The D.R.O.P.S. Sri Lanka 2019 mission commenced on Saturday 9 March with a group of volunteers including medical doctors and childrens dentist with helpers, teachers and translators. The group travelled over 1200 km, visiting 9 locations and impacted the lives of over 2500 people, 80% being very poor and underprivileged, sick or disabled children, over a period 5 days. The locations included poverty-stricken villages with broken homes, and little, to no education or medical care or even basic necessities such as soap; a newly established village, basically a small compound with bamboo and leaf huts, with no running water, toilets and electricity with the closest school being 7.5km; a cancer transit hospital; an extremely dilapidated elderly home; a children’s community project in the middle of Colombo; an isolated and poor community built around a rubber plantation; an orphanage with children under the age of 5 years old (most children with severe congenital heart disease or other major disabilities due to alcohol or drug abuse).
The focus of the D.R.O.P.S. mission each year is to make a difference today, for a better tomorrow for each and every person that is participating during each D.R.O.P.S. visit. This is done by providing essential educational sessions during the visits on brushing teeth, washing hands, personal hygiene, and healthy food and exercise habits to reduce a multitude of health issues and risks, experienced by the lower class people of Sri Lanka, due to a lack of basic understanding or education on these topics – this is notable with both the children and adults. Therefore, the focus is on providing this education to both children and adults. The people generally suffer from low blood sugar, and in other cases sometimes malnutrition, diabetes, obesity, underweight, bad teeth, and heart issues – it is the aim of the volunteers to transfer this knowledge to as many people as possible so that they too can become a drop to spread this knowledge across the country starting with one village / community at a time to reduce the impact of so many diseases and illnesses that can be prevented.
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world
Medical doctors and dentists also provided critical medical aid and assistance during each visit – illnesses and other issues are identified, and treated (if possible within the means) and critical condition follow-ups are provided within the support teams.
And lastly – during waiting time to meet the doctors – volunteers provide some light entertainment and donated activities such as face paint, balloon animals, and coloring competitions, and a variety of toys are distributed to create a fun environment to evoke some happiness and smiles in a sometimes very ugly and difficult world. Also some essential donations such as umbrellas, water bottles, socks, towels, toothpaste, toothbrushes, baby clothes and nappies, soap are disseminated to provide some relief and endorsement towards a better life.
Highlights and achievements during the D.R.O.P.S. Sri Lanka 2019 mission:
- Over 1200 km travelled
- Impacted the lives of over 2500 people with essential education and medical aid
- Visited over 9 locations across Sri Lanka
- Over 300 people visited at Cancer Transit hospital (60% children)
- Successfully established an IT computer lab at Colombo community Center
- Sponsoring teachers at the IT lab for the next term for a certification in IT and English
- Provided eye care /glasses to over 200 people (people never received before)
- Gynaecology check-ups to woman whom never received this type of care before
- Provided cholesterol tests and reports
- Provided Blood sugar tests
- During medical check up – breast cancer detected
- Established a community education center with basic books and pens, white boards, and cupboards.
- Over 3000 toy and activity donations
- Over 500 essential donations (Among others hygiene as well as essential nutritions. Next to this provided education for sustainable improvement)