The annual Tamil Canadian Walk brings together hundreds of participants, from all walks of life.
Over the last 9 years, the fundraiser has made many initiatives possible, in Canada and Sri Lanka, including those of the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and the Sampur Housing Project.
The 2017 event will be taking place Sunday, September 10th at Thomson Park, in Toronto, and will support efforts to resettle the ancient Tamil village of Thennamarawady.
Specifically, proceeds raised will support the development of a 10 acre integrated and self-sustaining farm, including crops, livestock, and agriculture that will be managed by the Trincomalee Welfare Association and Thennamarawady Rural Development Society.
The establishment of the farm will create income opportunities for families and profits will be reinvested into the village. The project will also be independently audited by the North East Economic Development Centre.
Thennamarawady, located on the northern tip of the Eastern Province in the Trincomalee District, was destroyed in 1984, as a result of the armed conflict in Sri Lanka.
This caused the total displacement of the local population, who fled to Mullathivu. Decades later, in 2010, families were finally allowed to start returning to their ancestral lands. For the few who were able to make their way back to Thennamarawady, tremendous hardships in resettling and rebuilding their village awaited, due to decades of neglect.
The challenges faced by the 82 families who were able to return include having to live in temporary shelters, unemployment, an aging population, and a lack of medical, educational and other basic services.
The fundraising project is estimated to be fully implemented by May 2018 and was kicked off recently at Tamil Fest, the largest Tamil street festival outside of the Indian subcontinent.