Sri Lanka Cricket Team’s Quiet Investment in Charity Work

This line of investment over the years has been brought to light, more or less in passing, during Kumar Sangakkara’s swan-song Q and A with Rex Clementine, in The Island, 20 August 2015

Rex: You have been involved in several charities as well.

Kumar: The main foundation that I have been a trustee since early 2000s is Foundation of Goodness headed by Kushil Gunasekara and Muttiah Muralitharan. That’s been one of the most effective charity organizations in Sri Lanka. And at this moment, we maintain well in excess of 50,000 people annually all over Sri Lanka from the south to the north. We have a Centre of Excellence in Seenigama, we partner with the MCC, with Tesco, with Laureus, Dell Computers and various other wonderful institutions that come and partner up to help us be more effective. We offer free psychosocial support, pharmacy, dentistry, indoor and outdoor facilities for sports, vocational training, English language training – basically life skills to bridge the gap between the urban and the rural communities. Since the war ended in 2009, we have gone every month without fail from then to now and we keep going every month without fail. We are trying to replicate the same centre and the same facilities we have down south in Mankulam and we have just got approval for the land as well which was granted to us a few years ago. They are exciting times. There are also other projects that I am very proud to be part of. There’s another charity works specifically on anti-suicide and mental health related issues. We are just starting to establish a centre of excellence for differently abled children in Ragama. We have just joined hands with Hemas and the doctors in Ragama to try and set up a centre. The first of its kind, and it has just got underway. Hopefully, in the next three years we will be able to achieve that. There is never enough time really and never enough that you can do but I think again this game has given us so much and I think the Sri Lankan team especially, I should commend everyone who has been a part of it that they have set a great example for me to follow and for others to follow after me where we have set up instances where even the Man of the Match and Man of the Series cash awards that we get, we put it into a pool and that is used as a team fund for not just team-related issues but mainly to help anyone who comes and makes requests from us. We just put whatever we get into a fund, we don’t have the habit of sharing that out between individuals or the team. We put it into a fund, the manager usually has access to it and it’s to benefit people who come for urgent bypass operations or cancer-related treatment or any urgent medical help that we can then contribute towards.

kMAR AND MS President Sirisena appoints Kumar Sangakkara as brand ambassador for anti-drugs programme, 19 August 2015, …. http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/sanga-brand-ambassador-anti-drug-programme

ALSO SEE

the FVOUR at Murali cup Kumar, Murali, Kushil and Mahela launching the Murali Harmony Cup

kumarat Murali Cup

Kand M at Murali Cup

 

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Filed under accountability, communal relations, cricket for amity, democratic measures, life stories, patriotism, performance, plural society, reconciliation, rehabilitation, self-reflexivity, Sinhala-Tamil Relations, sri lankan society, unusual people, welfare & philanthophy, world affairs

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