OUR FOUNDERS STORY
Following the devastating impact of the Asian tsunami of December 2004, Sri Lanka suffered a loss of more than 35,000 lives. A further 516,000 individuals were displaced. The aftermath of this single-largest natural disaster had shattering consequences for those left behind.
The existing 20-year conflict had already rendered 25,000 Sri Lankan children destitute. Post-tsunami families, already poor were left broken with the loss of family members and livelihoods – as a result, large numbers of children were left orphaned or abandoned in underfunded and overcrowded state-run institutions around the country.
Desperate families hoped they had given their children a chance for a roof over their heads, and food in their stomachs –
oblivious to the long term harm that institutional life would cause emotionally and physically
TFT Founder, Lynn Stanier previously a travel organizer decided to fly out to Sri Lanka with her son Ryan following appeals for volunteers by her local agent in Colombo. The devastation to life and livelihoods was shocking. Nothing could have prepared them for their visit to an old dilapidated children’s institution. The strong stench of urine was overwhelming. There was no running water or electricity - the institution was at absolute capacity with babies and small children everywhere, four or five to a cot, lying in filth, lost and screaming to be fed.
A sea of terrified toddlers cried with arms up high; begging to be held and comforted.
In the midst of need and devastation, Lynn picked up a tiny baby called Piyumi who had been screaming incessantly.
Immediately, little Piyumi stopped crying and she felt that in some small way she had helped her.
“In that moment, I knew I couldn’t walk away. However small my contribution would be, I knew it would be worthwhile,
and Their Future Today was born.”
From that moment on Lynn has rallied friends, family, clients, and colleagues to support her fundraising efforts, to ensure that she and her team make a direct impact on improving the lives of disadvantaged children and those who continue to be abandoned through poverty, from grassroots through to policymaking level
– the journey so far has been remarkable.