03/19/2019, 17.56
SRI LANKA
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Caritas Colombo undertakes Lent campaign for youth, disabled children and cancer patients

by Melani Manel Perera

Some 300,000 envelopes and 1,500 money boxes are available. Last year almost US$ 25,000 were raised.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – This year Caritas Colombo’s campaign for Lent will raise funds for youth, disabled children and cancer patients, this according to Fr Lawrence Ramanayake, director of Seth Sarana, the Caritas Colombo office in the Archdiocese of Colombo. "Every penny collected for Lent will be used for them,” he told AsiaNews.

Caritas-Sedec, the charity branch of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka, was founded in 1968 by Fr Joe Fernando, a missionary motivated the social doctrine of the Church, conscious of the need to serve the poor and disadvantaged sectors of society.

Over the years the Catholic charity has expanded its scope, setting up the National Centre for Justice, Peace and Human Development. Today there are 13 diocesan offices in every district.

Donations made during Lent will fund year-round youth vocational training, and activities dedicated to supporting disabled children, Fr Ramanayake explained. "We encourage all the faithful to be united with our less fortunate fellow human beings and show them the grace of God.”

Caritas has prepared 300,000 envelopes and 1,500 money boxes. One Lent programme coordinator Diluni Tharangani explains that the information material was distributed in 134 parishes, in Catholic schools and in the archdiocese's institutions.

Last year the campaign sparked tremendous generosity from the public. In all, 1,732,363 rupees (US$ 10,000) for the needs of the poor; 850,000 (US$ 5,000) for disabled children; and 1,866,500 (US$ 10,500) to help students stay in school.

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