May 27, 2020
In the mind of Sripriya, CERI has a beautiful opportunity to make a difference.
Having spent part of her own life in CERI’s foster care program in Sri Lanka, Sripriya thought about how children in foster care today, given the scope of the coronavirus pandemic, would have even greater difficulty getting what they need during the country’s lockdown.
The spread of COVID-19 has left many scars in the lives of people physically and otherwise. Though the medical impact in Sri Lanka is no more severe than that of other countries, it has affected everyday life drastically. About 60% of the population is depending on daily wages, and so hunger and poverty have become more significant threats to the lives of Sri Lanka’s people, in addition to the disease.
Like elsewhere in the world, unemployment in Sripriya’s country has become a disaster of its own in an ever-evolving, global pandemic. So far, however, she has been able to keep her job as a temporary lecturer at Jaffna University on the northern coast of Sri Lanka.
That job has provided not only for Sripriya, but now for others through her generosity. That’s because, when she began to think of children today much like the child she once was, Sripriya decided to return to our office in Sri Lanka and give food to the children in CERI’s programs. Even though she does not yet have a permanent job herself, her own life experiences led her to donate in a time when nothing is certain.
Sripriya has admitted how supportive CERI was during her schooling period. At age 11, she lost her father to a treatable medical condition, then her mother in Sri Lanka’s 2004 tsunami. After briefly moving in with her aunt before realizing the situation would be financially unsustainable, Sripriya came to CERI’s foster care program in Sri Lanka.
After six years in the program, Sripriya saved $800 using principles she learned through CERI, allowing her to purchase the books and tutoring she needed to take the “Advance Level Exam” as part of her education before university. Out of 10,000 students, Sripriya had the 18th highest score; she was accepted into the business program at the Jaffna University, where she now teaches.
Sripriya is thankful to God for giving her the opportunity to assist families in her community who are fighting this pandemic just like she is. It was even said that she has been thinking of becoming a permanent donor once she finds steady work. Her life today shows that although she has grown up, Sripriya remains part of the CERI family.