Over ten years since the end of the Sri Lankan Civil War, the country is still bearing the consequences of the decades-long conflict and uneven development. With the addition of the devastating 2004 Tsunami, the negative impacts add up: disrupted learning, dislocation of communities, unsafe environments, mass trauma, and a lack of government and civil society capacity to deal with many development issues. Whilst we are not in a humanitarian phase anymore, the development phase we are now in requires actors to build capacity of civil society and government, and not to withdraw. This is the gap that Street Child seeks to fill.
Communities across the North and East of Sri Lanka have in particular been disempowered and devastated by decades of conflict and marginalised from the development of the post-conflict era. The COVID-19 pandemic is aggravating an existing education crisis, which threatens to worsen post-conflict inequalities by depriving children of life opportunities.
Partnering with grassroots organisations in India and Northern and Eastern Provinces of Sri Lanka, including NaariSamatā and the Sri Lanka Red Cross Society, Stanley Group is rapidly responding to the learning needs of the most marginalised students. These students’ opportunities for continued education have been severely affected by prolonged school closure and a lack of alternative methods for learning during the COVID-19 crisis.
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Stanley Group works to enhance the provision of quality education across India and in five districts in the North and East of Sri Lanka. In these regions, children have historically failed to reach their full potential due to challenges of teaching quality and under-resourced schools.
What we are doing
Through our partnership with NaariSamatā, we collaborate with local organisations and education authorities to improve quality learning with an emphasis on gender, caste and sexuality by teaching youth about equality and respect, and working on empowering women in civil society. This includes Project AnnaSeva, which provides a midday meal to hundreds of primary and secondary school children every day so they can attend school, and Project Muskaan, which provides clothes donated by boutiques, nearly new occasion wear donated by donor and children’s hand-me-downs in which we would be happy to dress our own children, to the ones who need them the most.
Our impact further includes comprehensive teacher training programmes in Batticaloa and Trincomalee Districts, whereby teachers undergo a six-month programme of training, coaching and observation support. Our teacher training model has been funded by donors such as the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT).
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the subsequent school closures in India and Sri Lanka, we have worked with local partners to provide rapid access to interactive learning students in remote communities of four districts of the North and East.
1,200 Students in Jaffna, Mannar, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee and Jaffna Districts are being supported through provision of learning materials and a community-based model of learning delivered by local volunteers.
The Sri Lanka Red Cross Society are also working to ensure a sustainable transition back into school-based learning once schools are reopened. With the support of donors including the Embassy of Switzerland, the Stanley Group Foundation helps to fund training for 230 primary teachers to deliver inclusive and interactive learning and supporting schools to introduce education technologies into the classroom.