Visitors since January 2005: 971599

Phase 43: April to June 2010

For the 13-year old Vanita life was such a strain, that she twice tried to kill herself. 6 months ago she came to Little Smile, where she has found a place of refuge and learned to become a happy girl again. In the morning of the Singhalese New Year’s day Lokuthatha also stroked her hair with a special oil, so that the new year might bring many happy moments to her and all the other children.
This is not an everyday event for us: Sandaruan, who lived here for four years, came to see us during the New Year’s holidays. His name is now Chandraratne and he lives as a monk in a Buddhist monastery. But among us, for a few moments, he became the rascal we know so well. Smiling he picked up the 4-year old Ragu in his arms.
There are no holidays for misery and so many people in need knocked at our front gate over the New Year’s holidays. Over months this mother waited with her children for her husband to return. Now she has nothing left but the clothes she wears. The rain even has washed away her poor hut and now she has no more place to go.
Abandoned by their parents, separated by fate and finally reunited in Little Smile. Krishnaweni is overjoyed to have found her little sister Saroja at last.
In our centre for traditional medicine in Buttala we also bid farewell to the Old Year and welcome the New Year together. Also in the Buddhist year 2554 teachers and students will continue assuring that the old art of Ayurveda will not be forgotten.
With much noise the election campaign was celebrated in Sri Lanka. After the election of the president the parliamentary elections followed close behind. Just as it happens in any other electoral campaign, here too the politicians promised the moon. But where are the ones who took care that actions and deeds followed all these words? Where is this love for Sri Lanka, that is propagated all over the country after the civil war, really to be seen? Many people consider Michael Kreitmeir a stranger, and as a white man basically suspicious. But is the love for a country and its people – especially those in need – not expressed the best in deeds?
In front of the House of Protection childminders, teachers and children line up shortly before New Year’s day to express their thanks with a little celebration to Little Smile and all the people, who support this place in the centre of Galle city.
The pillars are growing slowly but steadily. Time doesn’t stand still in the peace- and meeting centre in Pilane near Galle. From mid April onward we concentrate all our forces in the construction area to be able to finish this last big site too in 2010.
After many years in which due to the civil war it was rather quiet here, we had several visitors again in March and April – loyal supporters and also new friends – who wanted to experience what a little smile can achieve even in difficult times.
Almost a tradition too: Ever since the age of 3 Marco Kreitmeir has been visiting his brothers and sisters from Little Smile during the Easter holidays and looks what his dad has achieved since the last visit. He has gone through an enormous growth spurt and did not only surprise his father, but the girls too with his 14 years.
Beaming with joy on her 12th birthday, Pavitra carries her youngest Little Smile sister in her arms. It’s Nahindra’s birthday too. Only a few days old, she came to the children’s village marked by malnutrition, neglect and disease. But one year of care and love have worked a little miracle.
Divia knows what it means to be alone. After her father’s death, when she was only 5 years old, her mother had to give her away to relatives, where the little girl had nothing to laugh about. After her mother had found a job in the children’s village she could bring her eldest daughter here as well. Six years later, the today 17 year old is looking after the little Ragu and four more boys of pre-school age.
Who will be next?
Well, it wasn’t Bawani’s turn yet, but the 12 year old didn’t care much about that. Her first menstruation started on the very same day as Clara’s. And since this is in Sri Lanka a reason for a big celebration, we had two reasons for a celebration.
Only 30 but with a face marked by too many bad experience like that of an old woman. When Madushani’s mother visited us and the two of them were sitting side by side, it became pretty clear that it was great luck for Madushani that she came to the children’s village 3 years ago. The greatest wish of the 15 year old: she wants to study and become a doctor to help her mother and her brothers and sisters one day.
When the 11 year old Meloni suddenly disappeared without a trace from school, we were extremely concerned. We searched for her everywhere, we prayed at night and then the little girl really did appeared again more than 200 km away on the outskirts of Colombo. A guardian angel must have protected the little runaway, who was searching for her mother and just could not believe that after having lost the father she has lost her mother too. Michael Kreitmeir brought her back to the place that will soon become a home for her too.
Radika might as well be somewhere in South America with the big Cowboy hat she had borrowed from Lokuthatha for a theatre play. It took the Tamil girl almost 2 years till she was able to smile again. And now it seems as if she wants to make up for all these missed happy moments – and that’s good!
Especially in the UVA province there are many regions, in which people lead a very simple life, often without electricity or any possibility to get an education. The government in Colombo seems to be light years away. And especially in these regions Michael Kreitmeir frequently is the only one, who pays attention to the people’s worries. And sometimes Little Smile is able to give support together with Buddhist monks, such as it was the case with the construction of this little school.