The TRIP Canada Program was created to provide a hand-up to the poor, displaced, and disadvantaged in Tangalle, Sri Lanka after the 2004 tsunami devastated the south coast of the island. Made possible by Canadian donors and volunteers, TRIP Canada builds homes and funds education programs – which in turn transform communities and futures. Our volunteers experience the rewards of international volunteering through annual trips to build homes for families living in poverty. Listening to and partnering with local leaders since 2005, TRIP Canada has become a changemaker in the community.
HELPING AN INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY THRIVE
Since 2005, TRIP Canada’s strong base of loyal donors and volunteers have accomplished a great deal, making a significant difference in hundreds of lives through building, education programs, and hands on volunteering.
TRIP Canada’s first project was a village for families who lost everything in the devastating tsunami on Boxing Day 2004. It included 24 homes, a community centre and a place for prayer. After three trips leading volunteers to build the village, TRIP Canada’s founders had learned a great deal about the local community and gained a deeper understanding of the people and their needs.
At the beginning of each year, building projects are selected based on total donations generated and local need as defined by field officers and leaders who live in the community. Then each year, TRIP Canada’s volunteer team heads to Sri Lanka for two weeks to complete the projects. Volunteer trips have been temporarily suspended since the global pandemic and will resume when it is safe to travel again.
Over the years, volunteers and employed local labourers have been responsible for:
- Building more than 50 homes for displaced and disadvantaged families
- Rebuilding tsunami-damaged schools, temples, and medical facilities
- Creating playgrounds and recreation fields in 6 diverse communities
- Completing a major project – a second building for The Canada Sri Lanka Life Development Centre's Canadapura Children’s Home enabling expansion of the orphanage from 24 to 50 children
Understanding that education is the key to changing futures and realizing it is a priority for Sri Lankan families, equally for females and males, TRIP Canada launched an education program. It includes English classes, high-school enrichment, tutoring, post-secondary scholarships, and individual support programs for disabled children. Most of our scholarship students are sponsored by volunteers.
Adeesha's happy at school
Children learning English
Ravindi and sponsor Hilary
Many lives have been touched by these programs and life opportunities improved. Through 2021, 25 young men and women have graduated from the scholarship program and 15 are currently enrolled. The individual support program helps children like Adeesha who was born with a disease which caused paralysis of one side of his body. He stopped going to school when his mother could no longer carry him there. Now TRIP Canada helps with transportation, a personal helper, and Adeesha is back at school and thriving.
Fostering a spirit of local and international community engagement, the teams that travel to Sri Lanka each year include many loyal, repeat volunteers. They leave something very meaningful behind and cherish their memories of working together and new friendships with Sri Lankan workers and students. The feedback heard most often: “I went hoping to change lives and then realized the life that changed the most was my own.”
TRIP Canada started working with The Canada Sri Lanka Life Development Centre (CSLDC) in 2015 to complete Canadapura Children’s Home, a refuge for children who lost their parents in the tsunami. In 2021, TRIP Canada became a program of CSLDC to enable expansion of the organizations’ shared mission to alleviate the impact of poverty on the poor, disadvantaged people in the Tangalle-Hambantota area of Sri Lanka.
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