Since we have inaugurated the project, several activities been done in the project area and staff capacity building programmes as well. ‘Gender Equality’ Training, ‘Monitoring and Evaluation of the Self Help Approach’ Training, ‘Strengthening the Organizational Potential’, to name some of the capacity building programmes given to the staff to enhance the calibre of their work to support the project management cycle.
The International Children’s Day 2017 was celebrated in Vavuniya with the other partner organizations. 50 children from Good Shepherd Sisters Sri Lanka (GSSL) project energetically took the long ride to participate in the event. These children performed a ballet which sent out the message of child rights awareness. Other entertaining events were organized for children to spend an eventful day - they had a cricket tournament and other interesting games as teams and at organizational level. They spent two days with other children from different parts of the island and had a wonderful exposure and participation. For them it was an exciting experience and an opportunity as well.
The children come to the Child Friendly Safety Space (CFSS) daily for different activities and to learn various skills.
On the 25th November a life education programme was conducted by Sr. Lakshmi at the CFSS and 56 children participated in it.
There the children were guided to relax and to concentrate for a while on the beauty of life and its gifts. Further, they were motivated to set goals for their future, especially focusing on Education. In small groups they surfaced their future vision and presented in the big group. This activity reminded us that these children have bigger vision and willingness to be educated and professional, rather than living in a small world in Sinnapaduwa with minimal basic needs. This was a learning for us too, that we need to support them to achieve their legitimate wishes.
Self Help Approach is our entry point to create a child friendly environment and safety net in the project area. Since this is our pilot project we need to reach the target of forming 37 Self Help Groups (SHGs) by August 2019. At present 8 groups are formed with 15 members in each group which shows that we are on the move with our schedule. Community facilitators visit these groups every week and SHA officer Sr. Rasangi trains them with modules and monitors their performances. Project Manager Sr. Lakshmi does monitoring visits and guides them.
Sixteen days activism for women falls from 25th November to 10th December to make society aware to stop violence against women and to promote gender equality, which is called ‘Orange the World'. To mark this event we organized A FORUM THEATRE to convey the message to women. There were 105 women participants. This was on the 10th December and a group of trained drama performers were invited to the field. They worked with six young performers and through role play and participation of the women the message was presented. The message was to treat everyone equally - beyond gender, race, religion, and state. Secondly, women need to stand against violence and abuses.
Although we have a long way to journey with these women, empowering them to stand on their own to protect their children........ the journey has begun.
Click here - Community Based Child Protection in Sri Lanka
Submitted by Sr.Lakshmi Fernando