As the pandemic grew increasingly worse in southeastern Sri Lanka, strictly enforced quarantines were put into place to slow the spread of the virus. More than 100 families were not allowed to leave their homes — not even to buy groceries. They were left without food or any way to buy supplies.
When the local child development center staff found out about the situation, they called to check on the families. The center director, Sasikumar, says they learned that almost all the families — including Kalaivani and her four children — had no food to eat.
“I have nothing to give my children, so I make porridge for all three meals since that’s all I can make. We cannot even go to the next house or the shop to buy anything,” Kalaivani said. But hope came because her younger son, Sabeshraj, is registered in Compassion’s Child Sponsorship Program, so they were eligible to receive humanitarian aid.
The local partner staff quickly moved into action. They wanted to find a way to deliver food packs to families in need, but the quarantine restrictions posed a challenge. Working together with the local authorities, they received the necessary permission from health officers to deliver rations to families in the locked-down areas.
Just a few days after the lockdowns were announced, the team was able to load a truck with food packs for 129 families! When the children heard them coming, they were thrilled. They wanted so much to talk to their teachers from their child development center, but they maintained social distancing.
“Through what you are doing for us, we can see God,” said Kalaivani, who received a pack containing rice, four, lentils, sugar, noodles, spices, onions, garlic, sprouts, coconut and salmon. The joy could be seen in every mother’s eyes, knowing that they would make it through the challenge.