Sri Lanka

2010 - Sambodhi Institute

The Vebego Foundation has been involved at the Sambodhi Institute since 2010. This institute in Baddegama is a house where disabled women live together with their 2 carers in old age. The Vebego Foundation is supporting this project by working on the phased renovation of the residential building.

When we were first introduced to the institute the residential building was in poor condition. Roofs were leaking, bedrooms were dark and there was little daylight. Together with the carers we discussed what was needed in order to renovate the building and make it a pleasant place to live again. A plan, including construction drawings and an estimate, was drawn up in consultation with the local contractor.

We have consequently been contributing to this project since 2010 and expect to complete the fully renovated Sambodhi Institute in 2012.

Experiences of construction mission participants

The construction mission participants write a blog during their trip. Here you can read about their experiences.

2011 Sambodhi Institute – 2nd phase

In 2011 two groups of construction mission participants did their bit towards the construction. After completing the first phase at the end of 2010, the renovation of a residential building and the sanitary facilities has now been finished. Thanks to our efforts the residents are now benefiting from better accommodation.

2008 - 2009 - Senehasa Senior Home

In November 2008, we started work on the Senehasa Senior Home project. The Senehasa Sevagram Foundation and the Van der Looij Welfare Foundation are together developing a house, in collaboration with local parties, for deprived elderly people in Sri Lanka. This is an initiative that offers immediate assistance in the short term and that will also bear fruit in the long term.

The Vebego Foundation seized the opportunity to participate in this project. It was in keeping with our objective to ‘get actively involved’, would involve building in close proximity to the local population and would support a project that fitted in with Vebego’s area of focus, that of healthcare.

In 2008 and 2009 there were three construction missions to this project. During these trips, work was carried out on the construction of residential buildings and other facilities. We worked together with local builders who, thanks to our contribution and regular return visits to the project, had work and looked forward to our arrival each time.

2009 – Official opening of the Senehasa Senior Home

After the effort that had been put into the construction work, in November 2009 the big moment arrived and the Senehasa Senior Home was officially opened. It was a special experience for Annette van Waning and Ton Goedmakers Jr, who both attended the event, as the home was given a Buddhist blessing in the presence of Buddhist monks.

2005 – Our first project - Houses in Kuda Payagala

After the tsunami in 2004, the Vebego Foundation decided to seek collaboration with Sarvodaya, the biggest local aid organization working in Sri Lanka.

Together with this organization, the foundation supported the construction of around 50 houses in the villages of Payagala and Waddowa, one hundred kilometres or so from the capital Colombo. These houses were given to fifty families who had lost their homes in the course of the tsunami disaster. A group of ten Vebego ambassadors travelled to Sri Lanka in November 2005 to make a start on this project. In April 2006, our board was able to confirm that the local population had completed the project. The project was brought to a close at the end of June 2006 and all houses were occupied.

In the spring of 2011, one of the former participants, now an ambassador of the Vebego Foundation, returned to Kuda Payagala and visited the house that he had helped to build. It was a very special moment, but an emotional one too. The man for whom the house had been built at the time had recently died. Happily, however, his family continue to live in the house.