For some people there are all the luxuries in the world; a shelter to dwell in, food to eat and everything else within reach. But for others, these are dreams. They permanently reside on the roadside and beg to find their food and keep themselves and their families alive. At a time when these people are totally ignored, there was one person who thought differently. For him, success was giving these people hope to live. That was the beginning of Kind Hearted Lankans.
Speaking to the Mirror For Hope, the mastermind behind Kind Hearted Lankans who wished to remain anonymous said that he had always wanted to help poor people. “This all started three years back when I came across a family living on the roadside selling lottery tickets to earn enough money to live. My wife and I had a long discussion about how we could help this family but due to our busy schedules it didn’t materialise. I was so disappointed but one day my wife said that she will put aside some of her salary to help the family. Thereafter I did a small video clip with the Go-Pro camera I had at the time and it kind of went viral with people commenting on the video. This was how we started and at the time I didn’t have any idea about where we were going but I knew this could be the start of something.”
As a filmmaker, he is into producing TV and web commercials which he started after Kind Hearted Lankans kicked off. “Through this I learned how to edit videos and take photographs with the guidance of my brother who is a professional photographer,” he continued. “I do this like a hobby. Most of the information I receive about people are from rural areas as far as Ampara, Mahiyanganaya, Jaffna, Monaragala etc. Generally when I go on trips or during work visits to outstation areas, I make sure that I notice these people on the road. After I started Kind Hearted Lankans I started noticing these people more and more. In fact it is after this initiative began that I started to understand more about life. Every story is unique and you can always learn something from someone.”
Speaking about success stories, he related the story of a blind boy whom he met on the roadside. “I was in my car and I initially observed him and his family for a while before deciding to talk to them. Their story was truly heart breaking. When I featured him on a video I found this boy could also sing very well. The video I shared on social media got people’s attention and thereafter we received a lot of help from people. We in turn were able to build a house for him and his family. Ultimately he went on to compete at a popular children’s reality show and won it as well. Likewise people I have featured have received various kinds of support to help them pursue their dreams and uplift their lives. This for me is success. Lately our posts and videos have received widespread attention from various people and the media. We hope that this will inspire more people to join us in the work that we do, without just making Kind Hearted Lankans an outlet for them to give money or other donations.”
“We have recently received a charity designation in Australia and will be accepting donations through our website. We also have a policy that 100% of all donations that we receive go directly to those in need. Where possible we have tried to link these families directly with people who are willing to help. For example in the past a family needed a small house built so we linked donors to the nearest hardware store so that they could purchase the materials on behalf the family. We don’t have much administrative work but we do monitor the entire process.”
One challenge we had was bringing people together through their busy schedules. But whenever you start something new it’s always difficult at the beginning. People don’t often see the amount of time and effort that it takes to make something happen. Fortunately we now have a lot of volunteers willing to help us. Since our inception we have been able to restore over 1000 lives with the support of kind hearted Lankans from around the world. We also have a drop-off point in Kotte which is open from Monday to Friday from 9.00am – 5.00pm. If you want to help people in need we always need dry rations and stationary items. You might have noticed that we tend to be behind the camera and it’s not about being shy. We want the face of Kind Hearted Lankans to be the work that we do and the people we inspire. We always aspire to maintain 100% transparency with everything we do. We hope that you will join us and inspire people too.”
For donations visit https://www.kindheartedlankans.com/ or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to them on Facebook or Instagram.
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