Case Story – Selvanayagam Vithushan

Vithushan, born on September 2, 1999 is a 12 year old child studying in grade 6 at Anaikkoddai Balasubramaniam Maha Vithyalayam.During the final stages of the armed conflict in the Vanni, Vithushan lost all his immediate family members namely, his father, mother, brother and two sisters at Mathalan on March 3, 2009.


Glorious Jaffna “Let’s put a bit of Jaffna into our lives” aims to help the war effected children to uplift their educational standards. Selvanayagam Vithusan was one such child who was absorbed to the Educational Sponsorship Programme. Since August Vithushan’s educational needs were provided by Glorious Jaffna “Let’s put a bit of Jaffna into our lives”. Educational sponsorship has been provided for him in the following 5 categories.

Books                       : Text books, extra reading material which are not provided by the     


Stationery                :  Pencils, erasers, compass boxes etc

Catchup Education  : Tuition classes are given to cover missed areas of syllabus

Extra Coaching        : For special talents like Music, Art, Dancing, Sports etc

Savings                   : Minimum of LKR 500 will be deposited as savings.

Fortunately for Vithushan, his Mother’s Sister, Theresa (present Guardian) brought him to Arunachalam Welfare Centre in Vavuniya where they lived until October 2009. Since, Theresa owned a land in Anaikkoddai, Jaffna, they were released from the camp for resettlement, so that, they could put up a temporary shelter and live on, till they received a permanent house from the Government with World Bank funding via normal process.



 Today, Vithushan has a beautiful house to live in which his Mother’s Sister has built with the funds she has received from the World Bank.


In March 2011, when we first visited Vithushan, he did not show any interest in studies and did not attend school regularly due to poverty as his Guardian Theresa was struggling to meet the demands of the household with the earnings from  a small grocery shop that she operated. At the time, all what Vithushan had in his mind was to become a Mason like his father.

In August 2011, Vithushan started receiving his educational study pack and we observed that his school attendance was improving day by day. He joined evening classes and was occupied with his studies throughout the day.

Vithushan’s overall rating had dropped at the 2nd term exams but he is confident that he will perform better in the next term tests. He shows more interest in studies now and putting all his efforts to come out with improved average and ranking in class at the last term exams.

We could observe that Vithushan is fully engaged with his studies working hard with an objective to obtain better results in the next term tests.

Even though, he is not sure of what he wants to become now, his original intention of growing up as a Mason has faded off in his mind.

He is much naughtier than before and has requested for a push bicycle to facilitate his studies. Vithushan wants to be more independent & responsible and he believes that focusing on education will only help him out of the present situation that he and Theresa are in.

Glorious Jaffna “Let’s put a bit of Jaffna into our lives” will continue to provide assistance to innocent war effected children like Vithushan so that they will have a better future for their lives. By providing the necessary educational resources to children they will be on a equal stead with other children in the country and the relationship between the donor & child will broaden child’s perspective on people outside the Northern Province, which will ultimately minimize the possibility of communal violence in the future.





The Progress on the Educational Sponsorship Programme

The proper implementation of the programme started recently after getting the required approvals from the relevant government institutions. The distribution of the educational material for the 500 children was completed in September. It was carried out in the 15 DS Divisions in the Jaffna Peninsula with the participation of project officers from Asia Capital & Caritas. Educational materials were given to children in order to uplift their educational standards above norm. The educational materials were categorized according to 5 segments such as Books, Stationery, Catch up education, Extra coaching & Savings. Depending on each child’s requirement educational material were distributed among those 5 categories.  However each child receives educational goods worth of 2500 rupees. The overall objective of the programme is to make the children in this region on a comparable stead with the children from other parts of the country. Providing funding for Education will be the best source that can be used to achieve the above objective. Through this programme it will serve as a bridge between the children in the North and children elsewhere in the country, by that we could put a bit of Jaffna into our lives. The programme will be an example for other entities in the society to start similar community based programmes of this magnitude which will have a lasting impact on the community.


Educational Sponsorship for 500 Children

The Educational Sponsorship Programme started its next phase by starting to distribute Educational material for 500 children. One such distribution took place at the Chankanai DS division on the 26th of August with the participation of Project Officers from Asia Capital & Caritas. Out of the 49 children selected from this region 42 children were present to collect the Educational material. All of them received a stationery pack,tuition fees & support for extra coaching. Children will be greatly benefited from this educational support especially for the new school term which will be starting in September. Further it will be a great motivational factor for these children to do well in their studies to reach greater heights in education.


Beneficiary Assessment

A beneficiary assessment was conducted at Vadamaradchy East Assistant Government Agent (AGA) Office, Thalayady on Tuesday, June 28, 2011 from 03:00pm to 05:00pm.

This area is still considered a high security zone where mine clearance and resettlement is on going. Electricity has not been provided yet. Transport is a bottle neck with limited buses in service covering a very large area that was badly affected by the Tsunami in 2004 and civil war.

AGA Office provided a list of 26 potential beneficiaries for educational sponsorship and was invited for the initial assessment. Project briefing and individual assessment to identify and select the beneficiaries were jointly done by the AGA Office, Hudec-Caritas and AsiaCapital Plc staff.23 children were identified as eligible for the educational sponsorship and their family profiles are being compiled by Hudec-Caritas for submission to AGA Office for authorization by 

Area Military Commander, Education Department & the Governor and then be forwarded to ACP for the support.

Second assessment of Vadamaradchy East is scheduled for Thursday, June 30, 2011 at AGA Office, Kudathanai for 35 potential beneficiaries.

Note: Vadamaradchy East AGA Office is functioning from 2 locations as the Road via Nagar Kovil connecting Point Pedro to Maruthankerny is closed for demining


Final Assessment at Tellipali

The final assessment in Tellipalai division was carried out recently under the purview of Caritas and along with the project officers at Asia Capital PLC.



Yathusha & Thanu

Yathusha 8 years and Thanu 5 years are two vulnerable children who were identified and selected for the pilot educational sponsorship project launched under Asia Capital Plc’s CSR Programme in January 2011. Mr Manohan Nanayakkara, the Chairman of the Group of Companies initiated this sponsorship that is expected to cover 10,000 children in the North of Sri Lanka.

Yathusha & Thanu reside at Ward-2, Allapiddy in Velanai, which is the largest of 7 inhabited islands of Jaffna District, with the 3rd lowest density of population. Due to continuous transportation difficulties, security restrictions and scarcity of water for livelihood, the families remain unfortunate, poor and children malnourished.

They live in a temporary shelter supported by Sewa Lanka with access to washing water from a nearby common well. Jathusha and Thanu have a little brother of 3 years and their parents have no regular income to manage their day-to-day expenses. Their father, Mr Johnson Micheldo lost his leg in a land mine a few years back during the war and hence, he is unable to carry out his traditional carpentry work that brought him a regular income. Therefore, he had to look out for other avenues of employment and finally made a choice of catching sea leeches which was seasonable thus did not provide him with a regular income.

Now, Yathusha and Thanu are both receiving a monthly support worth Rs.2,500/00 each to cover their educational needs. This is provided to them through Asia Capital Plc’s implementing partner of the project, M/s. Caritas,Jaffna. This has been a turning point for Yathusha especially because she is very intelligent and anxious to learn, as Thanu is still attending the pre-school. Her class report and field staff reports indicated an impressive improvement of ranking from 22 to 12 within the last three months. Mean while, the burden on her mother has reduced to a large extent where the father’s income is now utilized fully to cover the other household expenditure. Hence, they are a happy family managing their affairs on their own.

Yathusha’s & Thanu’s sponsorship package includes stationery, educational work books, extra classes, etc based on the requests received from their class teacher amounting to Rs.2,000/00. A compulsory savings of Rs.500.00 per month is deposited to their minor’s savings account opened with NSB Jaffna for their future stability.

Yathusha is studying at Allapiddy Parasakthy Vidayalam, identified as one of the biggest school in the area that has almost all the basic facilities. However, the school lacks a play ground and play materials as well as teachers to cover all subjects offered.

Even though, the Donor is funding Yathusha & Thanu via Asia Capital Plc and Caritas Jaffna, the uniqueness of this project is the regular meetings held directly with Donor and family of the 2 children. The project believes that the understanding developed and relationship created will bring harmony among communities in the l

ong run and uplift the standards of the children and their families.

There has been good progress made by Yathusha since the Educational sponsorship was given to her. She has shown more likeness in attending school regularly during the last few months. She spends more time studying specially in the morning and also she makes sure to attend tuition classes in the evenings between 3.30 and 6 to improve further in her studies. She has improved in English, Tamil in the recently concluded exams. She is currently getting tuition for Mathematics,Tamil,English & Social Studies. Overall there are many positive signs shown by Yathusha towards her education since the sponsorship grant was given to her since January. Yathusha is greatly thankful to Asia Capital PLC for the opportunity given to her to carry out her studies without worrying about the financial constraints they were faced with before.



Glorious Jaffna -Review by Gaston de Rosayro

Among our tropical island’s localities which have been suffused for centuries by calm and contentment, Jaffna had been the beau ideal. Time was when its old-world charm and equally enchanting cultural traditions could seldom have been encountered anywhere on earth. The peninsula, with its quaint cadjan-thatched fences, picture-book villages and placid inlets and lagoons, was decidedly a composed macrocosm within our own delightful little universe. It was also a thriving commercial port where barges once plied the shallow Palk Strait between Jaffna and South India, ferrying tourists and tradesmen in addition to a variety of consumer goods.

From Jaffna they took tobacco, soap, betel-leaf, betel-nut, onions, potatoes, chillies and spices, to supply a massive demand in the neighbouring Indian marketplace. Jaffna was also the nation’s largest single grower of tobacco supplying more than 40 per cent of the country’s total output of the cured addictive leaf. But years of civil conflict had illuminated quite another side of its existence. The locale unexpectedly attained a larger than life role and was thrust into becoming a stage for much of the nation’s turbulent struggles for the last three decades or so. For Yarlpaanam –  in the recent past the fateful ring of its name had resounded with a discordant clash of cymbals. Nearly three decades of war had reduced the once-bustling northern trading post to virtual debris.

Glorious Jaffna is a captivating coffee-table pictorial that depicts a once tranquil district which became a springboard for a senseless secessionist conflict. It is also a tribute to a resilient people and picturesque milieu that had been transformed into a war-ravaged landscape of rebellion, rubble and ruin rising from the ashes.  The quality tome has been commissioned and published by Asia Capital PLC, the country’s largest investment bank, and the flagship of a diversified financial conglomerate. It is designed with the aim of funding both nutritional and educational children’s charities in the northern peninsula. Its humanitarian quest is decidedly a stirring trend-setting demonstration to remind and appeal to its corporate peers that the success of running their organisations comes not only raking in the shekels into their business coffers but in shelling out from their hearts.

Astonishingly, the tome’s production is entirely an in-house work of talent. Its contents in both text and photography are not the creation of professional essayists in either genre of the art but are the conception of two of the publishing conglomerate’s financial analysts Tharindu Amunugama and Sunela Samaranayake who are both skilful communicators. The text and captions by Sunela in keeping with the tenor of the publication are candidly uncomplicated with no room for misunderstanding. Her style is lucid and unpretentious as she adds flavour to the publication by providing a sprinkling of traditional Jaffna recipes that have for centuries tickled the taste-buds of residents and visitors alike.

Clearly, this magnum opus has propelled debutant lensman Tharindu Amunugama to leap-frog into the constellation of elite professionals. The notion of hope and human enterprise flows through the pages, forging several images and events with enlightening discernment.. Readers will not fail to perceive his ‘seeing eye’ that has in each photograph captured his every medium with the most brilliant expression. He has handled his subjects with an incisiveness and intellect indicative of the highly-tuned instincts of an extraordinarily talented photo-journalist. Tharindu’s work conveys the eclectic breadth and humanity of his photographic mind, combining an intricate mix of sensitivity and an almost imperceptible propensity for idyllic innovation.

The collection offers a veritable assortment of topics ranging from personality portraits to landscapes, devotees, places of religious worship, spices and its colourful culture and traditions.. The combination of elements here is powerfully expressive as his camera appears to pan into idyllic reverie, deftly embellishing those special elements of atmosphere and mood.

The publication is certain to be well-received by all communities particularly by Tamils who have always had an emotional, almost sentimental attachment to their motherland. Its creators hold out that hope that first-generation Tamils at least are likely to return now that a tangible peace has returned to Jaffna and capitalize on its traditional trade and cultural links with south India, which has immense possibilities for expansion.

The compilation swivels with images from the heart-warmingly happy to the starkly melancholy with a moving candour. Here the photographer as artist conjures up a cluster of personality portraits of ordinary yet dignified personages including the venerable profiles of the ruggedly grizzled patriarchs and stately grande dames of Jaffna society. One cannot but fail to be transfixed by the eloquent intensity of hope in their expressions instilled by their robust faith in simple religious values. The children are featured in harmonised composition that portrays them in fascinating allegories of laughter, high-spiritedness and blissful innocence that conveys a kind of seraphic sweetness. They are images that tug at the heartstrings and herein lie their appeal.

In many others he captures the dynamics of the work ethic, the hopes and expectations of a peninsula that stands to profit, now that a lasting peace has returned to the northern district. The pictures tell it all from Jaffna’s main township avenues, to its provincial village bazaars and byways that for decades have lost the benefit of the open economy. That is sadly because when the economy opened Jaffna closed. The illustrations weave a captivating mélange of enthralment, simplicity and timelessness into the pleasing tapestry of this pictorial mosaic. There are echoes in both text and picture everywhere of a hopeful ebullience of the rebirth of this cultural and commercial urban giant. The images unravel the story that the task of reconstruction will not be easy, but that the people do not seem dismayed. They have already set about the rebuilding process with rarely witnessed enthusiasm. The place is leaping back to life with an astonishing vitality.

Despite the years of death, devastation and decay it is poised for a blast-off along a capitalist trajectory, with the aim of hauling the great eastern and southern heartland along with it.

All proceeds from the sale of the book will go into the Educational Sponsorship Programme

Pictures from the book can be obtained from the following site:-



March 2019
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