The Friendship Foundation is a Dutch foundation that focuses on helping people that are not always seen by the society. While especially these people often need a little extra attention. They support disabled children, disabled adult women and elderly people.
An important project of the Friendship Foundation is the daycare centre for disabled children. Disabled children have the opportunity to study at their own level. All classes are adjusted to the level of education of the children, from simple lessons to vocational skill training. But besides doing serious things at school, the children are able to play and have fun, which is very important for them. The children can do gardening, play games, dance and practice the national sport cricket.
Participation of the society
The Friendship Foundation focuses not only on the children but also on the participation of their parents and the environment. Parents receive information at the school and regularly they organize a market for the children where parents and residents are participating. This will raise awareness and make the children more social. It is wonderful to see how the children fulfil their role as a market merchant.
The Friendship Foundation also supports a number of local projects. This is done financially and through knowledge sharing. One of those projects is the Sarana handicap home. This is a shelter for mentally handicapped women. Here, they can live a more normal and social life with the right guidance. In addition, they support the Sarana retirement home. For example, they have renovated their building and improved hygiene, accessibility for the disabled and safety. Finally, the Bird's Nest, a shelter for abused girls, is supported by the Friendship Foundation.
The Friendship Foundation has an exit strategy for each project. This means that they will reduce their support step by step so the projects can eventually stand on their own feet. This is important because the projects do not always depend on the Friendship Foundation. In addition, by reducing their financial support, they save money which can be invested in new projects!
We spent a week at the Friendship Foundation. We were well guided by Ariyawansa and Ranjani, the local project supervisors. Every day, we had a full schedule to check out all the different projects. One morning we joined the school bus and we visited a student’s home where we talked with her mother. She told us how important it is that her daughter goes to this school. She is happy and improved herself a lot on different fields since she goes to a special school. And it was obvious that this girl is happy. She is dancing, laughing a lot and became very social.
It was also very nice to join the market day. The children get stuff, like vegetables, from their parents. They then sell these items to villagers and their parents on the market. The children learn from this, but it also increases involvement of parents and other villagers. It's wonderful to see this interaction and to see how much the children enjoy this.
What do they need?
The Friendship Foundation depends totally on donations to support existing projects and invest in new projects. Do you want to contribute? Please donate via the form below.
They are always looking for volunteers who want to contribute to the foundation. You can do voluntary work in Sri Lanka for a minimum period of 3 months. An ultimate opportunity to develop yourself, experience a different culture and doing something good at the same time.
Besides, you can do voluntary work in the Netherlands for at least 4 hours a week.
Are you excited to help and specialized in a particular field that could help the Friendship Foundation? Contact the Friendship Foundation.