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HUDEC Vanni recently completed the provision of 1,500 shelters for displaced and war- affected families in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu Districts as their dwelling places, so that they may re-start their lives in a secure environment. More than 900 of this number are newly built houses, while repairs to damaged houses accounted for the remaining 600. Funding assistance to build these houses was received from Caritas Partners in Switzerland, Australia, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Spain and Portugal as well as from CAFOD-UK and Misereor-Germany.
Recently, Members of the Board of Management of Caritas Sri Lanka, comprising all the Diocesan Directors and led by its Chairman, Rt Rev Dr Vianney Fernando visited the North where they handed over a rainwater harvesting tank in Velanai, Jaffna under a CAFOD-funded project, and symbolically handed over some newly constructed houses to beneficiaries in the village of Mullivaikkal (Mullaitivu District).
Prior to that, during a visit to the Vanni, Rev Fr Renato Kucic, Secretary to the Papal Nuncio in Colombo who was accompanied by the National Director of Caritas Sri Lanka, Rev Fr George Sigamoney, the Bishop of Jaffna, Rt Rev Dr Thomas Savundranayagam and Rev Fr A J Yavis, Director of HUDEC Jaffna/Vanni handed over some of the completed housing units to deserving beneficiaries in the villages of Kallappadu, Silawathai, Mullivaikkal East and Mullivaikkal West in Mullaitivu District. Among the recipients was a person living in Puthukudiyirippu who had totally lost his eyesight due to an injury suffered at the height of the military conflict. In Silawathai, the foundation stone was laid for a school library in Silawathai Tamil Vidyalayam at the request of the Women Rural Development Society (WRDS) of that area. Livelihood grants for women-headed households were also distributed during this visit, while support was provided to the WRDS Movement to help women undertake various income generating activities. Also in Kallapadu, a Community Hall was opened in the village of Theeththakarai. These initiatives are funded by Caritas Swiss.