Grace Children’s Home

grace-childrens-home.jpgGrace Children’s Home is situated in Vavuniya north Sri Lanka, right on the edge of what until last year, had been known as the war zone.  It is home to 25 boys all of whom have been orphaned or separated from their parents as a result of the war.  A few may have parents living around the area but they cannot be cared for by them due to their poor circumstances.

The home was set up by Mrs Nadarajah in the 1990’s when she inherited some land following the death of her husband.  She works tirelessly to provide for the boys rising every morning at 5a.m to sort breakfast and see them off to school.  Her day finally ends at 10pm when the older boys finish their study time. Even then her care and concern for the boys is a priority - despite being 74 years of age, she still insists on sleeping in a room alongside the younger children, to ensure their safety and security.

boys-on-swings.jpgDilanee was first introduced to Grace Home in 2005 and at that time she found the children well cared for but was saddened by the run down, difficult conditions that existed in the home. Income and support for Mrs Nadarajah was and still is in short supply.  She receives a nominal amount of money per child from local authorities but that barely begins to cover the costs of running the home and feeding the boys.  Ocean Stars has been involved in supporting her ever since. 

Heatherside Infant School in Fleet has formed a link with the home and in the past 5 years raised over £3000 which has been used to finance repairs to the building, buy mattresses for the boys to sleep on, cupboards for storage as well as contributing to the general every day running costs. 

On their most recent visit the OST team used recent donations to buy materials to repair and paint the previously derelict swings.  Repairs were also made to lights in the church at the home and material purchased so that Mrs Nadarajah could make a shirt for each of the boys for Christmas.

ost-at-the-home.jpgLife remains a struggle in so many ways for both Mrs Nadarajah and the boys but OST has achieved a great deal in the past few years at Grace Home and with continued support from Heatherside and its community will continue to do so.  It’s been my privilege to have visited with them on three occasions over the past few years and they have become really dear friends to me.  I have been deeply moved by their plight but the warmth and kindness that they have so freely offered has both touched and inspired me.  Rebuilding shattered lives is all about sustained support and commitment a job which OST does so effectively and well. Their involvement has truly made an impact and with further investment will continue to do so.

Maureen Johnston (Trustee)


Grace Children's Home in the news

The Ocean Stars Trust was established in England in January 2005 after the tsunami. It was set up by Mrs. Dilanee Bunter who was born in Sri Lanka and now lives in the UK.  When the tsunami happened Dilanee decided she wanted to help her people back in Sri Lanka. Dilanee has been visiting the island every year with a group of teachers spending time at the projects they support. Ocean Stars has projects in Vavunia, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Galle.  Dilanee and her team visited Grace Children’s home on the 22nd of  October 2011. Dilanee said that doing this type of social work makes her feel peaceful and happy.  [DHINAMANJARY - 2011 NOVEMBER 10 - This is a translation, see the original article] 

grace-childrens-sri-lanka.jpgMrs Nadarajah - Grace Children’s Home

Ocean Stars has a very special in the hearts of all of us here at Grace Children’s Home.

You have truly transformed the lives of the children. They treasure the mattresses you bought them on your second visit to us in 2005. Over the years the gifts that you have donated to us with the support of Heatherside Infant School have made our home a very comfortable and calm place for the children to grow up in.

We now have desks and chairs, wardrobes, a drum set, a stereo CD player, playground equipment thank to Ocean Stars.

You visit us every year and this makes it very special for us. Other NGO’s come and visit us but they never return. The children of Grace feel that they have family in the UK because you treat them so warmly when you come to see us.

We look forward to working with Ocean Stars for many years to come.