Date : January 2018

Can you imagine living in Sri Lanka your whole life, but never having seen the ocean, or the tea gardens, or the wildlife this island is famous for? Though it may be hard for us to imagine this, it is the unfortunate reality that many thousands of people across Sri Lanka live with. This is especially so in remote villages, where opportunities for holistic education and exposure is limited.

But here at the Center of Hope, we believe in being agents of transformation, by helping people realize all that life has to offer. It is with this in mind that the leadership of the Center of Hope in Kaiveli took 45 young people from the northern village of Kaiveli in Mullaitivu on an exciting excursion to Nuwareliya, from 19 to 22 January 2018.

The group stayed at the Smyrna Fellowship in Nuwareliya, and visited Haggala Gardens, the Ambewela Factory, Lake Gregory and a strawberry farm, among other popular sites.

While the trip was a great experience for these 45 young people, providing the opportunity for fun and bonding activities, it was also very meaningful to them because many of them had never been outside their village before, and had, in fact, witnessed the war firsthand, at a very young age. Many of these young ones had, as a result, lost sight of a future for themselves. However, this trip helped to bring life and a fresh sense of hope to them.

“This is my first time in Nuwareliya – I have never been out of my village before, and I have never been this cold! Thank you for making this possible for me!” said a young man called Sageethan. The time we had with these young people enabled us to help them realize that they had much to offer when they returned to their village. We were thrilled to find many young ones expressing a desire to help out at the Center of Hope in Kaiveli by volunteering as Kidz Klubz teachers, and helpers at the vocational training programs that will be run at the Center.

We pray God’s very best over the future of these 45 precious young lives, even as they prepare to give back to their communities.