Rishi Thondunatha's 2009 Visit to the Yogaswami Girls' Home in Sri Lanka

In March 2005, after the devastating December 2004 Tsunami, Rishi Thondunatha visited the Tsunami hit areas in the Eastern part of Sri Lanka. He was invited to an orphanage named Yogaswami Girl's Home. At that time 44 girls were living in a small house which was in very poor condition. His heart was moved by the children.

In the summer of 2005 Rishi was giving a talk to a group in Toronto, Canada and he mentioned the Yogaswami Girl's Home. Afterwards, 12 year old Nayani Rajamohan came forward and told him that she wanted to help these children. In the years since, whenever Rishi went to Canada, Nayani would again talk to him about her desire to raise funds for the home. In 2009 she formed an organization called "Change for Orphans."

Last July Nayani Rajamohan organized and performed in a benefit dance show which raised CAN$6000 for the girl's home. The Yogaswami Hindu Girls' Home has an endowment with Hindu Heritage Endowment, and as of the end of 2009 the fund principal is $45,118.03. Every year the orphanage receives a grant from HHE, and this year the orphanage will receive US$1804. The funds are used for food, clothing, school books and other essential items. In the past few years HHE donors have given extra funds which built new restrooms and purchased some milking cows.

In October Rishi visited the girl's home and met with the administration and children to discuss uses for the money. The decision was to use this money to build a much needed new kitchen, as the old kitchen is leaking and in very bad shape. He was able to meet with the building contractor and initiated the project. Last month the kitchen construction began, however, we have learned from the home's administration that they will need more money to complete the project. Nayani is starting her second round of fund raising to meet this need. Nayani is a true Sivathondar! Even at this young age her soul realizes the spiritual rewards of helping her sisters half-way around the world.

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