The saying goes that, “It takes a village to raise a child”. This is especially true when the child is being born into difficult circumstances. In the rural Sri Lankan village of Lindula, the reality is that unmarried young women who find themselves pregnant are often cast out from society. This effectively cuts them off from any support they might find from their family or within the village community.
The people who live in Lindula are already among the most marginalized in Sri Lanka, since the majority are of Indian descent and are day workers at the tea plantations. If they don’t work, they don’t get paid. What little they make at the tea plantations is barely enough to provide basic necessities for themselves and their families. Because of the remote location of the village, access to social services like education or medical care is limited or non-existent.
Through the work of Fellowship International missionary Ronald Jeyaseelan and his team of local church members and pastors, a preschool was established in Lindula called Hannah Montessori. The Lindula preschool, along with two other preschool locations are what make up the Love Trust Fellowship Child Sponsorship ministry in Sri Lanka. Preschool-aged children of the tea plantation workers are not only given access to education they couldn’t get otherwise, but they also hear the Gospel and learn their value as children of God.
In many ways, the building where Hannah Montessori operates is the heart of the village. It’s here that the local church meets, provides sewing vocational training to women, and recently has been distributing basic food supplies to those most affected by COVID-19 restrictions. For such a well-used building, it is in desperate need of repairs and expansion. Making this happen would also allow the local church to provide additional supports and services and host community outreach events.
Through the Heart of the Village special appeal, FAIR is partnering with Ronald Jeyaseelan and his team on the ground in Sri Lanka. The goal is to raise $85,000 to expand the holistic nature of the Love Trust ministry to include the mother. Funds raised through the Heart of the Village appeal will be used in three interconnected areas of expansion designed to improve the building and maximize the impact on the lives of both mother and child.
Area one is the planned renovations to the existing building, which includes the addition and outfitting of a large recreational/church space, prenatal care room and vocational training room as well as improvements to the preschool facilities. Area two of the Heart of the Village appeal is acquiring the resources and labour related to the launch of a prenatal education and food support program for pregnant women, and vocational training to empower the women of Lindula to increase their income and ability to support themselves and their families. Area three is the provision of support to the Love Trust Fellowship Child Sponsorship program at all three Sri Lanka locations as it transitions to being funded by sponsors.
FAIR believes that by supporting and empowering the pregnant women of Lindula, especially those who have been outcast, we are investing in two lives. Through the Heart of the Village appeal, we are inviting you to be the global “village” that helps raise up marginalized mothers and their children. You can also commit to being a Love Trust child sponsor at $35 per month. Would you prayerfully consider how the Lord is calling you to respond to this appeal?