Yala Fund was set up after the 2004 Tsunami to help distressed families in the area around Yala National Park in south-eastern Sri Lanka. Yala's work has widened from the initial Tsunami aid to focus on the deprived and desperately poor of this area, mainly the children.
They repair broken down classrooms, build toilets, put in water supplies, buy shoes, textbooks and bicycles and award medical and study grants. They also provide much needed equipment and support for the local Tissamaharama Hospital.
PHAST Chief Executive Catherine Brogan has visited Sri Lanka to assess need and agree community empowerment projects. She and several other associates have given time and resources for free to work with the Yala Fund. in paticular PHAST funds five medical students through college, helps three orphanages providing funds for computers, workshop tools, improving the living conditions, and educational outings. PHAST has assisted schools by providing school uniforms, books, chairs and tables and stationary. PHAST has supported community projects to improve the quality of water and sanitation projects and projects which support women to earn money through growing and selling food.
Section taken from their annual report: We had another very successful year in which we built a community hall and school stage, put up school safety fences to protect children from traffic and built several playgrounds. We donated medical equipment to Hambantota hospital and gave grants for cataract surgery and spectacles for children.
PHAST donations to the Yala Fund have helped poor families by repairing and building homes and supplying water & electricity. We also contribute to their bursary programme helping students and school children to stay in education for longer. This aspect that PHAST is very keen on is growing strongly and becoming a bigger part of Yala Fund’s programme.
Next Steps: PHAST and PHAST associates donations will continue to provide small sums of money annually to support these projects which continue to thrive thanks to the work of Mr Tennakoon in Gampala and Mr John Ashton in Hambantota.