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December 13, 2016
Young Lankan's musical evening to raise funds to help poor children
By Sujeeva Nivunhella in London

Fourteen-year old Vibhash Ravi Gunasene of St. Joseph's College, Ipswich staged a musical evening last week to raise funds for his charity Vibhash Ravi Trust Fund (VRTF).

Vibhash established VRTF when he was only 11 years old in 2013 to help poor children in Asia, mainly in Sri Lanka. This time, the theme was to showcase children's talents and he appreciates all his friends who performed to make this event a complete success.

The evening was full of events consisting of children showcasing their talents, Vibhash publishing his second book 'No Perfect Image', where all the proceeds went to the charity, a raffle and other activities. It was a big success and he raised £1000 that evening. With the funds collected, Vibhash aims to help children in need in two schools in Sri Lanka by buying books, stationery, shoes, socks and other necessary study equipment.

Vibhash Ravi Trust Fund is committed to actively raise the quality of life for children in need. Vibhash wants all children regardless of race, creed or circumstance to achieve their full potential. "VRTF's task is to make it possible. Our mission is to provide practical, assistance", he said.

"VRTF sponsor the education of less privileged children and save children's lives; fight for their rights and help them fulfill their full potential", he noted.

This year, VRTF's theme is literacy. It is trying to raise funds to provide children in need in Sri Lanka academic study material and stationery, which will improve their academic performance, he said.

"Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice. It is the protection of fundamental rights. Everyone everywhere has the right to live with dignity, free from fear and oppression, free from hunger and thirst, and free to express themselves and associate at will", Vibhash said quoting Nelson Mandela. Vibhash established Vibhash Ravi Trust Fund with the help of his parents focusing directly on mainstreaming fundamental rights of children in need in Asia, mainly Sri Lanka.

"People experience poverty not only as a lack of income but also as a lack of education or health care", Vibhash noted.

According to him, the change he is emphasizing on cannot just come from him alone. It should have the involvement of the country's government which reforms the political, economic and social wellbeing.

He says that he will struggle to combat inequality, promote education to children and meeting their basic needs in life. "I am determined to promote awareness among children in need. My ultimate aim is to make a change", he said, quoting Mahatma Gandi "be the change you want to see in the world".

Vibhash is the son of Gamika Gunasene and Dr. Lavangi Gunasene. He is the grandchild of Kivipathi and Kalabhushana Sugathamuni Gnanasiri.
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