When we visited Jaffna in January 2017, we were introduced to two sisters who had just entered 2 different universities in the South of Sri Lanka and they were struggling to finance their education and upkeep. Both had entered to read Electronic Engineering, one at Kelaniya University and the other at University of Wayambo. OCF agreed to sponsor both of them during their 3 years of education provided they work hard and pass their annual examinations and also agree that when they pass and gain employment, they would help the next generation of students. They readily agreed.
OCF is currently sending them both funds and receiving regular reports on their progress.
These two deserving young ladies could be OCF's first batch of graduates.
Kayts RC Boys' School, Kayts
This school is in the same premises as St Antony's College, Kayts and in many ways is a primary school for its students.
Our agreement to sponsor 10 children in this school is intended not only to help those children but also to enable our representative to keep a close watch on those kids who do well.
We would encourage any child doing well not to drop out of school as they grow up but to enter either St Antony's College, Kayts or even St Patrick's College, Jaffna.
Mellinchumunai RC School, Kayts
This another primary school in Kayts that acts as a feeder school for the likes of St Antony's College and Little Flower Girls' School in Kayts.
The school is in a very deprived area but we found the children were keen to study and come up in life.
Following our visit in 2017, we are sponsoring 11 children in this school. Again, Rev Fr Anandakumar is managing this charitable work.
Suruvil RC School, Kayts
This is also a small school in Kayts that prepares children to enter the upper schools in the area. Once they pass their primary school examination, they will enter St Antony's College, Little Flower Girls' School, or another institution in Jaffna.
The challenge we have given to the Principal is for him to pick the kids that are particularly bright and persuade their parents to enter them into good colleges with hostels and we would sponsor them. That way, their chances in life would be enhanced even beyond their parent's expectations.
OCF has promised to sponsor all the children who pass the entrance examinations and enter the hostels of such reputable institutions.
In 2017, we are sponsoring 10 children in this village school. Our help and support are managed through Rev Fr Anandakumar, who is acting as our representative in the area.
Sinnamadhu RC School, Kayts
This is a small village school in Kayts but is nevertheless a feeder school for St Antony's College, Kayts. The school's task is to prepare the children to enter a good Upper School.
We visited the school in 2016 and observed the level of poverty in the area. We also witnessed the keenness of the children to study. OCF already provides their midday meals each day and so we knew the principal and the school well.
This year, we are sponsoring 10 children in this village school. Our help and support are managed through a well-respected priest in the area, Rev Fr Anandakumar.
Naranthanai Vidyalaya, Kayts
This is a relatively small school in Kayts but is nevertheless a feeder school for St Antony's College, Kayts. The school's aim is to prepare the children to enter a good Upper School. It has no hostel and the children come from their homes.
We visited the school in 2016 and observed the poverty in the area and also witnessed the keenness of the children to study. OCF already provides their midday meals each day and so we knew the school well.
We are currently sponsoring 12 children as they study hard to enter St Antony's College, Kayts or St Patrick's College, Jaffna.
St Joseph's School, Batticoloa
St Joseph's school is situated in a deprived area near Miani Nagar Hostel and most of the students are from very poor families. We visited the school in January 2017 and discussed their needs with the Principal. The Principal and his assistant persuaded us to help as many of the poor children as we can, because, if we didn't, they said, many of them would drop out of school due to abject poverty at home.
We requested Rev Fr Hrudayaraju, Director of Miani Nagar, to act as our representative to interview the needy children and come up with a list of 10 needy children.
We are currently helping 10 deprived children so they can concentrate on their studies and not worry about their families' financial needs.
St Cecilia's College, Batticoloa
Similar to St Michael's College for boys, St Cecilia's is the most reputable, leading college for girls in Batticaloa. We visited the school in 2016 and were impressed with the high quality education, discipline and sports facilities offered by the school. During our visit, the Principal described how some of the children in her care had been affected by the war and requested OCF to help.
In 2017, we started to help the first 10 children. They are of different ages and are of various social backgrounds. They all have one thing in common - they are all underprivileged but want to study hard and do well in life.
We plan to increase the number of children we sponsor in this school when funds become available.
St Michael's College, Batticoloa
Miani Nagar Boys' Home
The above orphanage has 40 boys who are either orphans or from very poor families. The orphanage has excellent facilities and they provide a very healthy and happy environment for the children. We visited the hostel in January 2015 and were utterly impressed with the care and affection shown to the kids. We also found that they were all studying at a local school even though it was evident that some of the brighter students would benefit a lot if they entered St Michael's College, which is a leading college in the area.
After months of negotiations with the Government authorities and the Principals, we managed to get admission to 10 of the children there. They are doing exceptionally well in their new environment and others in the hostel are currently being encouraged to study hard so they too can enter that prestigious college.
As of 2017, we are sponsoring 16 children who are all at St Michael's.
OCF also helped the orphanage to acquire a minivan to transport the children to the college and back.
Those 16 children's future has been completely changed to the better and OCF is particularly proud of this ongoing success.
Holy Family Convent, Ilavalai
In January 2017, when we visited this school, the Principal requested us to consider helping some day-scholars whose families were so poor that they were struggling to look after them. She was concerned that the children might drop out of school.
We agreed to sponsor 10 children immediately and are hoping to increase this number in due course.
Holy Family Convent, Ilavalai
We visited this school in January 2016 for the first time and were utterly impressed with the way the children were being cared for. The children were mostly from very poor families and their parents were either dead or were disabled or unemployed.
We immediately agreed to sponsor 10 children from the hostel and started sending money to them.
In January 2017, when we visited the school, we found the children were improving greatly and some were approaching O/L and A/L examinations.
We would like to sponsor more children in the coming months if funds permit.
Holy Family Convent, Jaffna
We visited this prestigious convent school in 2016 and were pleased to discover that all the children in their hostel were fee-paying or were sponsored by their past students living abroad.
However, we found there were day-scholars from very poor families and their education was suffering due to lack of funds at home. We decided to help 10 of the children who particularly needed help. We believe education not only helps these children to achieve success in their lives but also will eventually provide an escape route to their families out of the cycle of deprivation.
We plan to increase the number from 10 to 20 by Autumn, 2017.
Holy Family Convent, Kayts
This school is situated in a deprived area in Kayts and therefore requires a lot of help and support. We visited it in 2014 and found the hostel had around 20 children of which only 5 were fee-paying. It was obvious that the non fee-paying children were from very poor families with no parent or with only one unwell or unemployed parent.
We started with 4 children in the first year and steadily increased the number each year as we gained confidence that the children were receiving good education and upbringing.
Today, OCF is looking after all 16 non fee-paying children. No other charity is involved in this school.
Little Flower Girls' School, Karampon
We visited this school only 3 years ago and after observing the way the children are being looked after by the Rev Sisters, we offered to sponsor 8 of them in the hostel. We pay for their hostel accommodation, food, clothing, education and for some private tuition.
Since then, we have been visiting the children each year and have observed vast improvements in their education and social interaction.
This year, in 2017, we are sponsoring 11 children of a variety of ages and family background and they are doing well in their studies.
St Antony's College, Kayts
St Antony's College was the first school we visited when the war ended. A number of our Trustees are past students of this institution.
We started with 10 children at the hostel and increased it to 20 the following year. The number of children we sponsor in this school rises and falls each year.
Today, we are sponsoring 20 children in total. Most of the students are resident in the hostel and a hardful are day-scholars.
We are pleased to note that the children sponsored by OCF are performing better than many of the day-scholars.
St Patrick's College, Jaffna
This is probably the most reputable college in northern Sri Lanka. We visited it soon after the war ended and met the children who had just then arrived from the Vanni Refugee Camps. The College had accepted the children into the (college) hostel but had no money to support them.
We accepted 10 children immediately and started to send funds for their education and upkeep. Today, we are sponsoring 24 children at this reputable college. They are from a variety of social backgrounds and are of various age groups.
During 2015, we funded the education of 54 children in 4 schools and in 2016, we increased the number to 125 children in 12 schools. This year, in 2017, we are funding the education of 182 children, 180 of them in 16 schools and 2 are undergraduates in two universities.
OCF educates 182 children in 16 different schools and two young students in two different universities.
Many of the students are in hostels and orphanages. Some are day-scholars attending school from their homes. Support to the children in hostels and orphanages are paid to the school principals and for the day-scholars, the funds are paid to their parents or guardians. The children's progress is closely monitored by the local coordinators and by the Trustees.