In 1982 a Sri Lankan woman lost her husband and instead of mourning, channelled her energies into helping those less fortunate than herself. Rita opened her home to those who were in need of shelter and took in anyone who needed her help: the sick, the elderly, orphaned children, you name it… 32 years later the Marcsri refuge is home to over 800 people and is run solely on donations with no help from the government.
One of the children that found herself living in Rita’s home was Doni. Abandoned by her parents who were both doctors, she’s grown and flourished under Rita’s care. Doni’s a straight A student and once she’s finished her homework she takes care of the books and admin at Marcsri. She dreams of graduating university and getting a good job.
So what’s all this got to do with us? And how did a laptop from Giant Peach find its way into Doni’s, well, lap?
The Marcsri home depends on food donations from the relief charity Rebuilding Sri Lanka, an organisation that founder James’ close friend Martin volunteers with. So when Martin was embarking on his return to Sri Lanka after a vacation in the UK, James sent him back with a reconditioned MacBook Pro in the hope that our love of technology could do a little bit of good.
And it was to Doni that the laptop was given:
‘Today we rocked up there and I told her I had a present for her. I showed her the MacBook pro and her face was out of this world: ‘Are you kidding, are you kidding?!’ Rita came over to see what the fuss was about and asked what it was…she replied ‘It’s the best computer you can get in the world!’ She said it ‘Made my day, no, made my year, no, made my life!’ She told us that she knew she would never have one. It really is out of this world for her. You did an amazing thing, I am forever grateful.’
A relatively small gesture to those of us living in comfort every day, but it meant everything to a young woman on the other side of the world fighting for her future. Let’s keep doing those little things and eventually we’ll see big change.