Students raise nearly $1,000 to aid those impacted by Sri Lankan economic crisis


Five students organized a fundraiser to help those burdened by the current economic crisis in Sri Lanka. (Photo courtesy of Sidath Chandrasena ’25).

Among recent efforts to provide aid to those impacted by the crisis in Ukraine, a group of Lafayette students are lending their help to another part of the globe: Sri Lanka.

In collaboration with Lafayette alumna Sumini Siyambalapitiya ’21, students Swati Pandey ’23, Fathima Yumna Hussain ’25, Sidath Chandrasena ’25, Areeb Atheeque ’25 and Oyuntugs Gantumur ’23 created a fundraiser to remedy the recent economic crisis in Sri Lanka.

Chandrasena explained that the money raised will go towards the two main resources that are in short supply because of the crisis: hot meals and medical supplies.

“A lot of people are waiting in lines for necessities such as fuel and food. The price of common foods has also increased a lot, so it’s harder for people to get access to those foods.” Chandrasena explained. “Also, in schools, they’ve had to do things such as suspend exams because they ran out of paper, which has to be imported. They’ve also had to stop surgeries in some parts of the country because of a lack of medical equipment.”

Hussain, who was born and raised in Sri Lanka, wrote in an email that it is “absolutely heartbreaking” to see people struggling to get basic needs and feed their families. 

Sri Lanka is currently facing the largest economic crisis in its history, which is also now feeding into becoming a humanitarian one,” Hussain wrote.

The goal of the fundraiser is to reach at least $1,200, and then to split the money equally between meals and medical supplies. 

Pandey explained that the fundraiser started during the first day of the International Student Association’s Extravaganza week with the celebration of Avurudhu, the Sri Lanka New Year. At that point, the fundraiser team educated people about the ongoing economic crisis in Sri Lanka and encouraged donations for the cause.

So far we have collected almost $1000 with just a week of programming but we hope to collect a lot more soon,” Hussain wrote.

Lafayette students and faculty can find more information about the cause and a donation link at The website also provides links to learn more about what is happening in Sri Lanka, along with information on where the donated money is going. 

“We think the important belief that lies behind this fundraising is that there is a little bit of power in all of us to make a change. Five dollars here could be worth a cup of coffee, but a whole family could have a proper meal in Sri Lanka,” Gantumur said. “We are trying to maximize these small impacts and raise as much money as we can in our remaining time.”