Going on holiday in the 21st century is about more than having a good time. Responsible tourism means putting something back, too. It’s in part about respecting local people and their culture. It’s also about recognising when something can be done that can potentially transform the life of a community. That’s why, at Mercury Holidays, we are proud to support organisations that are making a difference. Organisations like Their Future Today, which helps impoverished children in Sri Lanka.

British holiday specialist Lynn Stanier founded Their Future Today after visiting Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the devastating 2004 tsunami. She made the trip after an appeal from a local holiday agent who she’d frequently worked with. Lynn’s experience at a filthy children’s home, overwhelmed with orphans of all ages and with no running water or electricity, led her to think that someone had to do something.

Lynn remembers the moment that decided she was that person.

“I picked up a screaming and starving six-month-old baby called Piyumi, who weighed less than the birth weight of my children. She stopped crying and looked at me. In that moment, both our lives were changed forever.”

Back home, after fruitless appeals to the Disasters Emergency Committee, Lynn realised she had to set up her own charity and threw herself into fund-raising.

Using the money raised in Britain, Their Future Today has fully renovated the children’s home that Lynn first visited. Electricity and water have been restored. Food was provided and most movingly of all, families – including Piyumi’s – have been reunited. The work hasn’t stopped there. The more that Lynn and her local partners saw, the more need they found. The result is that Their Future Today has now widened its focus and provided help for other children in equally impoverished conditions, caused in part by the tsunami. Libraries and dormitories have been built for children in other villages and thousands of school books provided. The charity’s first purpose built preschool, for children aged three and upwards, has just opened in a remote rural area. The school is already oversubscribed.

From one woman’s vision, Their Future Today has grown into a formidable force in helping the poorest of the poor. Lynn Stanier remains relentless in insisting that all money raised makes its way directly to Sri Lanka. The charity now works with large global organisations to help draw up and implement new guidelines for state-run children’s institutions. Education and vocational guidance in impoverished communities in Sri Lanka will always be at the centre of what Their Future Today does. As Lynn puts it: “Their Future Today strives to turn each and every forgotten child’s story into a happy ending.”

At Mercury Holidays we are in awe of the work Lynn has done. We are privileged to be working with Their Future Today and their mission to help the children of this beautiful, friendly country.

Get Involved!

If you would like to donate or volunteer at any of Their Future Today’s many projects, or participate in a challenge, just click here