Category Archives: Sri Lanka

Our Christmas appeal: A time for new beginnings

Bishop John Arnold

Bishop John Arnold visited Sri Lanka to see how CAFOD’s house-building projects are helping families start life again.

Bishop John Arnold reflects on his trip to northern Sri Lanka and describes how CAFOD is helping families affected by conflict to begin life again…

“The camps I saw in Sri Lanka didn’t even have half the latrines they needed, and most families were living in tents.

It was a distressing sight.

Yet people held themselves with a remarkable degree of dignity, even amongst the squalor. The first thing they said to me was, ‘we long to get home’.

Help a family find a safe place to call home this Christmas>>

We can feel helpless when faced with some of the problems we see around the world.

But when God sent his son, life was not easy. The experience of his birth was as a refugee in a place where his family couldn’t even find the basics of lodging.

From that beginning springs all the hope that Jesus brought us. And I’d like to think, with our help, that people living without a safe home can find a new purpose and a new beginning this Advent.

I’ve been privileged to see what can be achieved by giving to CAFOD. I have been on the front line of what CAFOD does and I’ve seen real change happen in thousands of people’s lives.

CAFOD helps people find safety, make a living, grow crops and build up small businesses within their own communities.

I really enjoy that sense of new beginning with advent and recognising that it is the beginning of the fulfilment of God’s promise.

Donate to our Christmas appeal>>


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Our Christmas appeal: Home for Christmas

Surenthiran and her family love their new home

When Surenthiran’s home was destroyed in Sri Lanka’s  civil war, her family spent years living in camps and shelters.

 Here, she describes the joy of having a safe home for Christmas…  “Soldiers burst into our village. They took our home, so we moved to a camp.

When we went back, our house was gone so we lived in a mud hut on our rice field.

No words can describe our suffering.  I would think: ‘How long must we bear this?  Will we live or will we die? ’

Help a family find a safe place to call home>> Continue reading

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Sri Lanka: a light in the darkness

Our partner Caritas EHED has been working with people affected by the civil war in Sri Lanka.  Anbumaran, 32, tells us about how they helped him rebuild his life.

Help us support people like Anbumaran around the world>>

I used to have a contented, happy life. I married my wife Vijayabaskari in 2005 and had two sons.  I had my own land and owned a brick house. I had a big grocery shop and my daily income was more than sufficient for my family expenses. But during the peak of the civil war in 2008 and 2009, the peaceful life of my family was shattered. Continue reading

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Sri Lanka floods: immediate relief

Father George Sigamoney from our partner Caritas Sri Lanka talks about the floods that recently hit Sri Lanka.

Give to our emergency response fund>>

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East Timor: Where is the development?

I have always felt very personally involved with the suffering of the East Timorese people when, after a UN-sponsored referendum in August 1999 had resulted in a massive 78% vote for independence, a terrible wave of violence engulfed the country.

I shared their rejoicing when, following international intervention, East Timor was recognised by the UN as a sovereign state, and so returning to the country for celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the referendum felt very special.

It was my fifth visit since independence, and I had been specially invited to take part in a three-day solidarity conference, as well as bring material for a commemorative exhibition.

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