Building homes for the internally displaced

Homes for the internally displaced

The ethnicwar that ravaged Sri Lanka for three decades left hundreds and thousands of people in the North and East of the country homeless.MillenniumITstaff, like their fellow Sri Lankans,did what they could individually to ease their plight, but it was clear that a more structured response was needed.

The Project

In his New Year message for 2010, MillenniumIT ChairmanTony Weeresinghe proposed that the company undertake to build homes for displaced families who were then slowly returning to the towns and villages where they had lived. This suggestion was wholeheartedly endorsed by our staff,each of whom contributed a minimum of three day’s salary to fund the project.With the establishment of the London Stock Exchange Group Foundation (LSEGF), the project found another enthusiastic sponsor.  This project was carried out in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Sri Lanka.

The first phase of the project commenced on 4thOctober 2010.  Faiq Faaiz, MillenniumIT’s Executive Vice President, dignitaries from Habitat for Humanity, the District Secretary and the Brigade Commander of the 233rd Brigade graced the occasion to lay the foundation for the housesin the village of Sinnathammunai,Vakarai. The second phase saw the construction of 51 more houses, this time atMuthiyankattikulam,Oddusudan. In this phase, the houses were funded by LSEGFoundation, while funds contributed by our staff were used in the construction and furnishing of a community centre at the same location.All houses were completed and handed over to their new owners by August 2012, while the community centre was handed over to the local Rural Development Society in January 2013.

Building on Success

When the directors of LSEG visited Sri Lanka in 2011, their agenda included a trip toVakarai to see the completed houses.They were delighted with the houses built and how much having a home once again impacted the wellbeing of the recipients.On this occasion, the District Secretary requested LSEG’s CEO, Xavier Rolet, to help finish261half-built houses (under the auspices of NEHRP),  habitable. Later, the trustees of the Foundation unanimously approved funding for the completion of 261 houses. Work commenced in June 2013, and the project will be completed in December 2014. While this is mainly an LSEGF project, MillenniumIT staff is also playing an active part by volunteering with Habitat for Humanity.