Project “Gurukulam” was initiated by the Rotaract clubs of Chulipuram, Chunnakam, Faculty of Engineering, University of Jaffna, Jaffna, Jaffna Midtown, Jaffna Peninsula, Kilinochchi Town, Manipay, Nallur, Nallur Heritage, and Uduvil under the TogetherSL initiative.
To provide Quality Education for All, after several data collections and analyses, we selected the village called “Thanavodai” as our focus area for the project. This backward village was resettled in 2009. 200 families live in this village. More than 100 families out of 200 are led by females while a couple of handicapped children are living there.
Most of the kids work for daily wages; boys engage in construction jobs, woodcutting, clearing grasslands, while girls are involved in housekeeping and work in paddy fields to fulfill their cost of living. There is no public building, library, social community center, or school to discuss the common problems of this community.
Lack of self-employment ideas due to educational unenlightenment, lack of facilities in preschools, and addiction of youth and men to drugs are a few concerns that exist within this community. Upbringing children in such a turbulent atmosphere is a difficult task, and children have dropped out of school due to the carelessness of parents, mainly due to the lack of knowledge among parents about the importance of education. As a result, the children of the village have not received a proper education during the past few years. Following severe issues were found in the village that caused inconvenience to be educational and created an unsupportive environment.
- Noise disturbance that causes inconvenience to study.
- Literary and numerical related knowledge of their parents is poor.
- Artificial poverty is due to unplanned economic factors.
- Community discrimination between families
- The percentage of alcohol consumption is apparently high.
- Dropouts and G.C.E. O/L fail percentages were high.
- Occupations and entrepreneurship are not developed and achieved due to the deficiency of Education qualifications.
These Rotractors studied all the ground-level problems, and got the proper permission from the Divisional secretariat of Thanavodai and drew some basic proposals, which can help the youngsters to overcome their prejudices.
The project was implemented in Thanavodai of Jaffna district of Sri Lanka for a period of five years, starting from September 2021 (as a community service project) and ending by December 2021. The team has been appropriately involved with several community-based organizations and local government authorities such as the agricultural department and divisional secretariat as coordinating and collaborating partners in implementing the project activities. Through practical skill development training activities, the project helped build and strengthen the capacities of the Rotaract clubs and members, contributing to the sustainability of the activities. Before the implementation of the action, a project orientation and planning workshop was held with the Participation of different club ambassadors, government officials, parents, and children. These workshops aimed to introduce the project and prepare a joint plan for implementation in the future. Similarly, public awareness meetings about the nature and objectives of the project for information of the general public and concerned project team were also organized and held. In addition, the team was able to construct a study hall in the area that will help to study, which shows the value of learning and getting an education in a proper environment as a long-term solution for students in the area.
Following are the steps we took while executing the Project
- Visited that area for the inspection and provided a clear explanation to the villagers,
- Created supervising groups in front of that Divisional Secretary to monitor whether the purpose of this project Conducting is properly featured.
- Conducted pleasure art practices to improve the skill development of those village students.
- Conducted Shramadana(Cleaning the surrounding) around the study hall compound with the contribution of students.
- Made Awareness through wall arts, street drama, Annual tour, and Skill development and capacity building programs
- Conducted educational Awareness Programs among the students.
- Conducted evaluation exams, competitions, and cultural programs to analyze the success of this project.
By executing the steps mentioned above, we were able to help the girls and boys of that village overcome the challenges they faced due to illiteracy and lack of quality of education. This project enabled them to have a Basic literary and numerical understanding, Maintain a good relationship with everyone, and communicate properly without any fear anywhere. It made them ready to compete in the local and international job market.
Penned By – The District Regional Engagement Team in collaboration with the Media Unit and the District Editorial Team