East Finchley resident Dr Mareeni Raymond tells us about the charity she has helped to set up for the benefit of those affected by the civil war in Sri Lanka.
As a Sri Lankan brought up in the UK, I was moved and disturbed by the conflict there. Thousands who have had to leave their homes and possessions now live in very basic camps set up by the government.
Rehabilitating them will take time and will be a difficult task.
They need basic things such as food and clothing and, in the long-term, education, psychological and social support.
After countless discussions about how to help, some friends and I decided to set up the registered charity Little Aid, a name chosen to emphasise that we would use the smallest of donations to make a massive difference.
Our immediate goal is to help with basic needs. We have already raised enough money to send lorry loads of food, milk powder and clothing to the camps. Our long-term objective is to resettle all the displaced people and help them to get on with their lives.
Most recently we have been working with a camp in Ambepussa where more than 120 children now live, and numbers increase daily. They have very disturbing pasts. The children said they would love to learn traditional music among other things, and so we have organised delivery of many musical instruments and a music teacher for one year to help with their psychosocial development. You can see the delivery of these items at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiIAZ8wqQwE
If you have not yet contributed to a charity helping those in Sri Lanka, please consider ours, or any, to help the people most at need there. Find us at www.littleaid.org.uk.