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An Overview
The Good Shepherd Sisters visited a village called Gajabapura a rural village with a Sinhala Minority Community in the Welioya Division in Mullaitivu District. These people were victims of the earlier war and were forced ro move from this village to refugee camps. The M/Paranagama Wewa School of the area was also destroyed during this war in 1999 and has been reopened on 26th February 2015.

The present living conditions of these people who are under the poverty line is very pathetic, with neither proper housing nor sanitary facilities. Electricity supply is very limited and the children who are undernourished with barely one good meal a day are sent to school under dire conditions. As a result they need to be encouraged and supported emotionally, socially and economically.

Srs. Irene, Rasangi, Gowsala and Sr. Saminthini visited some of the house as a result.

We had a workshop for parents of children at the school – M/ParanagamaWewa School on 30th January 2016. It was organized by Sr. Lakshmi and a group of teachers from Colombo.

Now we are engaged in a Nutritional Program, and also visit this area creating a child friendly safe space for the children through various activities.

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01A special program was conducted by Dr. Chaminda Weerasiriwardena for all the sisters who are engaged in schools. This program was based on the psychological development of the students. All the sisters were able to enhance their knowledge from this program as the childhood education is the most important fact which directly influences the psychological development of a child.

Namalpura 2The Mission partners (sisters and lay) of the Good Shepherd congregation of Sri Lanka decided to celebrate Christmas of 2015 different to the traditional structured and monotonous way. The new blood was pumped in by our Provincial Sr Francine with the association of the core team of the partnership for mission. It was decided toselect a village in the wilderness close to the borders of the previous war zone with poor infrastructure.
The name of the village is Namalpura. That village was the fourth stage of Kalyanipura new settlements. The village was established in the year 2012. The government at that time has promised them with many things including housing systems and infrastructure facilities which has not materialized. 270 families established their homes in this village expecting it to flow with milk and honey.. They were given two acresof paddy land and half an acres to build a house. Majority have left the place because of the numerous difficulties they had to go through. Namely
1. They have no means of generating income.
2. The villages are unable to cultivate due to scarcity of water and scarcity and destructions of wild animals (Elephants were abundant  And wild elephant attacks were common
3. Power supply was not established yet. Being a fundamental requirement of survival
4. The road network was in shambles
5. There is hardly any means of transportation
6. Children have to travel nearly 7kms to the nearest school. (The bus service is not very regularly.Often the bus doesn’t reach the school on time
7. There are no proper sanitary facilities
8. Nearest hospital and other government offices are at SampathNuwara( 8kms away from the village0
9. The hospital is poorly equipped and there is only one doctor. Invariably he is on leave.
10. Mid wives avoid coming to the village due to the poor transport.
So with all these difficulties only 48 families remained in the village.

All the communities integrated so that this was the major Christmas project for the province. All the partners in mission experienced the mutuality, trust, co-responsibility, and the commitment together in doing this project. This was the best practical introduction of the elements of the partnership for mission.
The Partners for mission in the Good shepherd community organized a medical camp with the help of the OMI Priest Father Kalum Dias. MrYogendrakumar of A. Baurs and company helped us in obtaining medicines. Some of our mission partners who were doctors helped in the fine organization of selecting medicines, organizing lab tests, organizing technicians, optometrists, Spectacles, doctors, pharmacists, and the other supporting staff. We managed to reach the village early in the morning on the 2nd day of our journey. This journey for mission with sisters and the lay hand in hand showed us that we need both for our sustainability. Good shepherd values, its spirituality and the charisma was experienced deeply and highlighted in this journey. We had no hierarchy. We all worked for the mission. At the end of the day all of us including the villages shared a locally cooked meal celebrating our “commitment together”
In addition to this all the communities in the province contributed to prepare dry ration packs. Some communities contributed in kind and others contributed monitory. Remaining funds were used to give raincoats and umbrellas to the children who had to travel far to school.
We hope to continue in our journey and to adopt this village and follow up the progress of the development of the village as we mature in our own journey towards partnership for mission.

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