Child giving a donation. Image via TrailSL
In an amazing event, 25,000 Sri Lankans (and others) have walked from the absolute south of the island to the absolute north, raising money for a cancer hospital in Jaffna. When they passed through Colombo, we bought a brick with the kids name on it. Yesterday, Mahela Jayawardena laid the foundation stone. Today I’m very proud of all of them, and proud to be Sri Lankan.
The former national captain said that when he was walking near Kurunegala in central Sri Lanka a six-year-old boy came out of a little house to hand over a tin of coins he had saved.
“It made my day,” said Jayawardena.
“A lot of people have not seen the quality of Sri Lankans. Huge funds were raised in the south to build a hospital in the north.
“If that generation can heal our wounds, we’ll be the happiest.”
Nathan Sivagananthan, Sarinda Unamboowe (behind, I think) and Kumar Sangakkara. Via TrailSL
TrailSL is a non-political movement led by two businessmen, one Sinhala and Tamil (guessing solely based on their names). Sarinda Unamboowe raised $115,897 and Nathan Sivagananathan raised $143,363, from small donors. The trail had the backing of basically all of corporate Sri Lanka and celebrities ranging from Otara to a bunch of cricketers.
Woman running to garland the walkers. Via TrailSL
Sanga accepting a donation from a child. Via TrailSL
More importantly, normal Sri Lankans joined the walk in various stages, sponsored by their friends. So the act reverberates beyond the path or the hospital. It’s really a beautiful thing, done absolutely right. This is not a political solution but it is a human one, to a problem that affects us all (cancer). Congratulations, and thank you to TrailSL.