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03/24/2011

【Northern Province】One year with JEN‐Mugunthan

Although we had first set out to restore the wells in Vavuniya county (Vavuniya District, Northern Province) in January, the project*1 only fully started in early March, when we finally received the approval from the government of Sri Lanka. Today, we would like to introduce you the key person in this project. Rajaratnam Mugunthan(37 years old), our Project Officer. Mugunthan is Hindu and has a wife and a 4-year old daughter.

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“I was about 9 years old when the Civil War started to intensify. At that time, we lived by an arterial highway leading to the anti-governmental territory so it was common for public security officers to raid our house at night or for us to stay at our friend’s house for a couple of days to avoid the combat. Finally in 1990, the war forced us to leave our house for good. Since then, we have been fleeing from one place to another. We cannot return to our old home because it is still in the security zone of the government army.

 When I was young, I wanted to become an accountant because the newly established Commerce/ Accounting Course seemed interesting. Unfortunately, since I was living in an area under the influence of the opposition army, I had to find a guarantor in order to study accounting in Colombo. I didn’t know anyone in Colombo so I couldn’t go there. Vavuniya was the only city I could come to, but it didn’t even have an accounting office at that time. Although I was studying accounting, there were not many employment opportunities so I started to work for the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, where I was helping as a volunteer.

 Because of the Civil War, I have always been among the people who lived under harsh environment. This may be the reason why I have always liked helping those people.   Even in primary school, I participated in a group similar to Boy Scout. Now I have joined JEN, I am happy that I can continue doing humanitarian support activities. When my daughter grows up I want her to become a social worker, not an accountant.”

(*1 The project for the restoration of wells is being implemented with the support from Japan Platform and JEN supporters.)

March 24, 2011 in Sri Lanka |