A helping hand from the China-Lanka Friendship Development Association

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From the Rubber-Rice Pact of the 1950s, the BMICH, and the Belt and Road Initiative related projects in the country, China has continued to be a diplomatic ally and friend of Sri Lanka since its independence. Now, amidst an unprecedented crisis, the China-Lanka Friendship Development Association is proof that the friendship between these two nations isn’t limited to diplomatic ties alone, but also a close human connection.

Established in 2017, the organisation which was founded by four Chinese ladies has grown considerably, now comprising of many Chinese and Sri Lankan nationals in the island, working together in a number of projects, strengthening the friendship between the two nations in their efforts.

Hoping to give some relief to the hunger of as many people as possible who have been affected, the most affected in various areas of the country, the China-Lanka Friendship Development Association began distributing food and essential items to as many poverty-stricken families as possible. As a result, many hundreds of families were able to obtain essential food items necessary for sustenance.

Distributing essential items in two locations that day, the group also distributed prepared meals at the Kelaniya Temple the previous Poya day in another of their social service projects.

“The Sri Lankan people are so kind, and so patient, even though there is such a big crisis they still try their best to have a smile on their face,” shared Sarah, General Secretary of the Association and one of the volunteers present that day. “These people deserve a better life, and we want these beautiful people and this country to recover,” she said.

She shared that this charitable project was the result of the members as well as their families and friends pooling resources together and organising the whole thing within a matter of days. “It took a lot of effort and working into the late night, but we are so happy that we’ve been able to accomplish this.”

Although an effort that was organised very promptly, the entire donation and charity work was a success, and all measures to be transparent in the entire process were followed as well. Of course, it was all thanks to the hard work and unified strength of both the Sri Lankan and Chinese volunteers.

Volunteers with their own personal lives and full-time jobs, the members of the China-Lanka Friendship Development Association have done their best to share their love and help as best they can for the people of Sri Lanka. “We want to do similar projects more regularly in the future, and are looking forward to it,” Sarah continued.

This isn’t the only project that the organisation has been or will be involved in either. From donating stationary to needy children in the past, to the most recent distribution of 50 dry ration packages at Shalawa Road, Mirihana, the Sneha Child Development Centre, and Mallika Home for Elders in Colombo 4, the association has constantly been involved in acts of kindness, building friendships along the way. “We also plan to help build a hall for a school in Korathota, Kaduwela. We’ve already spoken with the Principal and we’re excited to see that happen as well.”

“We are also truly grateful for the hard work and support that Sewwandi has given us throughout all this, and we also want to acknowledge the presence of the Chairman of the National Gem and Jewellery Authority, Tilak Weerasinghe, who is here today in support of our effort,” she added, as the distribution of essential items continued.

The four founders of the association call for collaborating and working together with local charities aimed towards helping families and communities in need. Any effort to help families that truly are in need of assistance is welcome. In times of need, it is always reassuring to know that friends will always be there to help, and through the China-Sri Lanka Friendship Development Association, it is clear that the Chinese people will continue to be friends of Sri Lanka.