With the end of the civil war that ravaged Northern Sri Lanka for 30 years, the region is seeing a return not just to normalcy but also productivity. Education is playing a huge role in the region’s rejuvenation and is also gearing up the next generation of Sri Lankans to be capable and efficient contributors to national growth.
The educational focus has given rise to strong community support for initiatives, such as the Dubai Cares funded Arumbugal (Buds in Tamil) Community Book Bank in Ampalkulam Village in Kilinochchi District in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, that not only provides reading support to children but has also created a protective environment in which children can interact.
Dubai Cares, in partnership with Save the Children, established the book bank and on an average day, 32 children ranging between 3 – 14 years old use the book bank out of a total of 55 children in the community. The two organisations have also trained the community facilitators through a series of sessions to build their involvement in the book bank and other community actions with a literary agenda.
The trained community members conducted home visits to villagers to meet parents and discuss children’s development as well as to carry out awareness sessions for parents to emphasise the importance of reading. The process worked and the community rallied behind the community book bank. Apart from reading support for children, the activities for girls and boys at the book bank give them the space to enjoy their childhood. Since all children meet together for the activities, there is a social value to them as well, creating a place for peace and harmony among the children. It also gives them a platform to use their leisure time in a useful way whilst socialising with their peers.
Education in Sri Lanka
According to UN indicators, almost 23% of the population in Sri Lanka lives below the poverty line. However, Sri Lanka is the best performer in South Asia in primary school indicators and is on track towards achieving universal primary education, with a net enrolment rate of 98.35%.
Dubai Cares in Sri Lanka
In Sri Lanka, Dubai Cares has supported the establishment of 100 libraries and the publishing of 3 local language titles/books, of which 98,000 copies have been printed and distributed.
Empowerment through Education
Dubai Cares efforts in Sri Lanka reflect the theme of empowerment that the organisation is promoting during the holy month of Ramadan. The Dubai Cares ‘We Can Teach Each Other’ Ramadan campaign emphasises the abundance of talent and resourcefulness amongst children in developing countries, as well as the responsibility of the international community to help empower these children through education. The campaign looks at a sample of children from different contexts in developing countries who showcase their life skills and aptitudes through making crafts such as wearable items and toys using various simple material such as disposable bags, old shoes, plastic and clothes, as well as natural resources such as tree leaves and twigs. The unique campaign aims to promote a first-of-a-kind skill exchange between children in impoverished communities and school-going children from around the world.
For more information on Dubai Cares, please visit: www.dubaicares.ae
- Dubai Cares