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Virginia Gildersleeve International Fund
May 13, 2012

VGIF has helped me over the years by giving me confidence and encouragement to do the work, I'm doing in Sri Lanka. Since the tsunami of 2004 I have organized women at Hikkhaduwa, Dodanduwa to get their livelihoods on tract. Thay lost everything in the tsunami. Firstly, I had to help by making sure the families had food & water and medical care as most women and children were hit by the debris. Most of the houses in this are were intact but there was nothing inside the house as it got washed away. It wa sto the VGIF that I looked for my strength.These village people are fishermen and women. They catch fish or they sell it. My husband and I were holidaying in Sri lanka when the tsunami hit. With help from our family and friends in Western Australia we were able to get most of the fishing boats fixed very quickly as that was an important livelihood for that area. We then concentrated on the women as some of them lost their husbands , children in the tsunami. We supplied sewing machines, material for sewing, crochet thread, so that women can continue their crocheting and sell them to shops in the area as well as sell them at Colombo.We bought fridges, cook tops, for the women who had a shop and sold food as their livelihood. Most of all we gave them hope for the future by building a pre School for children. We had to rent a house at first, then we built a pre school on borrowed land. Now we have started building a Pre-School for the children of Galle, on the land that we have bought. We have3 trained teachers and 1 cook as we give these children a cup of milk when they arrive and give them lunch before they leave, as this will be their only meal sometimes. The Graduate Women of WA, gave a scholarship to the head teacher of the Pre school to follow a pre-school course here in Perth. She has finished it and gone back with new ideas she can do at the pre school. We had 4 teachers coming from Papua NewGuinea for the course as well. I managed to Promote VGIF at these functions by talking about the great work done by them in Asia as well as south America and other countries. I also had pamphlets about the VGIF which I had collected when I went for the IFUW conference in Mexico city. I learnt about the VGIF a lot as I saw videos about the work they do. We get help from St. Michael's Mt.Pleasant Perth, as the people drop a few coins into a bowl every week. Once a month we send this money to pay the salaries of the teachers. I organised a fund raising Sri Lankan Banquet recently catering for 110 people. We made $AUD 4,500 that night which we shared between Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka Pre Schools. Please carry on the wonderful work you do all over the world. VGIF is a great inspiration to all of us who struggle to find donations.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Yes, I have at the IFUW conference in Mexico City.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

send out more information and videos to people who work in South Asia and South East Asia.

More feedback

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

By encouragement and sending more flyers to people who work in these areas.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

My volunteer experience is helping me today to be confident with the work I do, as well as at the talks I give in West Australia. I have certainly made friends with VGIF members.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I feel I'm doing even a little thing to change the world they live in for women and children in this area.

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I helped the women and children of the tsunamit hit areas in Sri Lanka.