Caritas Sri Lanka network commemorated the World Food Day 2019 on 16th October 2019 at Caritas Sri Lanka –SEDEC. This year WFD is being observed under the theme “Our Actions Are Our Future Healthy Diets for A# Zero Hunger World.” The opening ceremony commenced with the Holy Eucharistic celebrated by Rev. Fr. Desmond Perera, Diocesan Director, Caritas Kandy. The National Director, Rev. Fr. Mahendra Gunatilleke, explained in detail about the message of Pope Francis to end Hunger by 2025 during his Sermon, also giving a clear picture to the audience on the vital importance of thinking about the poor who go hungry everyday while we waste food. He then used this opportunity to warmly welcome all the DC Directors present and the staff of the food security program. 75 participants including Diocesan Directors, Diocesan Coordinators, Field officers, Monitoring and Evaluation officers and Finance officers participated in this event. Mrs. Nilani Tissera, National Coordinator of the Food Security program gave an Introduction to the World Food Day. World Food Day is celebrated annually on October 16th by 150 Countries across the world in support of the FAO’s mission to use the event to raise awareness and to gather support and understanding to the approaches that can help to end world hunger. Caritas Sri Lanka network is implementing the program “Addressing causes for poverty and Ensuring Food Security for farming Communities” in Sri Lanka under the leadership of Rev. Fr. Mahendra Gunatilleke, National Director, Caritas Sri Lanka –SEDEC from year 2018 with the support of Caritas Norway/NORAD. Achievements of the Food Security program were highlighted through a Documentary film. Caritas Sri Lanka has already established 12,306 domestic economic units in 525 selected villages in 25 Districts and upgraded unproductive home gardens and paddy lands for them to secure their food supply throughout the year. 20,076 School children underwent organic gardening workshop and at the end, these children were also given small quantities of vegetable seeds vegetable seedling to plant in their gardens. 11,183 Mothers have participated in family nutrition programs and are consuming nutritionally balanced food. Dr. Deepthi D. Priyantha, Community Health Medical Officer, Galgamuwa, Department of Indigenous Medicine delivered the presentation on Healthy Diets. Dr. K. T. Sundaresan, Honorary Consultant Physician/ Teaching Hospital, Batticaloa, Senior Lecturer in Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, Eastern University, UN Physician- Eastern Province gave a presentation on Food as a Medicine. The ceremony concluded with the vote of thanks by Mr. K. Theivendirarajah, Senior Program Manager, Caritas Sri Lanka –SEDEC.
Caritas Sri Lanka wish to thank Caritas Norway for the guidance and support given to promote sustainable agriculture, to reduce malnutrition and poverty in rural areas of Sri Lanka.