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The Thaipongal Day -2015

Caritas Kandy – SETIK celebrated the Thaipongal Festival 2015 on 17th January 2015 at the office premises with the participation of around 150 people including men, women, youth and children from all the religious groups. The festival commenced by putting Kolam on the floor and putting fire on to the wood oven. Then Rev. Fr. Desmond Perera, the director of SETIK put three spoons of rice to the pot. Addressing the crowd, Fr. Desmond mentioned about the importance and need of celebrating such religious festival and bringing all the religious groups to gather for religious co-existence.
While the rice was being boiled the crowd attended a special educational programme on Thaipongal at SETIK auditorium which was conducted by the SETIK staff. Once the rice was cooked a special thanksgiving Hindu Pooja was conducted by a Hindu Kurukkal and then the Pongal was served to the crowd.

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Visit of Dutch Bishop’s Lenten Campaign

Representatives of Dutch Bishops’ Lenten Campaign visited Caritas Kandy (SETIK) from 4th – 10th Feb. 2014. They are Ms. Margot de Zeeuw, Liesbeth van Gool, Katelijne Mensels, Mr. Dominik van Heusden and Mr. Erik Hendriks.

They visited our project areas all over the central province and met those people who have suffered in various ways in their lives, youth groups who are being helped by the project, Buddhist Monks and the temple where interreligious activities are being conducted and Stakeholders of the project.

They also had discussions with principals, teachers and students of the schools at Hunnasgiriya, Kandy, Puliyawatta in Hatton which are supported by our organization. They also met families of different religions, Catholic, Buddhist, Hindu and Muslims.

 Finally they had a discussion with His Lordship Rt. Rev. Dr. Vianney Fernando, Bishop of Kandy, Chairman of Caritas Kandy and also Caritas Sri Lanka.

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883 families of Fruithill, Strathdon, Panmur and Western divisions of Strathdon Estate have been selected for the implementation of this project. Majority, nearly 75% of the population do not have the voting right, due to lack of the required legal documents. A legal camp was held and 300 applications for Birth and Marriage Certificates were handed over to the office of the Divisional Secretary, Ambagamuwa. The plantation workers have already received 100 certificates.

Training of community leaders and formation of Community Base Organizations and Federations were organized in order to access government administrative services and as a result, community has now obtained their legal documents.

People in this estate have to manage their family expenditure with the meager income they get from their labour, which is hardly sufficient to educate their children and take care of their needs. Income is not sufficient to meet the expenses for health, entertainment, festivals and utility services such as electricity etc., leave alone the need for saving for the future. Due to these difficulties, they are unable to improve their livelihood.

Under this project, steps are taken to alleviate the poverty of the community.

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Migrant returnees and the aspiring migrants of the central province participated in the international migrants day celebration held at Caritas Kandy (SETIK) auditorium on 18th December 2013 under the theme “if my mother migrates.” An art exhibition with the paintings by 300 children of migrants were also exhibited and winners were awarded 10 prizes and 40 certificates.

Chief Guest at this occasion was Rt. Rev. Dr. Harold Anthony, Bishop of Kurunegala and the Chairman of Catholic Migrant Commission.

 Welcoming those present on this occasion Rev. Fr. Director Camillus D. Jansz, Caritas Kandy (SETIK) said that the institution has been commemorating International Migrant Day annually for the past so many years, for the safeguard of the migrant workers rights.

Officers attached to the police, government institutions and the Foreign Employment Bureau were also present at the occasion.

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Resource Person’s day too was held at the Kandy (SETIK) auditorium (on 29th Nov. 2013) with a gathering of all the resource persons and stakeholders who provide their services to our organization as well as to the community.

 This is an opportunity for all Resource Persons to meet and interact, find out ways and means of obtaining resources available at the government institutions and how the government institutions also can benefit from the resources available to our organization by way of our staff, their skills, etc.

Keynote address was given by one of our resource persons Mr. Lalith Abeysinghe who explained the division of power and how it affects the grass root level communities.

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Members of the Community Base Organizations (CBOs) of Caritas Kandy (SETIK) participated in the Human Rights Day celebrations organized at Caritas Kandy (SETIK) Auditorium on the 12th December 2013.

 Lawyers attached to our organization reiterated the fact that every human being has the right to live the way he wants, so long as he or she stays within the legal bounds and that our rights are ensured by the human rights act and the constitution.

They also expressed the view that if all are to live in peace and dignity better social values should be instilled into the Sri Lankan society. To the existing human rights act, the lawyers stated, that a convention highlighting the significance of improving the social and economic condition in order to preserve human rights was presented later by the United Nations (“International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights”) and all the countries have been invited to ratify it. Once it is ratified, the governments are under obligation to abide by its recommendations.

 The lawyers also then explained the benefits people can gain from the government institutions.

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“Tea Day” was commemorated on the 15th of December 2013 in Dickoya-Hatton Urban Council Hall under the theme “House ownership for plantation workers in Sri Lanka”. It was an occasion for over 500 plantation workers that came from Kandy, Matale, Hatton and Nuwara Eliya, to share their valuable experience.

Welcoming those present Rev.Fr. Camillus D. Jansz, Director, Caritas Kandy (SETIK) expressed his deep concern and the displeasure about the present “line rooms” with minimum facilities that the tea plantation workers are compelled to live in, which in fact were constructed over hundred years by the planters during the colonial period and which are now almost crumbling down.

It is in this context that Caritas Kandy (SETIK) intervened to reconstruct these dilapidated houses in a substantial manner, for which plantation sector has shown its approval and gratitude.

Furthermore December 15th has been proclaimed the “International Tea Day” in a bid to affirm the rights of the plantation workers.

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Commemoration of International Youth Day 2011

The International Youth Day was organized on 24th September 2011 at the ‘SETIK’ Auditorium, Kandy. Over 300 members from youth organizations in the rural and plantation areas in the Central Province attended this programme. Much attention was drawn to the dignity, equality, openness, duties and responsibilities of youth.

Rev. Fr. Camillus Jansz, Director of ‘SETIK’ Organization and Director Migrant’s Commission, Rev. Fr. Roy Clarence, who were present at this programme also expressed their views. The programme was followed by a cultural event.

Out Bound Training Programme

The out bound training programme organized by our youth unit was held on the 24th & 25th of February at Kawdupelella Sinhala Vidyalaya at Matale with the participation of 33 youths representing various ethnic and religious groups in the district of Kandy.

 Active Resource contribution was rendered by the Disaster Management Centre, Kandy and the Life Saving Swimmers group of Dambulla Police Station.