- “Towards a brighter future for Sri Lanka”
Asi Panditharatna, SOS Children supporter
In November 2012, I had the opportunity to visit Sri-Lanka and SOS Children’s Village Piliyandala, outside Colombo.
Visiting the Village in Piliyandala was a very enjoyable and humbling experience, particularly when seeing the commitment, enthusiasm and care shown by the staff and volunteers to the children and young people. It was also great to see the children and young people supporting one another and also having fun in their Village homes.
Visiting SOS Children in Piliyandala has led to me to reflect upon the following interesting insights:
• The importance of the ‘relationship’: The ‘SOS Mothers’ are dedicated women who work day to day for the benefit of their SOS children. They live with their children, care for their children, comfort their children and celebrate with their children. The relationship between the mother and young person is crucial.
• Integrating vulnerable young people with society: SOS Children in Piliyandala ensures that the children attend the SOS School along with other young people from families outside the Village. Staff at SOS Children felt that this was important so that the children were not stigmatised from their peers who are not living in the Village.
• Progression routes: SOS Children in Piliyandala works hard to develop a range of education, training and employment progression routes for young people. In 1997 a Vocational Training Centre was built. This provides a range of training courses for young people. Strong partnerships have been established with the Colombo business community, including some of Sri-Lanka’s largest employers and also small and medium sized enterprises.
I have always supported NGOs and charities that support and serve Sri-Lankans, irrespective of the language they speak, their cultural heritage and religious persuasion. SOS Children in Sri-Lanka symbolise the commitment NGOs and charities are showing in taking responsibility to transform Sri-Lankan society towards a brighter future for all its communities.
Find out more about SOS Children in Sri Lanka.