As the Covid pandemic gripped the world, many Sri Lankan compatriots were left with little or no help in a foreign country. As a collaborative effort SAHANA with the commitment of its membership, volunteers and community members came to the aid of these distressed Sri Lankans via various projects that were launched amidst chaos and uncertainties.
On 04th April 2020, SAHANA initiated the distribution of dry rations to the less fortunate. Through online sponsorship programs, contributions by generous and kindhearted individuals, anonymous donors, and the esteemed Lulu group SAHANA was able to distribute an excess of 3500 dry rations packs to more than 10,000 less fortunate compatriots at all seven emirates in UAE. The program was run for a period of 6 months and ended on 30th September, 2020.
Family support was another project undertaken by SAHANA under the special projects of 2020. This scheme supported the less fortune community members via sponsoring of dry rations, providing medication, infant formula, and other essentials for the entire family as and when required since we strongly believe that a family is a key contributor to a progressive society. This scheme benefitted more than 225 families translating to a total monetary value of AED123,032.
The Pregnant Mothers project was launched immediately with the Family Support project to assist pregnant mothers who were unemployed and on visit visa who were stranded due to the temporary closure of the airports. Our community members, UAE nationals and well-wishers were able to help 71 registered expectant mothers to source their medication, payment of hospital bills valuing AED170,000 for visits and stays, culminating in the delivery of 33 healthy happy babies.
SAHANA initiated a Rental support scheme through direct and indirect sponsorships valuing at AED 25,230. This scheme benefitted 65 individuals and 8 families who were displaced/unemployed due to Covid-19 and were selected after careful evaluation and consideration.
With the help of the community and sponsors, SAHANA coordinated to provide 33,972 packed meals, beverages valued at AED 237,804 to the countrymen who were queuing up for register themselves for repatriation in the scorching summer heat at the consulate. Furthermore, meals were distributed within the shelter managed by the Consul General’s office. Additionally, SAHANA introduced covid safety measures and upgrades to the consulate for the overall benefit of the public.
The much-needed career advice and career guidance dubbed as “Transforming Employable Sri Lankans” was initiated along with posting of available jobs. Approximately 800 job seekers were supported, 5,179 vacancies shared, and 21 successful job placements were secured by end of 2020.
Facilitating the payment of fines and coordination of repatriation, under this scheme, SAHANA evaluated and contributed directly & indirectly with the generosity of sponsors towards the payment of fines and purchase of airfare for 80 critically ill and or distressed & displaced Sri Lankans for the total value of AED 80,000 (80 tickets). The total recorded assistance received from the generous sponsors and community members for year 2020 amidst Covid-19 is AED 860,056.00