Our journey of hope.
A decade of tangible providential experiences continue to lead us in serving the humanitarian cause entrusted in the journey.
"Whatever you do to the least of my brother, you do it to me"
Jesus Mt 25:40.
A decade ago, in june 1987, we were moved to begin this journey with few men, women and children who belonged to a disadvantaged community in our town, Jaela.
Looking back today, we see how our small acts of charity, had prepared the foundational work of the journey.
What we really did was to meet with them on sunday evenings where we built relationships. In this process we visited them in their shanty homes, obliged to drink a cup of tea offered by them, visited their sick in hospitals and attended their funerals. We enjoyed a happy fellowship with them with our families, as we shared a christmas meal on the christmas day, 1988, in their shanty environment. They too were very happy indeed as such a sharing was beyond their expectations.
We see this period of nearly four years, as one of preparation for us and for them. We were moulded in our attitudes, values and concepts in favour of them and we realised that we had a permanent role to play in their development. As we knew that we had to begin from somewhere, we were sincerely planning a valiable strategy to suit the areas of development that we had discovered. We needed land and money.
Our tangible experience was that providence was quicker than we expected in providing our early basic needs. Our appeals for funds were quickly answered. In 1991, we were able to constuct a center with a well equipped pre-school in a 23 perch block of land in the heart of the town, Jaela, where most of our people live and work.
In our deliberations we discoveredthat the development need to begin with the education of the children as their elders had traditionally missed this basic opportunity.
On the 10th of june 1991, we were very happy as our simple but determined efforts were rewarded by the commencement of the pre-school for thirty children from among these families. Further, the parents too found their way to the center on sunday evenings, where they were guided by a life education programme.
Pre-school children 1991-1992
Our early action did not end there, we provided a study assistance programme in the afternoons to those who were privilegied to go to schools, as they did not have the study facilities in their shanty environment and as their parents were unable to provide with such assistance.
The parents were happy, we were happier due to the fact that most of the children would have missed education for life if not for the motivation and facilitation rendered for their pre-school education.
The pre-school building.
By then we had a social identity as we formed ourselves into a legal trust. That is how we were christened as the Brotherhood of Hope Trust. Among our founder trustees were Rev. Fr. Dalston Forbes OMI, a theologian and a lover of the poor, who assisted us in our early activities as our consultant.
Archbishop of Colombo Rt. Rev. Dr. N.M. Fernando,
Rev. Dr. Delston Forbes and Martin Costa at the opening of Purnodaya - 1994.
Our thrust over their development was education and as the pre-school continued yearly, along with the education of the parents, we felt the need to expand our activities more comprehensively . We needed a little more land as well as money. The adjoining land was smiling at us but not the money.
Again our determinated efforts found the way, where the providential hand was very tangible. We had the land by the end of 1993, we had a one storied building, that we named "Purnodaya" which means total development.
Comprehensive education development programme.
From January 1994, we commenced a Comprehensive education development programme, admitting thirty children, ages 7 to 14 years. This programme is targeted over a period of ten years in our development process, and basically designed to assist the school going children in their curricular activities and development of their hidden aesthetic skills nd Personalities. This programme continues very progressively, giving our children better hopes for their future. Though there is a demand for admission into this programme, presently we find it difficult, yet in January 1998, we admitted seven more children from those who had gone through our pre-school.
We have already thought ahead, of the families and children involved with us.
We were able to buy a 200 perch block of marsh land, about two kilometres from the center, where motivation and facilitation are needed for more similar families and children in the area of their basic education.
At the moment this marsh land is being developed with plans to build a pre-school and a center and later a housing project.
The Chapel is on the top of the new building
Our on going programmes.
Pre-school education programme from 8:30 to 11:30 am.
Comprehensive education development programme on week days from 3 to 7 pm.
Whitin this programme, the children are assisted in preparing their curricular work for the next school day. The periods are so arranged to teach and assist them in developing their aesthetic skills.
A library session on saturdays, to develop their reading, understanding and general knowledge.
The bigger girls are assisted through a course in fabric paintings, as a preview for self-employment.
A resident children programme on an experimental basis with the collaboration of the parents.
Three day live in seminar every three months for children over ten years, guiding them in general living, punctuality, cleanliness, personal care, leadership, maturity, community living ect.
These children are daily provided with a nutritious meal as we have felt the great need to do so.
The children find occasion to exhibit their developed talents in drama, music, song, dancing, physical display and humour at the christmas celebrations which have become an annual feature since 1991. Our welwishers, friends and the parents who proudly continue to participate in the events, speak of the degree of development they continue to see in the children. It is a surprise to their parents.
A significant encounter.
We were fortunate to have encountered the spirit and vision of Father Joseph Wresinki, founder, international movement ATD Fourth World in 1995. His birth nd growth in the midst of extreme poverty and his struggle to overcome is a beacon to our children as well as to us who guide them.
The children have formed into a "Joseph Wresinski Youth Front" where they meet weekly to study his life, spirit and vision under guidance as the children see his life in parallel to their very lives and as they see hopes to overcome through his way.
Our human ressources.
Love, dedication, commitment are our basic ressources. We have three resident teachers, two visiting teachers, two young adults, who have come up within our development process and myself shouldering the development programmes.
We have no profit generating projects and have been running our affairs through the benevolence of donors, big and small, who came in our way from time to time.
As we sincerely thank our donors, with gratitude we remind them that through their generosity that the children of hope are marching their journey of hope, guided by the brotherhood and a live haven shall continue to exist for many more such children to march their journey of hope for life.
A call to invest.
We want to hold on to the children and families and guide them to maturity lest they face the fate of their kith and kin, and we wish that some of these children to take responsability as future leaders in the brotherhood, leading many others like them in life.
To serve this worthy cause we need your help, this great ideal entrusted to us can bear fruits in the lives of the children, only when our efforts are coined with your generous financial assistance.
"It is not fair that some people are poor. All children and their families should be happy. If we get together, we can change things. "
Fr. Joseph Wresinski.
D.E. Martin Costa - Founder chairman
Office : Center :
31, Major Lalaka Fernando Mawatha Purnodaya
Kapuwatte - Jaela 28, Chandra Place - Jaela
Jaela Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka Tel / Fax : (94.1).23.33.83.
Tel / Fax : (94.1).23.67.76.
İBrotherhood of hoop and trust.2000.
Update : 12/10/2000