Executive Director Patrick Harrigan
Patrick Harrigan is a world class researcher on the Kataragama shrine and Sri Lanka religious studies. He has been residing in Sri Lanka for twenty years, although his involvement in the country goes back to 1971. Recently his focus has been on Internet publishing; he is the webmaster of dozens of web sites. After the Tsunami, Patrick turned his focus to the East Coast, an area which he knows very well having led the Kataragama Pada Yatra foot pilgrimage annually since 1988. A native English speaker, Patrick is also conversant in Tamil, Sinhala and German.
Visions of Hope / Nava Shakti Project Founder Dinah Barton
Dinah Barton has spent much of the past decade living in India and Sri Lanka as a practicing homeopath, while studying yoga and helping needy children. She was the founder and first Director of the Visions of Hope Project that currently serves 75 Tsunami affected children of Pandiruppu adjoining Kalmunai. Dinah is now in the UK completing her homeopathy degree course while still actively supporting SLCT activities as a 'virtual volunteer' via Internet.
Disabilities and IT activist S. Śrī Kanthan
Selvaratnam Srikanthan is a native of Koslanda, a village in the hill country of Badulla District. Srikanthan, his younger brother Chandrakanth, and their older sister Prema all suffer from the same debilitating genetic disorder (dwarfism). Despite his physical handicap, Srikanthan travels ceaselessly. He is the owner & proprietor of the Koslanda Rural Knowledge Center and Founder of the Hill Country Disability Group. Since 2006 when he was nominated to the Board of the Sri Lanka Children's Trust, he has worked tirelessly on behalf of handicapped families in the Hill Country and all over Sri Lanka. In August 2007 he was honored in New Delhi as a Fellow of the Jamsetji Tata National Virtual Academy.
Co-counseling Program Director Sushila Raja
Sushila Raja hails from Jaffna but served 35 years as a social worker in the UK before returning to Sri Lanka to treat Tsunami traumatized children through the concept of co-counseling whereby local animators are trained to help trauma victims to resolve issues that hinder their return to a fully healthy life. Sushila was a co-founder of Synergy Clubs across the North and East of Sri Lanka following the Tsunami. She now resides in Sri Lanka and is based out of our main base in Pandiruppu.
Volunteer Technical Consultant Bob Harwood
Bob Harwood of the UK is currently our only foreign volunteer serving in the Hill Country. Based at Koslanda, Bob teaches English & computer and does mobile project work, especially with the Hill Country Disability Group, on his motorbike. Earlier Bob worked some twenty years in the printing industry in the UK, before doing social work in France and the USA, and has served three years in India with projects like 'Reaching the Unreached'.
Nava Shakti Project Manager: S. Vinayagamoorthy
S. Vinayagamoorthy or 'Moorthy' as he is best known, hails from Hatton in the Hill Country. Despite his lack of formal education, Moorthy has acquired proficiency through experience in spoken English, bookkeeping, and hotel management--and he is an accomplished chef as well. Amicable, hard working and worthy of his wide ranging responsibilities, Moorthy single handedly manages our Trust's biggest project, the Visions of Hope Project serving 75 Tsunami affected children age 4-14 with eight teachers and staff.
Pandiruppu House Manager: Mrs. P. Sandanapillai
Sandana Amma, as she is best known to villagers all up and down the east coast of Sri Lanka, is our indefatiguable and outspoken Tamil 'mother' who sustains and entertains every volunteer or visitor. Her sharp wit and village humour pricks even those who do not understand her native Tamil. Woe to the visitor who presumes that Sandana Amma is only a cook!
Volunteer TESOL Teacher: Helen Downham
Like Bob Harwood, Helen Downham also came to us through the TEFL.com Professional Network. A qualified Teacher of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Helen teaches English to Tsunami-affected children and staff of the Visions of Hope Project on the east coast of Sri Lanka since April 2008. Helen also teaches VoH children swimming, basic computer, and digital photography.
SLCT Board members
The Sri Lanka Children's Trust works in close partnership with the Rural Knowledge Community Centre or Nanasala in Koslanda. For more information see their web site: www.nanasala.org
Key volunteer support
The Sri Lanka Children's Trust relies on the skills and expertise of its international volunteers. Please go to the volunteers page if you are interested in joining us either as a "virtual volunteer" serving in your home country, or as an in-country volunteer serving in Sri Lanka.
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