The story behind the picture: a smile in Sri Lanka

by Maren Kuchler,  2012/04/25

Many experiences in our lives are very special moments that leave behind their traces and remain in our memories for a long time. That can be moments linked to the current situation. But that can also be moments in which we relive numerous old memories that tell a story that goes far beyond one single moment. The story behind the picture - this time told by humedica employee Maren Kuchler from the Family Sponsorship Programme in Nagapaduvaan, Sri Lanka.

“A young woman with a smile on her face. Behind her is a little clay hut, in front of her a bicycle, a plastic box and a pair of scales. At a first glance there is nothing special about this picture. But there is a touching story hidden behind this smile.

During a project trip to Sri Lanka in March, we visited many families from the humedica Sponsorship Programme. All of them have gone through long and hard years of civil war and are now trying to rebuild their lives. Representatives of the village, who accompanied us, asked us to meet a needy young woman, although she was not a participant in our programme.

This visit to 26-year old Sujaana made us very sad indeed. During the war a bomb had hit the ground directly next to her family. Her three siblings had died, she herself had survived, but had sustained severe injuries. Sujaana had lost both her legs, one lower arm and an eye. Up to this day, fragments of the bomb are embedded in her entire body.

For three months, she has been married to Sasikumar. He moved house for his wife and now works as a mason. He wishes that he would have more time to take care of her, since Sujaana needs help with many things. He would love to sell fish on the local market in the mornings. Then he would be able to provide for his wife and himself and would have time to be with her in the afternoons. We decide to integrate this family into the Sponsorship Programme and hope to give them back a little optimism for their life.

Back in Germany I have received this photo, of the smiling woman who had been crying when she had told me her story in Sri Lanka six weeks ago. Now she is a participant of the humedica Sponsorship Programme. As start-up capital, she and her husband were given the required material for selling fish. Her smile has conjured up a smile also on my face. Because sometimes, an entire life is hidden behind such a small smile.

There are still many more families in Sri Lanka like Sujaana and Sasikumar, who are waiting for a sponsor. Please continue to help us to make people smile once more and assume a Family Sponsorship or support our Sponsorship Programme with a one-time donation.

      humedica e. V.
      Donation reference “Family Sponsorships
      Account 47 47
      Bank Code 734 500 00
      Sparkasse Kaufbeuren
      SWIFT-Code: BYLA DE M1 KFB
      IBAN: DE35734500000000004747

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