About 50 poor children from a Colombo multiethnic area received Christmas baskets with school stationery, books and other teaching materials from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) during the traditional Christmas celebration.
This is the tenth edition of the
event organised by the OMI-run Centre for Religion and Society (CRS).
"When we share or give something to people in need, we must not give
them what we like or what we want, but what they need,” CRS director Fr
Ashok Stephen told AsiaNews.
The gifted material will help the kids in the upcoming school year,
and their parents who don’t have the money to buy pens, notepads, and
The children come from Summit Pura (Summit Town) in Mattakkuliya
(Colombo 15), an area that began to be occupied in 1971 by beggars and
poor families living on the edge of the Sri Lanka capital.
The area is home to a mix of people with different cultural and
religious backgrounds, both Tamil and Sinhalese, mostly Buddhists,
Muslims and Hindus, but with some Christians.
Its multiethnic character was clear on Christmas evening as children sang in Sinhalese and English.
Fr Steven noted that children put on a Christmas play to send a
strong message to relatives and parents. "Alcohol abuse is harmful to
health. For this reason, they asked their parents to avoid it".