Shamindi met AUSLMAT at the Beralihela Medical Centre when we did a clinic with Dr. Eresha a few years ago. Her letter was written in English with the help of Hilary Mathiasz the English tutor for the whole village.
Beralihela and Tissamaharama are quite close to the Yala sanctuary. Many of these children have never visited the sanctuary because there is a fee to enter. They live close enough to hear the trumpeting of the wild elephants! AUSLMAT makes a stop-over at Yala from the east coast of Sri Lanka on each of our visits to Sri Lanka.
We support Mr Hilary in his tutoring of these children in English.
Nishantha and Kumara are men who go deep sea fishing off the coast of Weligama . They asked for some protection from the elements when they spend days out at sea. Most of the fish are dried and salted on board before they return to the Weligama harbour. They have lost friends and relatives who have never returned from such fishing trips – accepted by them as a part of life and the dangers of such an occupation.
Nishaji is the daughter of one of them – she will join the AUSLMAT team on our next visit to Sri Lanka .
A plaque in memory of the first Methodists is located at the Methodist Church Weligama and reads “ Revds. George Erskine and William Ault – two of the first Weslyan Missionaries to Asia landed on this beach on Thursday 30th June 1814.
AUSLMAT, the Australia Sri Lanka Medical Aid Team, was born out of the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004. It was incorporated in 2005, but it wasn’t till 2016 that AUSLMAT was formally registered as a charity with the ACNC (Australian Charities for Not-for-profits Commission), and subsequently included on the ATO’s Deductible Gift Register (DGR). That means that AUSLMAT can now you issue you with a tax deductible receipt for donations made, and in turn, those donations will be recognised by the ATO when you make a claim as AUSLMAT is on the ATO’s deductible gift register.
Thanks to previous Secretary Michelle and current Treasurer Gordon for leading us to this very important milestone!