The visiting CEO and the HOIP met the MASL team at Colombo office and appreciated their hard and committed work also especially requested to ensure the excellent in their work carried in country. Also, CEO requested it is important to mobilize the funding opportunities and networking through various sources for the continuation of programmes in the country which has been continued last 15 years.
The delegate along with the country director met the Provincial Education Secretary to the Eastern Province, Mr. M.C.L. Fernando. The delegate discussed Muslim Aid’s education projects of the past 15 years and the impact it has created and achieved, while also elaborating on current and future education projects in the district.
Muslim Aid’s education projects have improved the infrastructure of schools, provided trainings to teachers and principals on child-friendly teaching methodologies; conducted awareness sessions and career guidance for parents and students, and provided study materials for school children. The overall aim of MASL’s “Education for All” programme has consistently been to enhance the quality of education and increase access to educational resources for students and schools.
On request of primary schools of Sanmuga and Sindu in the resettled village of Pallikkudiyiruppu, Muslim Aid supported 20 children with school packs to start their first day at school.
The event was held today (03.02.2020) at the T/Mut/ Kalaimahal Hindu College with the participation of the principal, teachers and staff of Muslim Aid.
Although the literacy rate in Sri Lanka is approximately 94%, in remote and underdeveloped villages, children are still facing severe hardships to start and continue their education. One of such villages is Pallikudiyiruppu, a resettled village in Trincomalee district where the villagers had to face multiple displacements due to the war that lasted for three decades and ended only in 2009.
There are five preschools in five small communities in the Pallikudiyiruppu resettled village. All the families from this region were displaced to Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts and a few families took refuge in India around 10-15 years backs. All the families are poor and lost everything during the displacement.
The parents and the preschool teachers sent their request through the District Secretary in Trincomalee to the Muslim Aid field office, five days prior to today’s event; and The Assistant Government Agent facilitated the process. After the assessing the situation, Muslim Aid Sri Lanka allocated funds and arranged the school packs for distribution promptly. This activity falls under the ‘Education for All – Up for School’ programme.
The new preschool kids were ceremonially welcomed by grade one kids and the teachers. A school teacher spoke at the event saying,
“We made many requests to different circles to support these kids in the past. However, this is the only time we received this kind of support. Our deep thanks to Muslim Aid and the staff of GA office for making this happen”.
In December last year, Muslim Aid distributed school packs to students from three ethnic communities, starting from Vilankulam of Trincomalee and reaching out to three other Sinhala schools from the Kuliyapitiya region.
Muslim Aid celebrates 15 years of dedicated service in Sri Lanka this year. It has been operating in Sri Lanka since 2005 as a humanitarian and development agency working in five strategic areas including economic empowerment, humanitarian support; education development, health, water and sanitation. Muslim Aid’s programmes are combined with peace-building and social cohesion among communities in the country.
Under the campaign ‘Up for School 2020’, Muslim Aid Sri Lanka, under its “Education for All” programme brought joy to 55 poor students and their families
The Muslim Aid team with the support of youth and the school administration, distributed 55 school packs to the poor students from 3 rural Sinhala schools in the Kuliyapitiya Education Zone.
25 students from Wadumunna Sinhala Vidyalaya, 20 students from Uduwewa Vidyalaya and 10 students from Konwewa Vidyalaya received the school packs in December 2019 to start of their new academic year with new school materials. Religious leaders, community leaders, SDC members, teachers and parents, Grama Niladhari officer and Police officers participated the handing over events.
Principals of the respective schools, SDC members, community leaders and two youth groups – Global Youth Club from Annukkana village and Youth Dedication from Kotambapitiya village were fully engaged in organizing the three events. All the families that benefitted from this support are vulnerable and make a meagre and irregular wages through daily labour work. These families often find themselves in despair at the beginning of a new academic year, as purchasing of school materials is forthcoming. The principals and the parents expressed a feeling of great relief having received this support.
Religious leaders of Buddhism and Islam appreciated Muslim Aid for this form of assistance and reach, while stressing that there would not be education development or economic development in the country if we failed in building trust and harmony among the different faith communities in Sri Lanka. One of the faith leaders said, “There are forces in small numbers working hard to divide the citizens of Sri Lanka, but majority of the people are eager for sustainable peace and harmony in our country”.
The Muslim Aid Sri Lanka team assured participants that it is ready to use all the opportunities and resources available to build trust and social harmony wherever it works; and would like to continue working together with grassroot Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities as it has for the past 15 years.
Celebrating the International Day of Persons with Disabilities – 3rd December.
The Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Muslim Aid Sri Lanka, and the British Council Sri Lanka hosted a Disability Action Forum 2019, to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (3 December) at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute, Colombo 7.
The Disability Forum 2019 was the extension of Active Citizen Priyankha Jeyaraj’s social action project Nethraloka, which began as a project to empower and bring awareness about the visually impaired. Priyankha is an Active Citizen and Facilitator of British Council’s Active Citizens programme; and the Head of Volunteers for Muslim Aid Sri Lanka.
Team Muslim Aid, the organization’s dedicated volunteer team, under the leadership of Ms.Priyankha and support from the Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Muslim Aid Sri Lanka and British Council Sri Lanka, organized the forum featuring wonderful performances by participants from two schools that serve the needs of disabled persons, especially children, by providing special education, rehabilitation and vocational training. The forum served as a platform for the youth from these institutes to showcase their talents.
The event started off with a registration process designed to be inclusive for disabled persons, and everyone had to go through a voting scenario that included use of a wheel chair, cane etc to show how the disable are included in the process of voting and how their rights can be exercised and preserved.It also reinforced the message that inclusion is paramount in every aspect of life, in every building, workplace, homes and even on the roads, if we are to uphold and preserve their rights.
Election Commissioner and Chairman of Election Commission of Sri Lanka, Mr.Mahinda Deshapriya, graced the event and delivered his keynote speech on the significance of the day and inclusion in the elections process and empathy.
Muslim Aid Sri Lanka has supported disabled persons and their families through income generation, water and sanitation and volunteer projects, since 2015. Speaking at the event Mr. Faizer Khan, Country Director of Muslim Aid Sri Lanka said
“We need to think about ways of supporting persons with disability in better ways than welfare and charity. We need to provide them access and space, but change the way of approaching them with sympathy. We must include them into our mainstream society by action, and empower them in ways to be independent financially and socially; so that they will be part of our society, rather than be welfare receivers or depend on others. They could become tax payers to the country and their productivity will be added to the country’s economy”.
Press release has been published in print media.
A photograph of the published release and the link towards it is given below.