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Angunochchiya Gram Sevaka Division main project

Water filter program.

In 2017 we started a project with our partner Human Development Foundation, in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka at Medawachchiya. Our work here is due to finish in August 2020.

We are working with three small farming villages just outside the town limits. Medawachchiya is an area in Sri Lanka with very high prevalence of chronic kidney disease (CKD). The exact cause of CKD is unknown but it has been linked to certain farming practices and contaminants found in the drinking water. Early detection is crucial as it allows for treatment before kidney damage is too advanced.

Children's day 2018.

In addition to these health challenges the community are facing economic difficulties. The communities are relatively isolated with poor infrastructure and very limited public transport. Farming is the primary source of income but over-cultivation and overuse of pesticides have left the land unable to support farming. The community are also concerned about the limited opportunities for young people, particularly in education and employment. Children often struggle to pass their exams at school, there are no library or tuition classes and travel to access these in town is too expensive for most families. After school there are few job or further study options which leaves many young people at home.

In Medawachchiya we started running tuition classes in English, Maths and Science with women from the community working as the teachers and earning a small amount each month. Enrolment in the classes has increased and parents have reported improvements in their children’s performance in school term tests. The children have also had exposure to places outside of the villages with trips to Sigariya and Colombo and the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities with project support for traditional dancing and drumming classes and sports meets.

Sewing training.

With the adults we’ve had huge success with livelihoods training programmes in bee-keeping, home-gardening, soap making, dress-making and handicrafts. All participants in the home-gardening training are growing at home for their kitchens and some families are selling their excess produce in the town. The dress-making group have taken a small order to make school uniforms for the new school year and one of the bee-keeping families have harvested the first honey. We are now working on a small-grant scheme to loan funds to start group enterprises.

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