There is a thriving social environment around Washington, Maryland. There is nothing to think that a school child living in such an environment cannot get based on needs. But due to the limitations of human and physical resources, there are some children whose education is limited in a country like Sri Lanka.
How humanizing would it be if a project based on donation was started for the children of any country in the world who are unable to make their dreams a reality due to limited needs? The three American children born to Sri Lankan parents in this story will pave the way to such a turning point.
The Donate For Dreams organization of the three American children Rithma Premaratne (16), Savi Peiris (17) and Ovini Wijesundara (16) is also a wonderful tree of thoughts that arose with such a noble purpose in mind.
The difference is that they smell the flowers of that tree and generously donate its fruit.
Recently, these children from America are coming to Sri Lanka with their parents to give some comfort and the harvest of the Donate For Dreams project they started to the children who are thinking that they will not be able to get the real results of education due to the limited opportunities in our own country.
Rithma Premaratne, who is currently studying in grade 11, has grown up in America since childhood but speaks Sinhala very well due to her parents’ influence.
She recalled the beginning of this project as follows.
“Even though I live in America, I have visited Sri Lanka many times with my parents. During these visits, I joined various social activities with my parents. That’s why I felt the need to create a non-profit organization called Donate For Dreams and create a program that would help our friends who like to learn like me but whose opportunities are limited.”
For that, Rithma as well as Savi and Ovini have worked as hard as they can. They have collected dollars for Donate For Dreams by contacting their classmates, teachers, principals and relatives.
Parents have also given their generous contribution to this social care of children.
They chose Sri Lanka for the initial step and came to this country last July. That was the time when there was a severe shortage of fuel in this country.
Their first intention was to reach the Donate For Dreams goal despite the transportation difficulties.
This good deed was divided into several parts. One is donating their time and knowledge to children in need. The other is the material and physical donations they make from the money they have collected.
On July 8th, they went to Kegalle Vertex International School and held an education session for the children about America and its experiences. Mrs. Madhara Priyadarshani, the director of that school appreciated this program and recalled that this was a great opportunity for her school and students.
“These children shared education, attitudes and skills as well as experiences with the children of our school. We are very grateful to them for that. And she said that she hopes to work with them in the future.”
Donate For Dreams project then came to Kegalle Buddha Jayanthi Women’s Orphanage on July 9th. These children who went there did not forget to provide them with food and drinks and give them all the school materials and equipment they needed.
The warden of the women’s orphanage asked the Donate For Dreams organization to find organizations like ours and help them in this way.
The children of Donate For Dreams, who brought smiles to the faces of the homeless children by singing songs, came out of the place leaving gifts in their hands.
It was only after that that the children of Donate For Dreams came to Punewa Pahala Galkandegama Vidyalaya, a remote village about 250 km away from the city of Colombo.
It was their intention to be a helping hand to the children and their parents on that day who needed it.
This area, once affected by war, is still suffering from many hardships.
On behalf of Donate For Dreams, Rithma expressed her views there thanking the people who contributed to this cause in America, as well as the founder of the Asarana Sarana welfare society, chief thero of the Kiralawa temple, Udurawa Ngnaaninda, who provided organizational strength to distribute the school equipment needed by the children of this school in Punewa and the dry food items needed by their families and the teaching staff and the group including Aunty Anusha.
“We were really happy to see the smiles on their faces. When we did this work, we felt like we made them happy. Their smile is really a gift to us. We brought not only books, pans, shoes and other necessary things to give to these sisters and brothers, but also our love, affection, as well as the strength they need to face the challenges ahead”, Rithma told.
“These brothers and sisters are helping you with the theme of Donate For Dreams to make your dreams come true. I had flaws in my life, but the hope that came from those flaws is what made me successful. Therefore, sons and daughters, think that your shortcomings are not obstacles to achieving your future path but the path helping that.” Sumedha Premaratne, Rithma Premaratne’s father, said here.
On that day, Galkandegama college in Punewa got a drinking water tank. Seeing the smiles of the children who received it, the Donate For Dreams effort spread to the point of introducing a clean drinking water project for the entire area.
On July 12th, the Donate For Dreams social event was extended to Galkiriagama Gemunu Preschool. The Donate For Dreams children who went there were welcomed by the pre-school children with a variety show.
A Donate For Dreams founder Ovini Wijesundara commented on this and said that the cultural elements presented to us were very wonderful, despite the difficulties the children were facing at the place where the program was held.
“We enjoyed watching them. Also, they had a smile on their faces because of the stationery equipment and pre-school materials we gave them. In this whole program, we saw the smiles of those children at various places. Therefore, we have a humble pride about this journey that Donate For Dreams came to Sri Lanka.”
Children like this, who were happy to see the happy tears of the children, who donate even their own meals and smile despite the hardships of the journey to help, are an example for America, us and the whole world.
The support given by Donate For Dreams for children who think that they don’t have anything and limit their dreams to make those dreams come true is invaluable.