Helabima Educational fund
The world's fifth-largest quake in a century hit Southern Asia on 26th December 2004 unleashing a tsunami that crashed into Sri Lanka , India and a few other neighbouring countries killed more than 200,000 people and left a further million injured and homeless in Sri Lanka and other neighbouring countries . After emergency relief efforts ended and headlines have faded, the time has come to address long-term rebuilding projects, to cater to the needs that have arisen due to this grave disaster. According to statistics, more than 1,100 children lost both parents and more than 4,000 children lost at least one of their parents. The Helabima Organisation, in co-ordination with the Dharma Vijaya Foundation (DVF), decided to support children who lost their guardians through launching a Scholarship Scheme in order to brighten their future
Objective of the Scholarship Scheme
The objective of this scheme is to ensure the future of the children in the age group of 5 to 18, under guidelines set out by the National Children's Protection Authority of Sri Lanka. It has been decided to pay Sri Lanka Rupees 1,000 per month to each selected child until he/she reaches 18 years of age.
Operation in Sri Lanka Co-ordination
The DVF is co-ordinating with their regional divisions and other non-governmental organisations operating in Tsunami-affected areas. They have selected 56 children under strict guidelines, with the support of school principals and village leaders, in order to avoid duplications, misinformation etc. Monitoring The DVF undertook the responsibility of monitoring the condition and the performance of each child by collaborating with regional divisions and school principals. Currently, they are monitoring the children's performance twice a year and provide guidance for any improvements, if necessary. Distributing scholarships The National Savings Bank of Sri Lanka has opened an account for each selected child and has, each month, been crediting to each child's account the amount of Rs. 1,000. Funding for the Scheme The Helabima Organisation undertook the responsibility for funding for all 56 children before the end of the year 2006. The National Savings Bank agrees to pay an 8% interest rate for the deposits on the basis of fixed deposit. This scholarship fund is designed in “capitol diminishing method”, that is, at the end of the 13-year period (from 5 to 18 years) there is no money in the fund. The amount of money per child is dependent on the age and grade in which the child is currently studying. The total cost for the scheme is Sri Lankan Rupees 4, 282,686
Current Status of the Scheme
The DVF completed the rigorous selection process by the end of April 2005 and selected the well-deserved 56 children by physically investigating their condition. The fund raising project of the scholarship scheme was successfully inaugurated on 17 May 2005 with the participation of group of kind-hearted Sri Lankan artists who have performed in the musical show staged at Al Nasr Leisure Land – Dubai , UAE At the end of May 2006, Sri Lankan Rupees 3,510,253 has been transferred to the scholarship fund account. This amount is equivalent to the UAE Dirhams 128, 957 that were collected from various fund-raising events conducted by the Helabima Organisation within the UAE. The DVF is currently maintaining the personal files for each child containing all their information and is in the process of sending a copy of these files to the Helabima Organisation in the UAE for the information of the sponsors. The Helabima Organisation will update these files on a regular basis. There are sponsors who, upon undertaking the full sponsorship of some children, have already visited those children. We are happy to announce that the feedback received from them was very positive.
An annual educational trip has been planned with all 56 children and their parents / guardians, the DVF and Helabima members to promote communication between all parties. The first trip is scheduled on 9 th June 2006 to visit the Museum, the Zoo, the Parliament and other important locations in Colombo , the capital of Sri Lanka . The Second of the same kind was successfully concluded in September 2007 at the Aqua Park – Avissawella which was sponsored by one of the long term Helebima contributor.