Today the Sri Lanka Red Cross relaunched its new website. which should become the leading humaniarian website in Sri Lanka. At a time 15 months after the cessation of 25 years of conflict in the country, humanitarian needs are large, especially in the north of the country, where over 300, 000 people were displaced during the war.
The newly revamped Sri Lanka Red Cross Society’ website was launched under the auspices of the President of the Society Mr. Jagath Abeysinghe.
The new website gives an in-depth look at the work done by the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society (SLRCS) and its affiliate partners and also for the first time will give donors locally and internationally to donate to SLRCS via the World Wide Web.
During the event the SLRCS President commended the work thus done so far by the all of the society and also thanked the International Federation of the Red Cross Society in its efforts in helping the national society in its quest to rebuild its image in the post tsunami period.
The website was launched at the event where the Sri Lanka Red Cross was launching its 180 day intensified capacity building programme which will aim at strengthening the branches and its ability to perform among the masses of the island.
The President of SLRCS Mr. Jagath Abeysinghe, Vice President 1 Mr. Baratha Jonnikkuhewa, Vice President 2 Mr. Sunil Dissanayake, National Secretary Mr. Nimal Kumar, Finance Chairman Mr. Prasanna Dasannayake, The Acting Director General of SLRCS Mr. Tissa Abeywickrama, Head of Operations of SLRCS Mr. Surein Peiris, Head of Services Mr. Col. Madugalle, The Management Staff of the SLRCS, The Head of Delegation of IFRC Colombo Bob McKerrow and the Head of Delegation of ICRC Mr. Paul Castella was also present during the ceremony.
The site will also give an up to date record of the news and events of the SLRCS around the country, an in depth events calendar of branch activities and also to donate to selected programmes of the society.
According to the President of SLRCS Jagath Abeysinghe “the new site will boost the image of the national society and the enormous amount of work done by the Red Cross Movement in Sri Lanka.”
I am delighted the website has been launched because it enables people living in country, Sri Lankans living abroad, to give to programmes of their choice. I gave a donation today, as did Tissa Abbeywickrama, the Director General. I chose the IDP programme and he chose to put it into the general fund. It was a good exercise to check the website and we found it user friendly. This means we should get more donations for our IDP programme in the north, which is significantly underfunded. Here is a little about our programme in the north. But before I take you, here is the website link:
During the 2008-2009 phase of the conflict, the SLRCS in cooperation with ICRC provided services to the affected people from within the territory controlled by the LTTE. The SLRCS Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mannar, Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Ampara, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa branches, with support of several partner national societies and IFRC, responded in a coordinated manner as the crisis evolved.
As of yesterday, the SLRCS suported by German RC and IFRC, has 600 houses nearing completion. This integrated programme to support the return and recovery of people who have been displaced due to the conflict and are either still displaced or in the process of resettlement. Similarly to the post Tsunami Community Recovery and Reconstruction Partnership the so called Red Cross Post Conflict Recovery and Reconstruction Programme will support the peoples process of reconstructing their homes by providing cash grants (according to the GoSL run NHERP model), grants for reconstruction of community infrastructure, technical support and community mobilization in the areas of livelihood, health and care, disaster preparedness and dealing with people traumatised by the conflict.
As a first step it will assist up to 2,000 families including support to host families and communities.
The basis of primary target population for the programme is Kilinochchi, Mulativu and Mannar districts as well as conflict-affected areas of Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Jaffna, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa districts.
Furthermore, it is acknowledged that some of those displaced are either displaced to or intend to return to other areas in Sri Lanka and therefore these populations too could be considered for support under the programme. It is also recognised that some of the returnees were affected by the 2005 tsunami that struck that region and were displaced by it as well as by the conflict. It is hoped the red Cross will increase it support from 2000 to 5000 families.
Meanwhile another project to provide health assistance to returnees who had been displaced by the conflict and the development of interethnic confidence for affected populations in Eastern Sri Lanka was also launched by the Red Cross.
The three year project is funded by EU with 2.989.530 Euro, with German Red Cross contribution.
The major activities of the program launched in September 2009 include the Reconstruction and Rehabilitation of 7 health facilities, Mobile health clinic in Trincomalee district, Health awareness raising campaigns and Promotion of humanitarian values. The programme will be ending by end of August 2
I hope you have a look at the SLRCS new website: