Monday, February 28, 2005

Rotary Club of Venice-Nokomis Strengthens Regency Relief Fund

We have surprises everyday. The note below was received on February 24th accompanying a generous contribution:

Dear Rotarian Mario Perumal:
Our Rotary Club is very impressed with the work you and your fellow Rotarians are doing to assist your tsunami victims. We trust this $29,350 will provide a boost to assist your Rotary Club in their efforts.

Yours in Rotary,
George Carpenter International Service Chairman
Rotary Club of Venice-Nokomis, Florida
Venice, Florida.

This contribution will more than boost our relief fund position, and will finance the construction of 6 houses in our planned village of 263 families. Regency is immensely grateful to Venice-Nokomis for the effort taken in raising the funds, and the confidence placed in us.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Experience of Volunteers from Napa Valley, California

Joe Dacanay and Caroline Upton from Napa Valley contacted Regency after reading this weblog. They showed up in Colombo with printouts from the web site, medicines for the tsunami victims, cash from three Napa Rotary clubs, the Calistoga Rotary Club, Queen of the Valley Hospital, the Napa Valley Register, the Napa County Sheriff's Search and Rescue and many private donors to buy more items required. They were fully prepared to camp out in the affected areas, and brought along their camping gear completed with canned food, water purifiers etc., to face any difficult situation. Please read their story on and St Helena Star.

Regency thanks Joe and Caroline again for their true Rotary spirit of "Service above Self", and awaits their return.

Contribution from Rotary Club of Newtown, Pennsylvania, USA

We have got the following inspiring note from Pennsylvania:
"Within the next couple days we will have transferred to the account that you indicated a sum of USD 5,000. These monies will have been wired by our club treasurer Mr. Robert Carter. Please acknowledge the receipt of same and how you are intending to use these funds.
Our primary and secondary schools are also having fund raising projects. We give these funds freely and know you will use them in the best ways possible.
Please keep in touch.
Yours in Rotary,
Howard A. Leister, M.D.
President elect, The Rotary Club of Newtown, Pa., U.S.A.
Thank you R C - Newtown.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Acknowledgment of Contributors

When this weblog was created the day after tsunami tore coastal Sri Lanka, we did not expect such generous and considerate offers of assistance as we got to pour in our way from all over the world. Assistance came in the form of cash, skilled volunteers, medicines, food, water purification systems and temporary shelter.
Up to now we have got pledges amounting to UDS 424,500, and a listing of funds realized at the bank is published at

Regency is gratful to each and everyone who helped us in various forms, and sent encouraging messages. Without their help, we could not have reached out to so many people as we did with immediate relief supplies, and now with our plans to participate in Sri Lanka's major reconstruction projects.

Friday, February 25, 2005

"Waves of Hope" - two months after tsunami

The fundraiser-"Waves of Hope", organized by the Rotary and the Rotaract Clubs of Toronto - Don Valley is scheduled for February 26th. Funds will be raised through a silent auction to benefit the tsunami affected children in Sri Lanka.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, February 26 starting at 6:00 PM at - Ramada Hotel and Conference Centre, Yorkland Ballroom, 185 Yorkland Blvd, Toronto.

For event details, please contact Rtr Chanel Choi, President, Rotaract Club of Toronto - Don Valley at e-mail -

Regency thanks the Rotaractors and Rotarians of Toronto - Don Valley for their support.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Contribution from Eastern Connecticut State University, USA

Eastern Connecticut State University, USA was home to several Regency members during their undergraduate studies. We left the campus over 12 years ago, but kept in touch with the faculty. When the tsunami hit Sri Lanka, they were one of the earliest to write to us. Subsequently they contributed a sum of USD 1,384 towards our relief activities with the accompanying note-
"Please know that our thoughts are with you, other Eastern alumni and your fellow Sri Lankans who have been impacted directly or otherwise by this disaster. We hope that this contribution will assist in the relief efforts.... "
Regency thanks the faculty, students and the staff of Eastern for their thoughtful contribution.
- Tharanga Gunaratne.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Dental Health Camp in Trincomalee

A special dental health camp was held at Kuchchaveli Rural Hospital in Trincomalee on February 13th. Nearly 150 tsunami affected people including children who are in temporary camps were treated by the team of 27 Doctors lead by the Head of the Pediatric Dentistry of the Paradeniya Unniversity, Past District Governor Dr. V. Vijayakumaran. The camp was sponsored by Regency.

The dental camp was appreciated by the people, as dental care is not available in this area, and they have to travel approximately 40km for treatment.

Zagreb Open Tennis Tournament in support of Regency's Schools Project

The tournament was held on February 12th successfully, and Rotarian Tomislav Maravic sent us the following message:

Dear friends,
We had our first International Tennis Fellowship of Rotarians (ITFR) Tournament on Saturday and it was a great success.

(Text removed) ...... we'll transfer a total of $10,000 to Sri Lanka. That money will be used to rebuild one kindergarten. That will be our second donation to Sri Lanka (we have already sent $5,000 in December), and I hope we'll continue to help (at the moment we have 10 members from Sri Lanka)

(Text removed. Please visit the web site - for infomation of the tournament, and photos) We can all be proud of that and I want to thank to all of you for the support and help which made it possible.

Yours in Rotary
Tomislav Maravic, ITFR Chairman

Regency thanks Rtn Tomislav, ITFR, members of Rotary Clubs - Zagreb Centar, Zagreb and Hvar, the players and guests who participated in the tournament to raise funds for our schools project.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Housing and School Reconstruction Projects

A group of Regency members consisting of President Mario, Altaf and Thilal visited Batticaloa to inspect the site for the housing project and to meet with the project partners, authorities and the people to be resettled. The magnitude of the distraction is evident from the photographs.

The group also inspected the destroyed school to be reconstructed. The photographs portray the intensity of the damage to buildings and facilities of the school.

The research team from ACNeilsen resumed the need analysis study to assess and understand the actual needs of the people we will be serving. The team engaged in focused group discussions tirelessly. Their report will be available by end February, and we will consider these findings when finalizing the project proposals.

Revisiting Batticaloa

A group of Regency members consisting of President Mario, Altaf and Thilal visited Batticaloa on February 12th to inspect the site for the housing and the school reconstruction projects.

During the visit, the group distributed stoves, cooking utensils, biscuits, chocolates and toys to those in temporary shelters along the main road in Kalawanchikudy. The toys were sent from donors in Australia. Biscuits and chocolates were distributed at two camps (Dutch Bar camp and the Rotary camp run by RC Batticaloa.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Restarting Livelihood of Fisherman in Pottuvil

A sum Rs. 500,000 was channelled through Regency to purchase outboard motors to revive the livelihood of fisherman in Pottuvil. The relief activities for these fishermen are overseen by the Pottuvil and Arugam Bay Fisherman’s Association, a registered organization for providing relief. The Association was initiated by Charlie Anderson, a British national who was holidaying in Sri Lanka at the time of the disaster. He decided to stay on to help with relief efforts.

Outboard motors had been an urgent need to revive the disrupted livelihoods of fisherman. Hence, Charlie made a request through Joe Dacanay and Caroline Upton of Rotary Club of Napa Valley in California, who were volunteering in Pottuvil for these items. Napa Valley Club contributed US$5,000 (approx Rs.500,000) to our relief efforts, and this was in turn channelled towards the purchase of the outboard motors. Rotary contribution towards fulfilling the total requirement of 5 outboard motors at a cost of Rs. 135,000 each was 75%. Considering that each boat that goes out to sea will carry 4 to 5 persons, it is hoped that at least 20-25 families have been given the opportunity to start earning an income once again.

Regency thanks Joe and Caroline and the Rotary Club of Napa Valley for their contribution.
Further information on Joe and Caroline's visit is at

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Have a Heart for Sri Lanka – an online fundraiser

An on-line fundraiser to benefit the affected people of Sri Lanka in the post tsunami times was launched by the voluntary oranization - Feast2Feed, an affiliate of TeleFood, an anti-hunger campaign of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The funds raised will be channelled through TeleFood’s programes in Sri Lanka to fund self-help small-scale projects. For more information on this fundraiser, visit -

Programmes of Telefood has changed the lives of many hunger-struck regions, having implemented 1,750 projects in 124 countries. More information on Telefood is available at -

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Waves of Hope - Fundraiser in Toronto

The Rotaract Club and the Rotary Club of Toronto - Don Valley will be presenting "Waves of Hope" a fundraiser to benefit the affected children in Sri Lanka. The event scheduled for Saturday, February 26 starting at 6:00 PM will be held at - Ramada Hotel and Conference Centre, Yorkland Ballroom, 185 Yorkland Blvd, Toronto.

Programme consists of Cocktails, Dinner, and a Silent Auction. For event details, please contact
Rtr Chanel Choi, President, Rotaract Club of Toronto - Don Valley. e-mail -

Regency thanks the Rotaractors and Rotarians of Toronto - Don Valley for their support.

Changes in blog responsibility

This is Harsha; the person who was responsible for updating the blog up to now. I will be away for a few weeks on work and thought it would be a good time to handover the responsibility to someone else. So, Tharanga will take over from me.

I think our blog made a significant impact in our efforts to raise funds and at the same time in being transparent in what we were doing with the funds collected. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who contributed to making the blog a success; that includes those who sent me stories and pictures and the tens of thousands who visited our site. Special thanks to Indrajit Samarajiva who introduced us to blogging in November!

I apologise for being a nuisance to some by asking for photos and acknowledgements to be posted on the site. I hope we will be able to update the remaining gaps soon.

Harsha de Silva

Thank you, City of Pittsburg, Kansas

Ananda Jayawardhana, associate prof of mathematics at Pittsburg 
in Kansas, spearheaded the fund raising campaign.
He extends his heartfelt appreciation to
Pittsburg State University
faculty, staff, students, retired faculty and staff, and the
community and their friends and relatives for their kind donations
to this project.
He also extends his deepest appreciation to the
members of
Pittsburg Sunrise Rotary Club for their contributions,
fund raising efforts, and
encouragement. Special thanks to President
Anissa Lomshek, Treasurer
Vicki Dennett, and executive committee
Pittsburg Sunrise Rotary Club has already raised more than USD 5000
for the Sri Vinayagar Vidyalaya project. It wishes all the best to the

Regency Rotary Club.

Rebecca wants to help Read Write Sri Lanka

Rebecca Borjs, the 11 year old girl who made the headlines in Sri Lankan news papers with her generous donation of USD 5.00 is all excited to help raise funds and backpacks for Read Write Sri Lanka [RWSL], to help our children continue with their education. Imalka Senadhira of RWSL wrote a thank you letter to Rebecca, as soon as she saw the article in the newspaper. [see the RW SL link for the Daily Mirror stories]

Her letter said, "I was delighted to see your letter and to hear about your wonderful contribution, in the Sri Lanka newspapers. You made the headlines! What a special girl ...I think large hearted girls like you, will enjoy reading about the work I am doing to help the children of Sri Lanka. I have a 13 year old daughter, and she helps me with most of the work... Thank you once again for your generous contribution, it will help our people so much, and has already made every Sri Lankan very happy today."

Imalka had a call from Rebecca's mother soon after she received the letter and said how excited they all were to receive it! She received the letter in school and was able to read in front of her whole class! She now, wants to get her school involved in RWSL and who knows? She might be in Sri Lanka to distribute supplies personally!

Well done Rebecca.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

RCCR is a good example...

This month's LT [Leisure Times] has an intersting story that referes to us as a "fully local example" of how a ordinary people made a difference in helping the tsunami victims using simple technology. Read the story in the LT in the "united we stand" piece.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Zagreb Open Tennis in support of our school project

Rotarian Tomislav Maravic, a good friend of our incoming President Shantha has been one of our continuous supporters. He has been raising and transferring funds for the relief efforts almost from day one.

Tomislav, who is the President of ITFR [International Tennis Fellowship of Rotarians] had over the last few weeks been busy organizing the ITFR Tournament: Zagreb Open 2005. It is scheduled for the 12 February. Sign in starts at 9:00 AM on at Tenis Dvorana Podsused in Zagreb, Croatia. For more details please go to the ITFR site.

The tournament has already attracted more then 40 players and more then 50 Rotarians on site. It is expected to raise more then USD 3,000 for the tsunami victims in
Sri Lanka and three Rotary clubs [Zagreb Centar, Zagreb and Hvar] have already collected around USD 7,000 and they plan to add the same to the tournament proceeds for our school project in Sri Lanka.

Thank you to Tomislav and all your colleagues for your immense support. It is appreciated.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

We finally get a school to rebuild

Chamila, who is our lead on the school project has sent this note:

"Re-building What Cannot be Destroyed: Rotary School AID
The Rotary District (RID 3220) has been given the task of rebuilding

22 schools in
Sri Lanka. These schools have in turn been allocated to
clubs in the district. The Rotary Club of Colombo Regency has been
chosen as a lead club and given the duty of reconstructing
Sri Vinayagar Vidyalaya in the Batticaloa
. It has 468 students.

The time line set by the district requires bill of quantities to

be furnished by the 15th of February and contract award by 1st March.
Foundation laying ceremonies are to be held by at least 15th March,
and completion of schools by at least 1st Dec ( so that it can be
formally handed over to the Ministry of Education).

The final objective is not only to build the school, but to
equip it at
a standard far better than it was prior to the

Cuddles for our children all the way from Alaska!

This is a letter Imalka from our Read Write Sri Lanka project got the other day with a whole lot of cuddles for our displaced kids. The gifts will arrive in the first consignment of the current phase of the project.

"I am writing to you from Badger Road Elementary, North Pole, Alaska. In response to the recent tsunami disaster our entire school established a gift fund raiser for orphan children in Sri Lanka. Students came up with the idea to bring in a new stuffed animal and write a brief note to attach to each animal to send to affected children. The out-pouring of generosity and concern expressed by our students has been amazing. The tsunami disaster has had a very emotional impact on our students and they were excited about doing their part to help other children."

Mrs Billie Murdoch
Badger Road Elementary School, North Pole, Alaska

Thank you Mrs Murdoch and all the kids for keeping our world a small place.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Intermediate relief programme

President Mario will soon announce the intermediate programme.

In the meantime I have updated the expenditure of USD 13,868 on the programme thus far. Responsibility for decisions on what to purchase [based on requests] lie with the intermediate relief committee consisting of Rotarians Bary, Altaf and President Mario. Distribution is being undertaken by Rotarians or trusted friends, who's names have been provided in the updates.

See posts below for the items purchased and distributed by area.

Update of intermediate item distributions: Moratuwa

Cost, LKR Cost, USD
Lad underwear
750 pcs
18,000 182
100 pcs
13,000 131
200 pcs

Milk food
250 packs
28,750 290

59,750 604
Responsibility for distribution: Rotarian Rasin
Responsibility at RCCR: Bary Jaleel [Towels donated from HongKong]

Update of intermediate item distributions: Galle

Cost, LKR Cost, USD
39,000 394
Aluminium kettles
69,000 697
45,000 455
Kerosine stoves
262,500 2,652
Bed sheets
37,500 379
Aluminium jug
22,500 227
School bag
90,000 909
11,550 117
Underwear men
15,000 152
7,500 76

599,550 6,056

Responsible for distribution: Mrs Junaid
Responsible at RCCR: Bary Jaleel. Kerosene stoves and school bags not yet provided.

Update of intermediate item distributions: Akkaraipattu

Cost, LKR Cost, USD
Kerosene cookers
72 pcs
63,000 636
Hurricane lanterns
50 pcs
16,750 169
Mosquito nets
50 pcs
20,000 202
130,000 1,313

229,750 2,321

Responsibility for Distribution: Mr Rajindra
Responsibility at RCCR: Bary Jaleel [Toilets -portable- not yet provided].

Update of intermediate item distributions: Matara

Cost, LKR Cost, USD
39,000 394
39,500 399
Milk food
115,000 1,162
20,000 202

213,500 2,157

Responsibility for distribution: Mr Sagala Ratnanayake
Responsibility at RCCR: Bary Jaleel

Update of intermediate item distributions: Pottuvil

Cost, LKR Cost, USD
Soya, 200gr
3,000 packs 60,000 606
Sprats, 500gr
2,250 packs 210,375 2,125

270,375 2,731

Responsibility for distribution: Mr Savantha de Saram
Responsibility at RCCR: Bary Jaleel

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Regency matches Kouriar Aid Austria with SAPSRI, Sri Lanka

Austrian NGO Kourier Aid [KA] had come to us through Florian Dremmer, a Rotarian from RC Vienna Point [which by the way has helped us tremedously]with a plan to reconstruct a village of 300 houses, roads, and other facilities in Habaraduwa, Southern Sri Lanka. President Mario has matched them with SAPSri who were looking out for partners to do exactly the same thing. We understand that KA will be funding the construction while SAPSri will be coordinating the labour and other human resources needs.