I joined the project in January 2016 as a volunteer for 2 weeks. I stayed in Cihan’s house with two other volunteers in Wellawaya. He explained the projects of „Stop staring start caring” (SSSC) and got my full attention. I admired his and Sonja’s (who I unfortunately never met in person) enthusiasm and hard work, as well as what they have done for this community in the middle of jungle. I think it was incredible. In that time all of us were working on a construction project. We painted and decorated the finished parts of a wall for the girls’ home „Pahan Tharuwa”.
The project and the organization had two parts: There is an orphanage for disabled children and the new part, which is for the girls who got pregnant as a result of domestic violance and rape. The whole story opened my eyes. I was sad, angry and enthusiastic in the same time. SSSC helped a lot to the Sri Lankan people and started to build up the orphanage. They really made a good home for those people from little amount of money, as they do not get any support of the local government. They solved the problems, organized local support and covered the expenses. I still don’t know, how they managed to do it. The atmosphere and the circumstances are so much better than in the neighbourhood and the towns around. I loved it, I loved the concept and the whole project.
The end of the day Cihan was a real host, we ate together, each meal was like a briefing, we talked about what we need to do, what is the programe for the next day. It was adventourous and challenging, because you can not imagine how hard is to get just a photo copy of a paper in this village, in the middle of Sri Lanka. These little things, what you can solve in 2 min. in Europe turn into a 5-6 hours mission.
At this point I’d like to talk about my experience, what learned about myself and about the world during my stay. I am very grateful to born and raised in Hungary, in the middle of Europe, I am grateful to get the best education, what I could get, I am grateful to be a woman, who can be woman in the men’s world. I am grateful that I met with Cihan and this small but incredible strong team of SSSC, and I had a chance to work with them for a little while.
We meet with people for a reason, for a season or for a life time. I would go back any time to Sri Lanka, to continue the project and work with those girls and help them to fix their life. The story behind each girl is heart breaking: they got raped by the family member in early age, some of them less then 14 years old. They became pregnant. This is a very hard situation, and it has lot to do with the education, with the system…etc.
This is a very complex thing all together, SSSC is just dealing with the sad result of the situation. There is no prevention. SSSC got these girls and we need „to fix” the situation. This is very hard, but not hopeless. Cihan and Sonja are wonderfully kind and amazing people. They have a great team, volunteers and supporters who believe in them and want to help where they can. Still they need sponsorship, even we do our best as volunteers, we give our time and work. We were and are happy to help where we can, to support exceptional people like them, to make a change in this world.