ASIA/SRI LANKA - Italian Project Negombo, new centre for children and young people affected by the 2004 tsunami

Monday, 27 February 2006

Colombo (Fides Service) - A new centre for children and young people affected by the 2004 tsunami disaster was recently opened in Dungalpitiya not far from Colombo, promoted by Italy’s Civil Protection unit, the Italian airforce and Catholic VIS (Volontariato Internazionale per lo Sviluppo) with the help of local volunteers and organisations. The centre will offer a home and also guarantee schooling for children who lost their parents, or whose parents are in great difficulty having lost homes and livelihood in the December 2004 seaquake. The Salesian bulletin ANS said the Centre is part of Negombo Programme sponsored by the Italian Civil Protection unit and undertaken in Sri Lanka by volunteers of VIS and NGO connected with the Salesians. Present at the opening ceremony Italian airforce authorities, Salesian superior in Sri Lanka Fr Anthony Pinto Humer and VIS president Antonio Raimondi
The Centre will insert the children and young people in regular school classes and professional training courses at Salesian Centres in Negombo. The inmates will also be treated for trauma. While the centre was being built local staff were recruited and trained in psychological and medical care. The Centre is named after the airforce lieutenant Maurizio Simone killed on 18 December 1985. (Agenzia Fides 27/2/2006 righe 25 parole 259)