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Sri Lanka orphanage ground breaking ceremony 2011On the 21st of March 2011, The Give Light Foundation in collaboration with AAM Marleen Foundation of Sri Lanka had its foundation stone laying ceremony in efforts to begin construction of the Give Light Home Orphanage and Community Services Complex, in the city of Atulugama, Panadura, Sri Lanka.

This was an endeavor that began close to a year ago, when The Give Light foundation decided to expand its reach out to the needy orphans of Sri Lanka. The devastating outcome of the Tsunami victimized the lives of thousands leaving many families displaced and children orphaned. The partnership between The Give Light Foundation and AAM Marleen Foundation of Sri Lanka was inaugurated on the 17th of July 2010 in Colombo Sri Lanka, with Chief Guest Honorable Professor G.L. Peiris, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, Guest of Honor, Mrs. Dian Alyan, President, The Give Light Foundation and many other distinguished guests and delegates from other nations.

A few days prior to the event, I arrived in Sri Lanka to make the necessary arrangements to prepare for this endeavor. Since the acquisition of the land in the city of Atulugama, almost a year ago, our counterparts in Colombo, Sri Lanka have worked very hard and diligently in finalizing the architectural, structural drawings, securing the necessary state and government building permits, finalizing the tender process for the construction and coordinating logistical measures needed to commence construction of the project. Given the challenges they faced, this was a major accomplishment in such a short time frame. As we visited the site to prepare the location for the ceremony, the local community members kept approaching us at the site in huge numbers thanking our organization for what we hope to accomplish referring to us as “All of you are God sent to help our community and Allah will reward all of you and your families with the highest in this world and the hereafter for what you are about to do for this community”. Within an hour of our presence there were close to a hundred people pledging their support, commitment to help and be a part of this project in any manner possible.

AAM Marleen Foundation was honored with the participation and support of Honorable D.M. Jayaratne, Prime Minister (Vice President) of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka as the Chief Guest, Honorable A.H.M. Fowzie, Senior Minister of Urban Affairs, as the guest of Honor, Honorable Rauf Hakeem, Minister of Justice, Hon. Tudor Jayaratne, former Deputy Minister of Health, His Excellency Hussain Shihab Ambassador of Maldives to Sri Lanka, Venerable Galtude Panyakeerthi Nayake Chief Priest of Galtude Temple , any many other members of parliament, dignitaries and leaders of other community organizations of Sri Lanka.

The ceremony began with a recital from the holy Quran, followed by the welcome speech By Shahram Marleen, President of AAM Marleen Foundation and Liaison to The Give Light Foundation. In the welcome speech, the community was thanked for its su