The children live in a multiethnic area of the capital that developed after 1971 for many of the city’s beggars. Children performed in a Christmas play to tell parents to stay clear of alcohol abuse.
Colombo (AsiaNews) - About 50 poor children from a Colombo multiethnic area received Christmas baskets with school stationery, books and other teaching materials from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) during the traditional Christmas celebration. This is the tenth edition of the event organised by the OMI-run Centre for Religion and Society (CRS).
"When we share or give something to people in need, we must not give them what we like or what we want, but what they need,” CRS director Fr Ashok Stephen told AsiaNews.
The gifted material will help the kids in the upcoming school year, and their parents who don’t have the money to buy pens, notepads, and books.
The children come from Summit Pura (Summit Town) in Mattakkuliya (Colombo 15), an area that began to be occupied in 1971 by beggars and poor families living on the edge of the Sri Lanka capital.
The area is home to a mix of people with different cultural and religious backgrounds, both Tamil and Sinhalese, mostly Buddhists, Muslims and Hindus, but with some Christians.
Its multiethnic character was clear on Christmas evening as children sang in Sinhalese and English.
Fr Steven noted that children put on a Christmas play to send a strong message to relatives and parents. "Alcohol abuse is harmful to health. For this reason, they asked their parents to avoid it".