Emergencies can take place anywhere – it can be where people live, their working environment, or any hazardous area! Hence, it is necessary to have the knowledge to act accordingly in such situations and to have an understanding of how to act with limited resources.
Tharaka MunidasaTwo Day First Aid Training Workshop – Sri Lanka
The Glenn Family Foundation Kalimpong team have been working to help people in the villages of Bong, Chibbo and Pudung since 2007. The people in these villages are particularly at risk to the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, so the team felt it was important to run an awareness program and help educate these people about how they can protect themselves and their families.
Image: GFF Representative Tharaka Munidasa (right) and GFF India Manager Saom Namchu (left) at the entrance to SANASA Campus in Kegalle
In early 2019 GFF visited Sri Lanka with GFF Representative Tharaka Munidasa to facilitate a partnership with local NGO, SANASA, and establish a new location for the HELPS programme.
SANASA is a large NGO with a high standing in the community and a tremendous reach and expertise. They follow a cooperative philosophy and one of their main goals is to uplift communities in a way that encourages local empowerment and local ownership. It’s SANASA Campus is a community-based, non-profit co-operative sector university. GFF HELPS will be working closely with this campus.
Some of the broader needs identified in these communities are economic empowerment, health services and education programmes. Specifically, there is a need to develop more income generation opportunities in local villages to retain skilled youth who opt to leave the community in search of better opportunities, causing a skill drain in the area. There are also not many educational opportunities, particularly for learning English, IT and business.
In March GFF visited for a five-day exploration of the rural villages and the work of SANASA. The extensive discussions were fruitful and together we identified some good introductory projects:
Teaching English to campus students to transfer their skills onto the village community and assisting the Centre for Cooperatives and Community Studies (CCCS) to educate the wider community
An IT skills development programme for students and the local community
Village projects including digital learning, environmental awareness and recycling, heath workshops, first aid training and educational workshops
This month we officially opened the new IT Department, sponsored through GFF and made possible by the efforts of Tharaka and his network of professionals willing to offer their pro bono skills.
We have also appointed our first local Project Coordinator, who will guide the work of our incoming volunteers. If you would like to join this programme, see our vacancy advert.
The beginnings of a productive partnership: signing the MOU with SANASA