About HAVONOS and its partner organisation OMI


Sri Lanka is an island state located in South Asia in the Indian Ocean and has over 21 million inhabitants. 

Marco Polo described Sri Lanka as the most beautiful island in the world.

In Sri Lanka live traditionally different communities, each with their own religion and language. Buddhist Sinhalese constitute 75% of the p

opulation. In addition, there are Hindu Tamils, 18% of the population, and also Muslims and Christians small groups. Tamils mainly live in the north and on the east coast of the island. There has been a lot of friction between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. After independence, the Sinhalese have pursued a policy which brought the Tamils increasingly into the tribulation and ultimately led to years of civil war between the two peoples. The final battle of the civil war, in 2009, cost thousands of civilian deaths among the Tamils and did not lead to improvement in subsequent years. It was not until 2014, after the election of the current President, that there seems to be light at the end of this tunnel.

Over the years, thousands of Tamils have fled their country and are currently living in Western countries, including the Netherlands. Sieni and Cor Schouten were active in refugee work in Raalte and thus have many contacts with Tamils and built deep friendships. Then on Boxing Day 2004 when a tsunami ravaged the island they were also quickly informed of the disastrous consequences for the population in the north and east of the island. With the help of the Municipality of Raalte and many volunteers Sieni and Cor immediately organized a large collection for the affected area. After that emergency action Cor and Sieni Schouten in 2005 established a foundation. Because especially the Tamil population in the north and east of Sri Lanka suffered from both the civil war and the tsunami most the name that was chosen is Havonos = HEART FOR NORD-EASTERN SRI LANKA.

Havonos in Sri Lanka
Immediately after the tsunami, Havonos, in collaboration with a Sri Lankan partner organization, began with emergency help in the area around Nilaveli. There was obviously a great need in that period. Seized by the situation of oppression and poverty, and after many visits to the region by Havonos in later years they made a choice for more sustainable development and since 2011 are working mostly in the northern Vanni district. The Vanni district is the most devastated area of Sri Lanka. Here the brutal final offensive of the civil war in 2009 took place.

The upheaval is imminent because of trauma and the actual destruction of the environment. Many children have been orphaned by the war. Many women are widowed and many have disabilities. They have no resources and do not know where to start with the reconstruction of their environment. Basic amenities like water, sanitation and electricity are lacking. Havonos is working with a reliable partner organization, OMI = Oblates of Mary Immaculate, which involves local people in choosing her projects. OMI is a Catholic (mission) organization, which is already 200 years actively committed to the welfare of the poorest of the world's population. Thereby targeting the priests who take a vow of poverty, in particular on the welfare of the most needy, regardless of ethnicity, gender, political and religious background. Havonos, together with partner organization OMI want to help want Sri Lankans in a full-neutral way. "Every human being has a right to assistance”.

Havonos in Netherlands

The main task of the Havonos Foundation in the Netherlands is raising funds and donations. This is done by unpaid volunteers. They put all the resources to the projects in Sri Lanka. No money remains 'hanging on the famous bow'. Since the establishment of Havonos in 2005, numerous projects in the field of renovation, new buildings, education, housing, agriculture and social community have been realized. For these projects Havonos has the support and partnerships of various national and international organizations, among others, the Wild Geese Foundation, the National Committee for International Cooperation and Sustainable Development (NCDO) and the foundations ZOA and WOR (Working Group for Development Raalte).