the new norm for our preschool children. OST UK and Lanka have been working closely with the Preschool Bureau to establish a learning programme and to make sure that it has been implemented. New WhatsApp groups have been established be-tween teachers and parents, and teachers and OSL staff and myself.

It seems like a whole new world of communication has been opened up, certainly, and we all feel more connected than ever before. Our fundraising has moved to virtual events. If you feel you would like to make a donation to support our continued work in Sri Lanka further details on how to donate can be found in this our Newsletter. Thank you for your support and, as the future seems uncertain,

I wish you all peace and good health."


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