Christmas card raises funds for foundation helping orphans in Sri Lanka
- Credit: Archant
A Christmas card featuring a design by one of the many children in Sri Lanka helped through a charity founded by a Lowestoft-based care provider has gone on sale in the town.
The image was coloured by Jesudasan Christina, one of the children living at Haldanduwana home which is supported by the Lotus Children's Foundation - a charity launched after the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami by Daya Thayan, CEO of Lowestoft-based Kingsley Healthcare, his wife Sumi and colleagues.
Initially it supported youngsters orphaned and disadvantaged by the natural disaster, but has gone on to raise the living standards of other children affected by civil war and social deprivation.
All proceeds from the cards, on sale for 25p each at the Lowestoft Journal office in London Road North, as well as Kingsley's care homes across the country, will support the charity's work.
Mr Thayan said: 'The smiles on the faces of the children on the back of the card, including Jesudasan, who all live at the Haldanduwana home supported by our foundation, speak for themselves.
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'My wife Sumi and I visit our former homeland of Sri Lanka every February and love to spend time with the children; it is an opportunity for us to reconnect with the people we are supporting.
'While we are there, we work hard for the charity and ensure every penny goes to the good causes we are supporting and not administration and other expenses.
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'It is humbling to see the selfless commitment of our charity workers and uplifting to see the positive effect on the children.'
Mr Thayan, who grew up in the north of Sri Lanka, recalled how he and Sumi - who is operations director at Kingsley - were staying at a hotel at Bentota, on the south coast of the island, when the tsunami struck.
He said: 'We heard a very strange noise coming from the sea and noticed the water draw back from the shore.
'What followed 30 minutes later were massive waves and we were luckily on the third or fourth floor.
'A lot of the villages surrounding the hotel, and we saw it first hand, were wiped away.'
He said their first thought was how to support those children orphaned and left homeless by the tsunami.
'The foundation we set up, supported by Sumi and I personally as well as by Kingsley, provided financial assistance to the charities that were working on the ground, such as the Ladani Institute,' he said.
'The foundation has since become involved in a variety of projects across the island, to provide housing, education, vocational training and small loans to allow families to set up businesses and stand on their own feet.'
The cards can also be bought from Kingsley's head office in Clapham Road South, Lowestoft, by calling Stephen Pullinger on 01502 502709.