By Ben Caspersz

We have been hearing a lot about Brisbane and the landslides in Brazil, but now the scale and impact of the flooding in Sri Lanka is starting to emerge.  What’s becoming clear is that the situation is very serious and huge numbers of people are in need of urgent help.

My dad is Sri Lankan and I have strong personal ties with the country, in particular the parts that in the last few days have been devastated by the worst flooding in more than 50 years.

Latest reports are that as a result of the floods 400,000 people are living in makeshift camps and there is a serious threat of disease from the contamination of 66,000 wells by the floodwater.

But what can we do?  Well, there is something.

For a number of years I have been involved with a tiny charity called the Sri Lankan Orphanages Appeal – a network of individuals who’ve established  the means to get aid directly to the children on the receiving end of decades of war and poverty in the north and east of the country.

The charity is super efficient.  By working in partnership with local church groups and Lions Clubs here in the UK and Sri Lanka, every penny raised makes it to the front line.

This morning I received word of an urgent appeal from the people working in the orphanage in Batticaloa.  The local situation is desperate and they urgently need financial assistance to provide emergency and relief supplies of dried fruit, clothes and supplies of children’s educational materials to families hit by the flood.

They sent the pictures below, which graphically show the scale of the issue.

Claremont is backing this appeal and making a donation – can you help?  Even small amounts can make a big difference.

This appeal is for everybody, but I particularly reach out to all those people who have been on holiday to Sri Lanka and seen for themselves how incredibly friendly and hospitable people are there, even those with very little in their pockets.  Could you support this appeal?

Could your organisation – your company, your NCT group, your rugby club – to make a donation to this urgent appeal?

Please donate via the website, send a cheque marked ‘floods appeal’ to ‘The Treasurer, Shrewsbury Lions Club, 98 London Road, Shrewsbury SY2 6PN’ or contact the UK co-ordinator Trevor Thevarajah directly on 01952 598 863.