The Suganami Family Foundation has been providing financial help to medical students in Indonesia, Philippines, Myanmar, Turkey, Mongolia and Sri Lanka in the form of SUGANAMI Scholarships under the guidance of AMDA International. Sri Lanka has been a special case for the SUGANAMI Scholarship program due to the unique co-existence of three diverse ethnic communities, namely Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim in the country and the face that it allows this program to pave the way to peace and harmony among the three distinguished communities.
Dr. Shigeru Suganami, the founder of both AMDA and SUGANAMI Scholarship was present in Sri Lanka to provide two different scholarship/ Awards for the students. SUGANAMI Scholarship has been provided to University medical students in Sri Lanka for the last few years. For this year scholarships, three new students from families with economic hardship were selected, naturally one from each community, namely Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim and all of them are attending the medical college at Colombo University. Recipients will receive the scholarship until they complete their university studies. On the 20th
of June 2016 Dr. Suganami met face-to-face with the three scholarship recipients and shared some encouraging and inspiring words with the young doctors-to-be. He explained how he started this scholarship following AMDA`s SOGO-FUJO spirit and to reciprocate the help he received from Japanese government when he was a medical student. He kindly requested the three students that they could also return the favor by supporting other students, once they become successful medical professionals in the future. All three students conveyed their heartfelt gratitude and pledge to do their best for the next generation when they become doctors. The president of AMDA Sri Lanka Dr. Samarage, Head of Medical School at Colombo University, Dr. Karunathilake and the Secretary General of AMDA International, Mr. Veeravagu were also participated at the small ceremony organized by Colombo University.
Similarly, but starting from 2016, a new award was introduced for Sri Lanka under the name of AMDA – Suganami Award. Targeting the schools from each ethnic group taking part in AMDA Peace-Building Program (PBP), three students with economic hardship and with good grades and extra curricular activities are selected to receive this one-off award in order to continue their higher studies. Some of the students, especially from Kilinochchi, lost their fathers to the civil war. An Award committee is formed at each school consisting of principal, teachers, parents and student leader as joint decision makers.
This year, three Sinhala students from Matale Koudupalela Vidyalaya, three Tamil students from Kilinochchi Vivekananda Vidyalayam and three Muslim students from Mutur Central College in Trincomalee were selected for the award. Unlike Suganami University Medical student`s scholarship this award will be given to one time only for selected students.
President Dr. Suganami visited the schools in Matale, Kilinochchi and Trincomalee on 17, 18 and 19 June respectively at a ceremony handed over the award amount with certificates to each student. AMDA Sri Lanka President Dr. Samarage and AMDA International Secretary General Mr. Veeravagu also participated in the first-of-a-kind award ceremony at each location. The award recipients, parents and teachers were full of praise and gratitude for AMDA and Dr. Suganami. At each location president of AMDA delivered encouraging words for the young achievers and extended the help to support them if they every want to do their higher education in Japan. He also expressed special gratitude to the people of Sri Lanka for their support for Japan at the San Francisco Conference after WWII. This award represents AMDA`s key value of “Open Sogo-Fujo”