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Our Works - Act for Peace

Saving lives in India

Our Works - Act for PeaceBen Littlejohn/Act for Peace

Shanti* and her son Hari* were born in Sri Lanka but for the last 25 years she and her family I have lived in a refugee camp assisted by Act for Peace’s partner, the Organisation for Eelam Refugees Rehabilitation (OfERR), in the state of Tamil Nadu in south-east India.

Your ongoing support to Act for Peace has helped to save Hari’s life. 

Shanti was forced to flee Sri Lanka while she was still pregnant. She gave birth in the camp in India and because of the trauma he was born early and had a dangerously low birth weight.  The first two years of his life were a constant battle for survival and they spent much of those two years at the hospital with doctors. Finally, they ran tests and discovered that Hari had a hole in his heart.

Nothing could be done at the time but Shanti looked after him and managed his health as best she could. She was so proud when her boy started school but he suffered from bad headaches and vomiting.

As time went on, Hari found it hard to participate in any activities at school. He would be out of breath by simply standing for too long. He longed to play sports with his friends but couldn’t. It was a very difficult time for him and Shanti couldn’t afford the operation on his heart that the doctors recommended.

Thankfully, employees were able to find another hospital, run by a welfare society, where most expenses are covered by government health insurance. And thanks to your kind gifts, OfERR was also able to assist Shanti to pay the excess fees.

Eventually, in 2012 Hari had an operation that successfully closed the hole in his heart, which brought his mother Shanti so much joy. Today Hari has a job in a nearby courier mail office and he plays soccer with his friends and is so happy.

*Shanti and Hari’s names have been changed to protect their identity as refugees 

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