“It would be good if everybody would volunteer to help somebody. It would make the world a better place.”

A passion to help the elderly, the ailing and the less fortunate in a village that has now lovingly adopted her as their own, Nadeeka is redefining what rural healthcare should be.

A resident of Dodangoda, Nadeeka’s journey began in 2013 when she voluntarily undertook the opportunity to assist the Katugahena Rural Hospital’s resident doctor in maintaining records and correspondence.

Despite choosing Arts for her higher education, Nadeeka says she has always had a passion for nursing and caregiving, so she eagerly accepted the opportunity to work at the hospital. She says the hospital didn’t have much facilities or nurses when she started work, prompting her to help the doctors whenever possible, taking on the role of a nurse. This also motivated her to voluntarily explore how she could contribute towards the development of the hospital, helping to uplift it to the standard it is at today.

Her desire to help the sick and needy motivated her to learn on the job. “Through different training programmes conducted by several government organizations, I developed my skills and used what I learnt to help others. I used the knowledge I gained to develop the hospital. Most of the people from this village are not wealthy and endure a lot of hardship. All I want to do is uplift their lives anyway I can.”

Nadeeka’s determination to uplift the status and standard of the hospital saw her implementing the ‘5S’ productivity system, which resulted in the hospital winning accolades and garnering praise for its effort. “When I started working here there was only an OPD and no wards. I worked hard with the staff of the hospital to increase the efficiency, this led to us winning an award for productivity. The recognition the hospital got after winning the award, helped the hospital get the support we need to improve the facilities available.”

Her voluntary works spans across several areas, including nursing the elderly confined to the bed, establishing the hospital’s first ever non-communicable diseases unit, regularly conducting free health clinics and awareness campaigns about disease prevention and good food habits and creating a software that collects BMI details of patients.

Not limiting her service to developing the hospital, she also engages in creating job opportunities for women and youth who have dropped out of school in the village.

Nadeeka is grateful for the love, support and appreciation she has received so far, even though she is an outsider working towards the betterment of the village. “I spend most of my time in this village, because I love serving these people. I want to continue to help people and extend my voluntary services to the nearby villages as well.”

Motivated by her voluntary work in nursing and taking care of the sick, she is pursuing her education in Ayurveda, which she says will help her serve more people in time to come. Nadeeka who volunteers out of love says she has never expected a monetary compensation, when helping others. “It would be good if everybody would volunteer to help somebody. It would make the world a better place.”