S/h- a direct appeal to global netizens to support Sri Lankan families and children
‘ World for Lanka’- a web platform designed to appeal directly to global netizens to support Sri Lankan people was launched today. It’s a credible, transparent, and verifiable platform which anyone can use worldwide to help Sri Lanka in this period of economic crisis.
Santosh Menon, Director of World for Lanka (WFL) said “We came up with this idea in March 2022. To appeal directly to fellow humans around the world – to help families and children in need in Sri Lanka emerge out of the ongoing crisis in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka needs a significant amount of USD to emerge out of this crisis and we felt that besides seeking help from the common sources- other countries, financial institutions, Diaspora, and investment- we should seek help from the 4.6 billion global netizens, who are online and are contributing to justifiable causes “
Kishore Reddy, Director added “It was important to structure this in a way that’s credible, transparent, and verifiable. At the end of the day global netizens will seek to contribute to a platform that they know can be trusted to deliver. So, we sought the help of EY to come in and structure monitor and supervise the entire mechanism. EY has helped us put together this mechanism”.
Chanithi Gunasekera, Director, WFL added “We intend to use social media to reach global netizens and are seeking the support of MNCs with the requisite reach and expertise to reach them. We have created a strong communications package to go out vide social media and digital media to potential donors worldwide, but ultimately, we need the support of MNCs to take the message to the netizens
Brian Goudian, Principal at EY said “The project was structured in such a way that all USD received will be deposited in a dedicated bank account opened with a licensed commercial bank in Sri Lanka, and HNB has come forward to partner on this initiative. The incoming USD will help boost the country’s reserves, whilst the SLR equivalent will be channelled to selected implementing partners to fund emergency aid programmes that specifically targets children’s needs covering the verticals on food, medicine, education, and energy/ transport. An independent technical advisory committee was established to evaluate proposals, improve governance, and advise the Board of Directors of WFL. As the project is launched, two well-known implementing partners operating in Sri Lanka, i.e., Sarvodaya and Foundation of Goodness have been appointed to partner with WFL an implement selected projects “
The technical committee that evaluated proposals included Dr. Sanath Mahawithanage and Chandi Dharamaratne. They said “We followed a rigorous process of looking through each proposal with a tooth comb, asked searching questions and eventually tailored projects which if implemented could benefit needy families across the island. Right now, children of the island need as much support as they can get to emerge out of this crisis successfully and funds from global netizens will go a long way to help the country”.
Santosh Menon added “A lot of private sector companies and individuals have lent their support to put together this initiative. EY, DeSerams (our legal advisors), Quest and Query, FCB kl.lk, TETRIS who created the website, Shanaka Galagoda, Strawberry films, Frontline pictures, Sound Asia, Origin films, who made films to appeal to netizens, PR wire our PR partner, Digital Content our digital partner, and Dr. Sanath Mahawithanage and Chandi Dharamaratne, our technical committee members. They have all come together spared their time and resources to put together this effort. We think we have a platform that can now be used to appeal to the world and seek support for the country”.
Further Support has come from the Indian CEO Forum (ICF) to help propagate the platform using social media.
Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, President of the Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, an implementing partner said “We eagerly look forward to the World for Lanka Initiative being launched. They followed a rigorous process of determining their partners and we have been very ambitious in our proposals for the website. We have partnered many initiatives but this particular one is definitely distinct and unique in terms of ambition, idea, and attempted scale. We wish the initiative all success as the country needs the financial support right now”.
Mr Kushil Gunasekera, Founder of Foundation of Goodness, and an implementing partner for World for Lanka says d “The Foundation of Goodness is greatly honoured by this invitation to join the World for Lanka platform in enhancing the prospects of serving humanity reaching out to a wider range of beneficiaries, understanding their hardships and struggles.
This is an opportunity for caring donors worldwide to contribute to any measure that will not only ease the economic strife experienced by the disadvantaged communities but also provide the much-needed global funding, helping our nation overall, as the Foundation of Goodness continues to provide relief in the way we have executed countless humanitarian endeavours over the years.
“Sometimes miracles are just good people with kind hearts”
Ultimately, World for Lanka is an appeal to the world to come together for Sri Lanka and help it emerge out of this crisis. Santosh Menon concluded by saying “Global Netizens are coming together for many causes, but if we can successfully engage their collective power for Sri Lanka then this could be an unprecedented show of their power. And it could help our country at this the time of our maximum need for support. Today the country needs both- a bold initiative to bring in USD for the treasury and the rupee equivalent to address the needs and requirements of the needy and the children. This addresses both and if successful could be a case for other countries to follow “
The World for Lanka page can be accessed on www.worldforlanka.com