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Act for Peace

Act for Peace logo2016

Bringing hope and healing to the world through the Christmas Bowl 

For many refugees, access to basic healthcare is incredibly difficult.

This was especially true for Achala as she was diagnosed with leukaemia at just eight years old. Help seemed nearly impossible.

Achala lives in a refugee camp in Tamil Nadu, India. Achala was born there and still lives there today with her grandmother, Praveena, who fled from Sri Lanka with nothing when civil war came to her village. Praveena recalls, “We were really scared of the military. We suffered a lot because there was no food. In a critical stage, we got in a boat and came here to India.”

Praveena was a stranger in a foreign land. She was restricted to a refugee camp and without family support, struggled to provide for her granddaughter. When Achala got sick and stopped eating, life became even harder. Praveena knew something was wrong.

AFP

Achala was eventually admitted to hospital after seeing a series of doctors. “We were at the hospital for three days. We were scared since it cost so much and we still had to buy medicines and injections.”

Despite the treatment, Achala didn’t get better. Returning to the hospital, and enduring another series of expensive and painful tests, she was eventually diagnosed with leukaemia.

Over the next two years, Achala was in and out of hospital, travelling overnight on the bus each time. Medical and tranportation costs soon added up. Her grandmother borrowed as much money as she could, but without more money for medicine and hospital visits, Achala would die.

Just when all hope seemed lost, Praveena was put in touch with the Organisation for Eelam Refugee Rehabilitation (OfERR), Act for Peace’s partner organisation in India. Achala and Praveena received the medical care needed to save Achala’s life.

Achala now has hope and a future because of the generosity of people like you.

“Without OfERR it would have been very tough. We wouldn’t have been able to save her. There would be no other way” Praveena said.

Achala’s treatments were hard on her young body. She had to undergo bone marrow transplants, rounds of medication and she even lost her hair. Today this brave girl is in remission and she is full of hope for her future. She told us:
“When I grow up I want to become a doctor. While I was sick, these doctors helped me so much and cured me. So, I want to cure children who are suffering like me.”

Christmas is the time that we celebrate God’s gift to us, the arrival of His son Jesus. Since 1949 Australian Christians have worked together through the Christmas Bowl to respond to Christ’s call to feed the hungry, heal the sick and welcome the stranger. 

But this work is not finished. This Christmas there are still many more families around the world, like Achala’s, in urgent need of your support.

Please give to the Christmas Bowl today and continue to bring hope and healing to the world.

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