Supporting Sri Lankan refugees in India
Since 1984, Act for Peace and OfERR, a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee run organisation, have partnered to empower and provide support to refugees living in 100 camps in Tamil Nadu, India.
Pracheeta is a Sri Lankan Tamil refugee who has been living in a camp for several years. She is a widowed mother of five children, three of whom have speech and hearing difficulties. “I go to work, get a little income, and I look after my kids with that,” says Pracheeta. “It hurt me to see my daughter, the way she couldn’t speak, couldn’t hear. She couldn’t play with the other children. It made me sad and tearful.”
Act for Peace’s partner, OfERR, has been able to train many refugees so they become healthcare workers who are able to look after people with disabilities like Pracheeta’s children. “The doctors here helped us. We were given hearing aids for the children. They are speaking well, and they can go to school with the other kids. I have confidence that they will have a good future, whether it be studies or sports skills. It makes me happy in my heart.”
Healthcare workers, counsellors and other members of the community trained by OfERR also conduct medical screening sessions, provide advice on first aid, diseased prevention and good nutrition, and give first aid medicines.
This has motivated people to adopt better behaviours regarding their health. Many people in the camps experience psychological trauma as a result of being displaced for so long. Counselling, group activities and other support services help them rebuild their lives and stay happy and well despite their challenging circumstances.
“If this kind of work could continue, people like me would be so happy,” says Pracheeta.
In 2015, almost 70,000 refugees received help thanks to Act for Peace support.
The difference your gifts to the Christmas Bowl are making:
You are helping to provide a holistic approach to health and hygiene for the people living in the camps. This includes nutrition supplements, counselling, support for pregnant women, new mothers and newborns, as well as aid and care for those living with disabilities. With your generous Christmas Bowl gifts, Act for Peace, along with OfERR, can help support mothers like Pracheeta to get the medical attention and care they need.