Let's limit the suffering to only Covid-19 and not the lack of food and other resources! Dear citizens of Sri Lanka, As all you are aware, the Covid-19 situation in SL is worsening by the day and has led to dire health and financial concerns among all Sri Lankan’s. With nearly 40000 active cases, over 3500 daily cases and almost 8000 deaths this far, the health sector is on the brink of a collapse, which would eventually lead to more and more people dying consistently. The government deciding to go into a lockdown will give the health sector some time to recover and get capacity back to operational levels but the fate of the those that rely on a daily wage (lower class) for survival is going to be critical. People are going to start suffering because of the lack of resources to fulfill their daily requirements (food), which gets me to the point I'm trying to raise. As a Sri Lankan, I consider it a responsibility I take upon myself, to give back to the community in times like this and I urge you to do so too! We Sri Lankan’s have always stood up for each other when in need. Having each other's back runs in our blood. Our people need us now, more than ever and there is no better time for us to unite and look into the wellbeing of others, so we ensure we get through Covid-19 together with minimal deaths. I’m not going to get too hung up with why we should unite to help the people of Sri Lanka, as I believe you have the capacity to do that yourself. Instead, I’d like to give out a list of suggestions on what we can do to help the people in need during the lockdown and even after that. Shortages in the country? • Food and all household essentials required to survive • All Covid-19 related treatment aid like oxygen tanks, PPE kits, medicines etc. What can we donate? Food • Create packages that include the following (your choice) and distribute it to those in need. 5kg rice 2kg Dhal 1kg sugar 2kg flour 4 salmon tins 500g coconut milk powder/coconuts 1 packet of tea bags 6 eggs 1kg potatoes • Approximate cost for one such parcel would be around Rs. 5000 (approx. $32 AUD) and this would be sufficient for a family of 5 for around 2 weeks. • There are two ways in which these items can be purchased. 1. Find a way to purchase these from the small local shops in the area (sillara kada and petti kada). This would help the owners of the shops to make a living by selling their stock in addition to the recipients of these packages. 2. Use a retail supplier like Keels Super to order online and deliver to the family affected (best option for those operating remotely). How to find people that are deserving? • Call up your local religious institution and ask one of the leaders for information on people in need of support. This is the best bet because people usually go to their preferred religious institution when in need of something. • Call up the local Grama Sewaka's office and request the same information. Usually, the Grama Niladari will have a lot of information of how people in the area are doing in general. • Approach a known individual who might have contacts of people in need and go ask him/her to provide you with the details you need. • There are multiple ways of looking for people if you have the urge to. It isn’t complicated at all! All you need to do is try and there is no better time than now! How to raise funds for this cause? • Due to issues of transparency and trust, people are reluctant to donate to large funds run by large charity organizations because they're concerned the funds will be misused/misallocated. • As a solution to this, I urge people to create small groups of around 10 people that include closest friends, family, and those that you can trust and raise money this way. • If everyone develops this mindset and starts doing this, just think of how many people we will be able to feed and relieve from financial burdens? How this will benefit the individuals catered to and the country as a whole? • Most importantly people will stop dying/suffering from anything other than Covid-19 • Those infected with Covid-19 will be able to stay at home without having to go to work to meet their daily living expenses. This will help curb the spread of the virus too. • Small businesses helped in the process will be able to thrive in these tough circumstances. • Overall, it will help the country recover faster as every little bit contributed will add up and have a huge collective impact on the society. On an ending note, I sincerely hope you will follow the steps mentioned above and contribute in some form to the betterment of the people of Sri Lanka. Your donation matters regardless of how much it is. It's not of about how much you give but the thought that goes into giving and whom you give it to. The country and its people need you. We will unite and bring the country back to where it was pre-Covid-19. We are one and we will always be SRI LANKANS! Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope we will make a difference together! Note: All examples used above are merely suggestions and will vary depending on the individual circumstances.