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What has happened to Mayroosan?

Updated on March 22, 2018
Beata Stasak profile image

Beata works as a qualified primary school teacher, a councillor for drug and alcohol addiction and a farm caretaker for organic olive grow.

When my youngest son was two years old

his siblings were too old

to play with him

Let’s find you another brother,”

I said one day and sat him on my lap.

Together we researched the internet.

I typed in ‘World Vision – sponsor a child today’

Beautiful faces of every colour and race

appeared on the screen

and my son clapped his hands in delight

- so many brothers to have.

Him like me,’ he suddenly pointed out.

I looked at my son’s blonde curly hair

and big blue eyes and smiled: “ Yes, he is like you.

A tiny eager boy’s face with a mob of unruly dark hair

and big brown eyes appeared on the screen in front of us.

I filled in the sponsorship’s details

while son was drawing a picture of the two of them

playing together in our yard.

Let’s write him a letter,” I suggested one day.

Our monthly routine of sending money

to Mat’s new brother

never stopped until twenty years later.

In his teenager’s years Mat kept writing to Mayroosan

who had become a pen pal.

Someone had to translate Mat's words for him.

He told me he is truly good now in cricket

and that he wants to become

a doctor when he grows up,”

Mat commented while addressing the envelope,

‘World Vision Lanka Sponsorship Operation’

Colombo, Sri Lanka.

He is so much smarter and better at sport than me,

just so bloody unfortunate, hey mum?

I nodded, thinking back about all the news we had from Mayroosan over the years,

Two boys the same age, yet living such different lives.

When my son was enjoying his first big birthday parties

at Hungry Jacks with his new school friends,

his only worries what colour of school bag to choose

and having the same chips for recess as his buddy Jack.

Meanwhile Mayroosan was walking five km

from his fishing village

to school and back every day.

He also had chores to do - carrying water

from the village pump

(built from sponsors' money)

as well as chopping the wood

so his mother could cook the fish

that his father caught for him

and his twelve brothers

to share with their parents.

And yet every month Mat and Mayroosan

found something in common to draw and write

to each other.

Mat liked soccer and Mayroosan

asked for photos

of famous Australian cricket players.

We always said to Mat that one day

we would make the trip to Colombo and bring

an Aussie beach cricket set for them

to play on Sri Lanka’s beach somewhere.

The World Vision agency said

It is possible for us to meet Mayroosan

and his family.

Then the tidal wave came.

We watched the devastation of floods

and wreckage that swept south west Asia

on our TV screen.

It felt so personal

- we knew Mayroosan and his family

are Tamil Christians who celebrate

Christmas too.

Suddenly our family felt too spoilt

to enjoy everything that we had.

No one bothered to open

the pile of neatly wrapped presents

under the big decorated plastic Christmas tree.

The World Vision agency informed us

that they do not know where

Mayroosan and his family is.

The news of Mayroosan trickled through

little by little

over the following years.

The war between the Tamils and Sinhalese

raged on and Mayroosan and his family

moved back to their Tamil’s homeland.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam,

who were fighting for independence

in response to claimed discrimination

by the Sinhalese intensified.

We kept sponsoring our Mayroosan

not knowing where he was

and not knowing if he was even still alive.

I have tried to make sense

of the civil war that made

Mayroosan’s family

so desperate

that they needed to find

a sponsor

for their child.

Sinhalese Buddhists who are responsible for the Tamil’s suffering, account for 70 percent of Sri Lanka’s population and they hold power.

In 2009 the Sri Lankan army ended 26 years

of war by rounding up of all theTamil’s rebels,

confiscating their land and homes

Mayroosan and his family were sent to a provisional lock up camps, so an eye could be kept on those who rebelled against the Sinhalese.

There was no school provided for children there and no more cricked for Mayroosan.

From the few notes that we got from him from there

we learned that his mother and father

had left to find work in India

to protect them from starvation.

Mayroosan was left behind

to look after his young siblings,

a lost child of war alone in camp

looking after younger children

We just kept sending him money for education

that he would never get.

I called World Vision Lanka asking about

Mayroosan. I supplied his LKA ID number

only to be told he is an adult now

and doesn't qualify for sponsorship anymore.

They could offer another child for sponsorship

and another number to send money to, however.

I hung up. How could I explain

to any agency

(whatever their vision is)

because at the end of the day

they are just one of the many

charitable organisations

thinking about how best

to invest their non profit money.

Mayroosan was just a number to them,

but never to us.

Only my son and I understand.

Mayroosan’s photo still hangs on the wall of our family room, alongside all of his Australian siblings that he never met

“I hope he becomes the doctor that he dreamed of,”

Mat uttered once while eating his evening meal:

It was translated to me hat he has seen many

of his family members die and that he wanted to help save them.

There was no doctor present when they died.”

I nodded and patted his hand:

You know mum, I am going to study humanitarian law

so I can help kids like Mayroosan, there must be a better way.”

We kept eating our dinner while on the TV

the violence between Muslims and Sinhalese

raged on streets of Colombo.

Muslims make up close to 10 percent of the population

and they speak Tamil as their mother tongue.

The Sinhalese TV presenter declared that slightly higher

birth among Muslims poses a threat to the continued

demographic supremacy of the Sinhalese. Just like

the Tamils had been a threat to the Sinhalese supremacy

during the Civil war, he added.

My son puts his spoon down angrily, “It is 70 percent of them,

Sinhalese oppressors are like nothing else.

The mostly Hindu Tamils,

constitute around 13 percent.

They destroyed them

and now they are destroying

the Muslims!”

Suddenly a new presenter

Tisaranee Gunasekara,

appeared on our TV screen.

It seems like he almost heard my son’s outbursts.

He warns viewers:

If we, the Sinhalese, fail Muslims as we failed theTamils,

then history will not forgive us,

and will punish us with a new and a worse war!”

I looked at Mat who pushed his half eaten dinner aside,

Not everything is lost my son. Maybe they will learn.

The Sinhalese of this world!

Then we do not need to rely anymore

on non profit charities who like to make profit

from helping, hey?

I will find him one day, mum. My brother Mayroosan.”

I smiled at my determined grown up youngest one:

I know you will, Mat. I know you will.

But first finish your studies

and become the humanitarian lawyer you want to be,

so that you can help him too and his children if he has any.”


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    • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

      Beata Stasak 

      17 months ago from Western Australia

      You are very right Eric and thank you for your kind and warm words, the right words can heal the world, they can truly do:)

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      17 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      The love is wonderful and the chaos bad. Thank you for sharing this with us. I have already prayed for your unification in wellness.

    • Beata Stasak profile imageAUTHOR

      Beata Stasak 

      17 months ago from Western Australia

      Thank you David, we feel the same...

    • profile image


      17 months ago

      such a beautiful story , so warm and caring . my family to had a similar story and lost track of the boy we sponsored and it felt like we lost a family member.


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