06/07/2013, 00.00
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Sri Lanka celebrates 25 years of Children’s’ Education Centre

by Melani Manel Perera
The Purnodaya Institute has helped more than 600 children. Tomorrow, for the start of the festivities, a Thanksgiving Mass celebrated by the Archbishop of Colombo. The founder of the center: "the work of the past 25 years is a source of great pride for us, the Lord’s love and blessing have made this possible."

Jael (AsiaNews) - The Purnodaya Institute, a voluntary center of assistance in pre-school education and study, tomorrow celebrates its 25th anniversary. Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, Archbishop of Colombo, will celebrate a Mass of thanksgiving in the morning. The festivities will continue on Sunday.

The Jael area is home to a large number of Sri Lankans of Tamil origin who live in conditions of economic uncertainty and illiteracy, surviving on the margins of society. Since Martin Costa, a 74 year old former seminarian, decided in 1988 to gather some volunteers and found the center, the Purnodaya institute has become a reference point for the local children. "For the first time in their lives they have experienced love, caring for others and acceptance - said the coordinator - this place will always remain open to all of them and their families."

Chandra Alagiri, one of the first children to study in the institute now aides Martin Costa and told AsiaNews that "his ability to interact with young people has been fundamental to the success of the project." His contribution and that and the volunteers who support him in this project has taken more than 600 children off the streets in the past 25 years. "Looking back I am very proud of our work - said the founder of the center - it is thanks to the love of the Lord and His blessing if we were able to help these children."

The Purnodaya institute survives thanks to donations. Anyone interested in helping the children who attend the center can contact Martin Costa by phone (+94 777826388), by e-mail (mtcosta@sltnet.lk) or skype (martin.costa15).



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