In Commemoration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP), the End Child Poverty Knowledge Centre in collaboration with the Sarvodaya movement held a day-long event with over 110 pupils, teachers and parents at Unagaswela Primary School, Karandeniya, Galle in Sri Lanka. Realizing that the school was located in a rural area with limited educational materials and facilities and that most parents around there were low-income earners, the event aimed at meeting the educational needs of the pupils as well as motivating them to keep focusing on education.
Three computers, books and other learning materials were provided to the children in the school. It was revealed that most children in the school were unable to attend online learning due to lack of digital gadgets like computers as well as the lack of Internet.
“In this school, there are 40 students who need assistance for their education. Their parents can’t afford money for a Computer, Smart Phone or any other technical device for their children’s Education in Online. During the Pandemic time, few children were able to connect with the conducted classes and one smart phone have been shared with two or three children at the same time. Other children had to travel more than 6 to 10 kilometers to get connected for the classes with a device of a friend’s home.” recalled the school Principal, Mr. Anil Jayawardhana.
Children were also enlightened about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by Mr. Shehan Koshila Kannangara, a trainee from UNDP, Sri Lanka. He emphasized on the need for children to learn about the SDGs and Sustainable Development in general as that was a key pathway towards eradicating not only child poverty but poverty in general. Dr. Vinya Ariyaratne, President of the Sarvodaya Movement also added his voice to the significance of the SDGs, saying:
“Arigatou International and Sarvodaya are celebrating IDEP in Sri Lanka which we challenge us to think and act for a sustainable development and sustainable life pattern to make a better future for our children”
The event ended with guests, parents and teachers being treated to song and dance, performed by the children. The parents also appreciated the event for nurturing them and empowering them with new thoughts and values. With regards to education of their children.
At Arigatou International – End Child Poverty, we believe that giving children quality education is a vehicle that would drive them out of poverty. It is for this reason that our Right to Education program aims to increase children’s access to equitable, quality education especially for those children affected by poverty and other vulnerabilities such as the COVID-19 pandemic, violent conflicts, forced displacement.
“This is a remarkable day in my life. I’m sitting in front of a computer. Now I want to come to school everyday and learn something new” – Child.