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Ashraf returns home with ‘All Things Sri Lanka’

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For most of us, giving back is an initiative intended but hardly acted upon. However, for a young man from New York City, Arshan Ashraf, it was always his dream to give back for a positive change to where he was born, Sri Lanka. While he left when he was a year old baby, Ashraf, is back in the country of his origin, with a dual purpose, one to strengthen his Sri Lankan roots and the second, to give back to his Motherland in order to enact a positive change. Ashraf is a professional in the digital marketing field and a businessman. Ashraf says he is motivated by the vision and efforts of President Ranil Wickremesinghe to develop the country.

I made sure to tell the people of America that I was a Sri Lankan. This belief is the foundation of my confidence. This strength came from my parents that raised me as a Sri Lankan growing up in one of the fastest cities in the world, New York City.

I’m a Sri Lankan, born in Kandy Lake Hospital. I left for the US where I was raised according to Sri Lankan culture. My education was not only institutional but I learned from the people of each borough I have rooted from. I was the lion heart that travelled the perilous and rough roads of this great city�, says Ashraf.

All Things Sri Lanka 

Ashraf’s first effort to foster new contacts and help his motherland during his current visit was organizing a basketball camp and competition for schoolchildren in Colombo. Held under the patronage of former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake and supported by philanthropist Mangala Senarath, the event was a great success. Arshan says he had started his foray into giving back to Lanka with basketball as it is the sport he loves the most and believes it is one of best platforms he can utilize to help the children of Lanka to get a higher education and livelihood.

“Once I go back to my second home, I plan on leveraging all of the wonderful experiences I gained from the basketball tournament I sponsored and go back to raise more support from the Americans for the children of Sri Lanka. I plan on establishing a nonprofit organisation to help children here under the same name as my company which is ‘All Things Sri Lanka’. This is not a company only focused on basketball but a company that focuses on giving opportunities through mediums like sport for the youth of Lanka. Through these organisations, I will strive to bring Sri Lanka as the international standard of how a country should be.

Arshan Ashraf with former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake

Arshan Ashraf with former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake

Also, through his company ‘All Things Sri Lanka’, Arshan intends to promote Sri Lanka as a viable tourist destination and an attractive investment destination for Americans. Arshan explains that his company ‘All Things Sri Lanka’ is striving to propagate all things about Sri Lanka among the American populace and build a positive image about the country and also urge US philanthropists to help children who are in need of help in Sri Lanka to develop their education, sports and other talents.

Currently, Arshan is planning to build a high performance basketball training complex in Colombo with accommodation facilities for children from rural areas. The funds for the project, Ashraf says he will bear the entire cost through both his personal funds as well as donations from well-wishers.

However, he expects suitable land, at least 100-140 perches from Colombo to build the complex. Arshan expects that the Government will help him in finding suitable land from the Colombo area for the project. The Basketball training centre – will include an international standard Indoor Stadium and an International standard High Performance Center including swimming pools, sauna.

It will have fully-fledged accommodation for foreign and local players, Office premises with cafeteria. It can be used to attract more tourists on the basis of sports tourism, and conduct international tournaments to attract more tourism. This basketball centre will be managed by an internationally experienced renowned basketball legend in Sri Lanka having experience over 25 years.

A true philanthropist 

“I have always liked to share the blessings bestowed upon me with others, whether it be my time, money, or resources to support those who sought it. I am committed to creating a social change and improving the lives of others who want to change. For me, I can never give up on my dreams of positively impacting Lanka and through that the world as well. I also can encourage others to be generous too. I know my strong desires will have a ripple effect, and one act of giving can create a chain effect that will have a positive impact on many people. Sharing our blessings and giving back whatever way we can, will and motivate others to get involved too. When people work together to support a common cause, it fosters a sense of belonging and connection that can be powerful enough to move an entire nation.

Also, my efforts in future will be directed to covering running costs for under-funded causes and nonprofits. Many important social issues currently have minimal monetary support and need more public visibility and, and the “All Things Sri Lanka” nonprofit organization can be that bridge to bring monetary fund’s to such issues. By supporting these causes, we can help create meaningful change where it is needed mostâ€�, Arshan says.

“These individuals become wealthier and more educated than most of the people they have left behind in their original communities. Even though we have been labeled as ‘migrants’, we have more worldly experience than those of the natives of the communities we have joined.

We have a stronger social network through shared culture and of a more technically strong background. This is the makeup of the Sri Lankan Diaspora. When we give back to our motherland, it is a homecoming of a ‘Brain Gain’.

The country of Sri Lanka needs this. It deserves to be rejuvenated with fresh Sri Lankan minds that think outside the box. If the whole Diaspora gives back, the country will change overnight for the better�, says Arshan.

He also expects to propagate Sri Lanka as a viable tourist and investment destination among Americans.

The post Ashraf returns home with ‘All Things Sri Lanka’ appeared first on DailyNews.

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