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Meet the Hope Student Helping Orphans in Sri Lanka

A generous Liverpool Hope University student has revealed how she’s raised more than two thousand pounds to help orphans living in Sri Lanka. 

The fundraising drive was in aid of Global Hope, the University’s international volunteering programme, which engages in projects addressing social injustice across the world.

The award-winning Global Hope initiative is available to all students and staff, with the team working to secure projects, raise funds, organise travel, train students, induct staff and oversee key objectives.

Jasmine Pugh, 20, a Psychology student now finishing her second year, decided to channel her efforts into helping the University’s partner charity ‘SOS Children's Villages Sri Lanka.’ and has managed to raise £2,390 for the organisation.

The international development organisation ‘builds families for orphaned, abandoned and other vulnerable children’ through a mixture of family support and care programmes, medical centers, schools and emergency relief.

She explains: “As soon as I learned about the work being carried out in Sri Lanka and the difficulties faced by families and children there, I just knew I had to help. 

“When I see other people struggling, I’m the sort of person who has to take action. 

“I’m in an extremely privileged position compared with others around the world and it’s nice to know the money we’ve raised will now be put to good use.”

Jasmine, from Moreton, Wirral, used a variety of tactics to gain the donations, from raffles to ‘spot the ball’ type competitions. 

But the largest contribution was made through a virtual horse racing event held in April last year. 

She adds: “We managed to secure a venue free of charge, which was brilliant and made a big difference. 

“Each race was sponsored by local businesses, horses were ‘sold’ to hypothetical owners, and we did bets at £1 each. 

“I also received support from a local football team, AC Hoylake, where I’ve coached the Under-11s girls team, while other local businesses paid for events like a round of golf, or a family lunch, which we could then raffle off. 

“I’m extremely grateful for all the amazing help we were offered. It’s been incredibly humbling.”

Jasmine had originally planned to visit Sri Lanka herself to see the work of the projects she’s donated to as part of a Global Hope team, but that’s not been possible due to Covid-19 restrictions. 

Now, however, while she’s sad she’s unable to volunteer in person, she’s delighted all of the cash raised can be channelled directly into the organisation. 

It will now be used to fund everything from dry rations and hygiene kits to home-based learning materials and psychological support for families and youngsters. 

Sri Lanka was recently gripped by a bitter civil war that raged from 1982 to 2009, with an estimated 100,000 civilians and 50,000 fighters from both sides losing their lives in the conflict.

On Easter Sunday last year, 259 people were killed and 500 injured in a series of sucide bomb attacks, with terrorist group ISIL later claiming responsibility. 

More recently, Sri Lanka has been under strict curfew due to the coronavirus crisis, with fears many have been unable to access the care they need. 

Meanwhile Global Hope supports various other projects around the world, many adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

One key partner for Global Hope is the Sparrow School in Johannesburg, South Africa - a school and vocational training collage for children with special needs and those affected by AIDS.

The ‘Solidaridad en Marcha’, located in Arequipa, Peru, is a project which centres around a primary school for the poorest youngsters from the city’s slums. 

This initiative is in urgent need of financial assistance due to Covid-19, and Dr Peter Angell, member of the Global Hope Committee, commented: “Whilst it’s important to look after those close to us, it’s also important to remember those in the world who aren’t afforded the support that, far from perfect, we are fortunate to have in the UK.

“Many other countries have no capacity to support furloughed staff, a medical care system that is free to all at the point of need, or even a medical system that is fit-for-purpose. 

“So Global Hope is asking that you remember those less fortunate, and in particular our global partners, by helping to provide whatever support you can during these hardest of times.”

If you’d like to donate, you can do so here

Published on 09/07/2020