House built for a widowed mother and her child in Anuradhapura

19 Jun 2016 By Edwards Foundation
Photo of the honourable speaker at the house handover ceremony.

Edwards Foundation is celebrating after successfully completing a project to build a house in Anuradhapura for a widowed mother and her child.

We are honoured to have had the Honourable Speaker of Parliament at the official handover and house blessing ceremony.

Mr and Mrs Edwards had hoped to attend the ceremony but were regrettably unable to, due to an illness in the family. They did, however, express their joy for the occasion, noting that, to be able to complete and hand over the house is such a great achievement.

Mr and Mrs Edwards hope to continue on the philanthropic path in future, as it is a very worthwhile cause.

read more

Punya Edwards donates Rs 1 Million to Surya Foundation

31 Jan 2016 By Edwards Foundation
Photo of Punya Edwards meeting with the patron of Surya Foundation, Hon. Karu Jayasuriya.

Punya Edwards is proud to be able to share her success with a charity that is making a tangible impact on so many people’s lives, and in such an important way as to provide them with the security of having a place to call home.

In keeping with the core focuss of the Surya Foundation, the Rs 1 Million donation will help the foundation continue its ambitious efforts towards developing housing for the poor. Punya Edwards believes that improving the life chances of disadvantaged people is absolutely crucial to the long term future of local communities and Sri Lanka as a whole.

Selfless, community-minded individuals like Punya Edwards are an inspiration to people of all ages and future generations, and this act of generosity shows how passionate and committed the Edwards are about making a difference in the community.

read more

Rienzie Edwards, Proud Patron of St Anthony's Church Soup Kitchen in Kochchikade, Colombo

30 Nov 2015 By Edwards Foundation
Photo of the enjoying a healthy meal at St Anthonys Shrine in Kochchikade.

Rienzie Edwards is a proud patron of St Anthony's Shrine soup kitchen, which provides a vital lifeline of daily nutrition, friendship and a future to the most disadvantaged, homeless and vulnerable in Kochchikade and the general Colombo area.

St Anthony's Shrine has long been a retreat for society, and aside from the soup kitchen services, like many churches, has a rich program which includes Holy Mass, Confession, Counselling, Scholarships, and a host of events- all conducted in a variety of languages, including, Sinhala, Tamil and English.

The church’s work is made possible through the generous support of devotees, volunteers and sponsors like Rienzie Edwards. This support and dedication has helped the church move from strength to strength.

St. Anthony has many devotees and several Churches have been erected in his honor, with Kochikade, perhaps being one of the most popular, attracting a congregation of every cast, creed and race.

read more

Construction of a Nunnery at Pothuhera, Kurunegala‏

16 Aug 2015 By Edwards Foundation
Photo showing a ceremony at the Nunnery.

We are honoured to have recently completed the construction of a nunnery that will accommodate up to a dozen nuns. The nunnery is located in Pothuhera, a small town in the district of Kurunegala. The nunnery will serve as a residence for nuns so they can better serve the Pothuhera community, which has a population of nearly forty thousand people.

Nuns perform a host of duties within communities, working in areas like education, medicine and social work. All jobs that nuns perform, in some way, are meant to fulfil their overarching roles in faith. Nuns fulfil the roles of caregivers and humanitarians, offering services to many that are need; are these are services that sometimes businesses and government are unable to efficiently offer. These roles are often tough and require the sort of commitment that can only come from the belief in serving a higher power.

The many roles that are played by nuns include feeding the poor and hungry, volunteering in nurseries and helping to build programs and housing for the poor. Additionally, nuns offer counselling for young mothers and other women seeking spiritual advice. Whether in hospitals or at nunneries, nuns often care for the sick and pray for healing. Each nunnery tries to better their community in unique ways to reflect the charity that faith teaches us.

The project cost a total of Rs 5 Million, which is a worthy investment to help ensure that the nuns will build a strong centre-point to serve the community for many years to come.

read more

Commissioned Building a Stupa at Werawella Temple

16 Aug 2015 By Edwards Foundation
Photo showing a ceremony at the Stupa commissioned by the Edwards.

Stupas play a central role in Buddhist belief; they symbolically represent the five elements of life, i.e. earth, air, water, fire and space. Dissecting the architecture, the ground square base is the representation of earth, the large canopy represents the air, the round dome represents water, the cone shape of the stupa represents fire, and the volume of the stupa represents space.

To build a stupa, transmission, a custom in which a person is established as a successor in a lineage of teachers, and ceremonies from a Buddhist teacher is necessary. Which kind of Stupa to be constructed in a certain area is decided together with the teacher assisting in the construction. Sometimes the type of stupa chosen is directly connected with events that have taken place in the area.

Building a stupa is viewed tremendously positively, leaving very positive karmic imprints in the mind, and is also very important as a place of meditation.

read more

Helping Glennie's Home Orphanage in former war torn Trincomalee‏

07 Jun 2015 By Edwards Foundation

Glennie Home Trincomalee was started by Rev. Fr. Leo in 1992 has about 18 orphan children both boys and girls which has now grown to over 50. They are between the ages 5 and 18. Rev. Sister Adriane and a team of volunteer workers help Fr. Leo to run the administration of the house.

These children need not only formal education during their formative years but they should also be prepared to face challenges of their future life as adults. This means that they needed a Vocational Training Centre for these children to lift up their lives.

The Centre is equipped with a computer, three typewriters and three sewing machines. It is now for use not only for the children at the orphanage but also for poor youth in the area willing uplift their living standards.

We visited the home and provided them provisions, and furniture. We also assisted them with a new wing to the existing building, which has greatly improved the lives of the Children.

read more

Giving Alms to Monks at the Holy and Historic Temple of the Tooth Relic in Kandy‏

25 May 2015 By Edwards Foundation

Giving alms to monks is considered one of the three elements of the path of practice as formulated by the Buddha for laypeople dāna, sīla, bhāvanā. One rarely gets a chance to give alms at the Sri Dalada Maligawa or the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. The Temple of the tooth relic is a Buddhist temple in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka. It is located in the royal palace complex of the former Kingdom of Kandy, which houses the relic of the tooth of Lord Buddha. It’s a blessings to be able to do this dana inside the Temple of the Tooth Relic.

read more

Gifting land to build temples

16 Apr 2015 By Edwards Foundation

We gifted lands owned by us to the temple to build a retirement home for retired and sick monks in the beautiful and Historic City of Anuradhapura. Anuradhapura is one of the ancient capitals of Sri Lanka, famous for its well-preserved ruins of ancient Sri Lankan civilization. It was the center of Theravada Buddhism for many centuries. It is believed that from the 4th century BC, it was the capital of the Sinhalese until the beginning of the 11th century AD.

The Gifting was done in the presence of the Diyawadana Nilame of the Temple of the tooth relic who also presented us an award for this meritorious deed. Diyawadana Nilame is the office of chief lay custodian of Temple of the Tooth, Kandy, Sri Lanka. It remains a prestigious position, enriched with over two thousand years of history to safeguard and carry out ancient rituals for the most sacred Relic of the tooth of the Buddha. Diyawadana Nilame has the responsibility of overseeing of all aspects of the Sri Dalada Maligawa. As such it was a ceremony steeped in tradition and history.

read more

Helping pregnant and destitute mothers

31 Jan 2013 By Edwards Foundation

A little help goes a long way for pregnant and destitute mothers.

Not so long ago, my wife and I helped construct a nunnery so nuns can have better outreach programs in the community.

For 2012-2013 New Year celebrations, we held a special thanks-giving ceremony at the nunnery. The event included donating food and medical supplies to widowed and destitute women.

read more

The joy of giving

01 Aug 2012 By Edwards Foundation

Generosity is central to faith, and by exploring it together we find joy and pursue a life of purpose. Nobody can tell you how to be generous, and indeed, the size of a generous gesture does not matter. There is simply no act too small or too big, but simply a right act from a sincere heart.

My wife and I have something of a birthday tradition; We view birthdays as special occasions where one has an opportunity to celebrate life and extend goodwill towards others.

In keeping with this tradition, this year, we embarked upon a 7 Day Kiri, Aloka and Kapruka Pooja at Jayasri Maha Bodhi at the end of which we distributed dry rations to 500 families and school books to 200 destitute children. One cannot express the heart-felt joy of touching another person’s life. . A sacred Boo tree was also planted in Wakada, Kurunegala to mark my wife’s birthday, but the present she was most pleased with was the laying of a foundation stone for a new temple that will include a hostel for female monks, a chaitya, and a bana maduwa (a place where tiie Buddhist Priests read the Bana, or Sacred Books).

Gifting such as this offers much needed sustenance to rural communities in Sri Lanka as poverty continues to be a large problem. Although Sri Lanka has done well in some Human Development Index (HDI) indicators such as life expectancy and literacy, and even topping some rankings in the South Asia region, it has continued to average in the medium ranges of the HDI. This is despite the fact that Sri Lanka has been experiencing moderate growth in its GDP averaging 5.5% per annum between 2006 and 2009. One of the reasons is due to its relatively low GDP per capita; currently ranked in the bottom one third of the world. This could be due to the issue of poverty, specifically, rural poverty. The Sri Lankan government has been successful in reducing poverty from 15.2% in 2006 to 8.9% in 2010, Urban poverty was reduced from 6.7 to 5.3% while rural poverty was reduced from 15.7 to 9.5% and the nation is close to achieving Millennium Development Goals on Eradicating extreme poverty hunger.

Image: Copy of an article that appeared in The Island newspaper.

Promoting charitable giving is a wonderful way to share happiness and spread values such as generosity and compassion through the community and ultimately build a better world. Generosity comes from the heart, and is also a thoughtful process that guides our philanthropic choices and role in making our community a better place.

Source: UNDP, The Island

read more