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Child Focused Community Development in Kandy district

Area outside the village.

In November 2019 we started a new project with our partner the Women’s Development Centre. The project is focused on three remote villages (Kirimetiya, Sriyagama and Ambalamanam) in the Central Province, about an hour’s drive from Kandy city.

We worked previously in Kirimetiyawatte on a project focused on community mobilisation and child protection which finished in April 2019. While the project was a huge success to ensure the sustainability of the project we decided to implement a second project to include some of the neighbouring villages.

In February 2020 we celebrated the opening of a dedicated building for the Kirimetiyawatte preschool and library established though the previous project. Suba, our teacher has gained her teaching diploma and is now running the only Tamil-medium preschool in the Central Province.

New preschool.

Children's day performance.

The Women’s Society have established group savings and a revolving fund from which members can apply for low interest loans. At the end of 2019 the first loans were granted to women rearing chicks and making snacks. Over the first 18-months of the project we will phase out activities in Kirimetiyawatte with a focus on increasing community capacity to maintain the preschool and societies without the project. The Women’s Society will be brought into WDC’s wider regional network where they will join other groups for training, awareness programmes and support. The new project also aims to strengthen relationships between the villages in an effort to offer some stability once the project finishes.

In Sriyagama and Ambalamanam we identified a number of challenges related to health, education and livelihoods. Generally, there is a lack of understanding of the value of education and few opportunities for young people after they finish school. This results in many children dropping out early or not regularly attending school. Lack of preschool, library and study facilities further impedes the educational outcomes of the children. The villages are very remote, located high up in the mountains without properly maintained roads or public transport which makes getting into the nearby town very difficult and limits access to health and social services. Within the communities unemployment is high with very few job opportunities. Our new project focuses on establishing structures for child protection and education including preschools, libraries, study support groups and children’s clubs. We’re also supporting the establishment of women’s societies and various training, and awareness programmes for the members.

© 2017 Shining Life Children's Trust. UK Registered Charity Number: 1068123. Registered as a Limited Liability Company in England. Number: 3459486