Houses for Those Displaced by War

Originally published on OMI World.

Twenty three newly built houses were handed over on 29 November 2013 to families who were displaced by the war of 2009. Up to now these families were living in makeshift shelters.

Fr. Jeevendra PAUL, Grant Director of the OMI General Administration, kindly graced the occasion. This is an OMI-LEBARA partnership project where the financing is done by the LEBARA Foundation while the Oblates take care of the logistics. Already fifty houses in Paranthan and fifty houses in Maniamthotam, Jaffna, were handed over to displaced families by this project in 2012.

From the LEBARA website: Aged 15, Lebara co-founder and CEO Ratheesan Yoganathan sought refuge in the UK from the Sri Lankan Civil War. In 2001, he and friends Leon Ranjith and Baskaran Kandiah co-founded the Lebara Group.

Their vision was to help migrant communities keep in touch with loved ones back home by providing high-quality, low-cost products and services.

But when Ratheesan witnessed the impact of the 2004 Tsunami in Asia that vision widened, because he saw first-hand what happens to young children when denied basic needs such as water, food, shelter and education. It was then that the idea for the Foundation was first conceived. In 2008, the Lebara Foundation was registered with the aim of providing housing, health measures and schooling for displaced communities around the world.

“At the very heart of Lebara’s culture is the desire to give back and make a difference to the communities of our customers and their families and friends,” says Ratheesan. (