The Karunakaran Memorial Education Fund
It is almost the first anniversary our Appa’s passing and the second anniversary of our Amma’s passing. Today, 11 July 2020, is the 52nd Wedding Anniversary of this extraordinary and inseparable couple, our dearest and most loving Amma and Appa.
These two university sweethearts fell in love whilst studying at the Peradeniya university campus, got married a few years later at the Nallur Sivan Temple on 11 July 1968 after graduating from the University of Peradeniya, and shared 50 wonderful years of marriage together. They lived their lives full of adventure, fun, travel, love, friendship and generosity.
They built their careers as High School teachers (Appa in Mathematics and Amma in Economics and Geography) and their passion and commitment to education and the empowerment of others led them to live and work in Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, London and finally, Sydney.
Many of their students including those who received tuition privately or in classes, have gone on to build successful careers and lives and many more students over the decades have acknowledged Amma and Appa for their positive and lasting impact as teachers and mentors.
Amma and Appa were soul mates and kindred spirits in the truest sense. They shared an abundance of joy and also weathered the most heart-breaking and painful times together – the most difficult being the loss of our brother Arjuna when he was just one week old.
Their unwavering, steadfast love for each other, unconditional love for us and the sacrifices and choices they made for our benefit, ultimately enabled us to create the lives we wanted for ourselves and our own families. We are incredibly lucky to have been blessed with such parents and are so very fortunate to have everything we need and more.
Throughout their lives, Amma and Appa demonstrated a deep generosity of giving to others in need – from helping close and extended family members to obtain an education, to helping thousands of their students in a meaningful way and through their charitable work and donations to help those less fortunate, particularly children.
They instilled in us the sense that it is in fact our duty to give and help those in need.
Amma and Appa, as individuals and as a partnership, had a profound impact on us (their son and daughter), their daughter-in-law Seema and son-in-law Julian, their precious grandchildren Ishaan, Mira, Riya, Arjuni and Jishnu, friends, family and countless students. As such we want their legacy to continue to have a lasting impact on communities who need our help the most.
Palmera is an organisation that we as a family have been very passionate about and we are confident that the funds will be used to maximise the impact and create lasting and sustainable outcomes for those in need in our motherland Sri Lanka.
The Karunakaran Memorial Education Fund is our way of honouring the lives and legacy of our Amma and Appa and also our brother Arjuna. Every year on the 11th of July, which is Amma and Appa’s Wedding Anniversary date – the Karunakaran Memorial Education Fund will support the educational related work carried out by Palmera. We are starting the Fund this year on their Wedding Anniversary with an initial amount of $5,000.
You are very welcome to also make your own contributions, no matter how big or small, as part of the Karunakaran Memorial Education Fund to support Palmera’s projects on the ground in Sri Lanka. You will be updated with how the Fund was spent and the impact.
We hope that their grandchildren Ishaan, Mira, Riya, Arjuni and Jishnu will also derive meaning in their own lives from the rich legacy of their beloved Appama/Ammama and Appapa/Thaatha.
Kishore and Shameela