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The official website of the Assembly of Social mobilization was launched today 23rd of September 2015 by the Chief Secretary for the Eastern province Mr.D.M.S.Abayagunawardana at Hotel Villa, Trincomalee. Mr.J.S.D.M.Asanka Abeyawardene, Secretary to the Ministry of education, Mr.M.T.A.Nizam, Provincial Director of Education EP, Mr.S.varathaseelan, working director of the Preschool education bureau, Mr. Nifal Alawdeen,Education officer, UNICEF also graced the occasion.
Assemble of Social Mobilization organized a consultation with high level government stakeholders on 22nd of Sepetmer 2015 at Villa Hotel the Chief Secretary for the Eastern province Mr.D.M.S.Abayagunawardana, Mr.J.S.D.M.Asanka Abeyawardene, Secretary to the Ministry of education, Mr.M.T.A.Nizam, Provincial Director of Education EP, Mr.S.varathaseelan, working director of the Preschool education bureau, Mr. Nifal Alawdeen,Education officer, UNICEF, Mr.M.M.Muzammil, Executive Director of ASM, Mr.Philip Murugaiya, Program Manager, ASM partciapted.
Over time, the Eastern Province has been affected by emergencies, including conflicts, the 2004 tsunami and seasonal floods. The 3 decade old civil unrest and devastating disasters have entirely cluttered the social fabric of the Eastern Province negatively impacting on the socio-cultural and educational set ups of the provinces.
Overall, the quality of preschools in the Eastern Province are challenged by the absence of high quality teaching and learning materials; lack of minimum standards; insufficient infrastructure and resources (including play parks and play materials); poorly paid or unpaid teachers; weak coordination among key actors; as well as a lack of overall monitoring and evaluation (lack of data, baselines and assessments/ studies).
It’s now universally acknowledged that the environment that we grow in, the warmth, care, attention and the responsiveness that we get as children determines our overall well being in adulthood. Long ago, Sri Lankan children were raised by and belonged to a community much wider than the immediate family. It started from the preschool teachers to educators at the primary and secondary schools. But the hustles and individualistic tendencies of modern life have thrust the care of child entirely on their parents. This becomes a major challenge when, for one reason or other, parents are incapable of providing a suitable and holistic environment for nurturing children. But thanks to sensitisation efforts by community development organisations, UNICEF and the education stakeholders at the provincial and national levels, the tide is changing with communities, once again, striving to be the focal point for early childhood development and education. There is increased understanding by families and communities that the future depends on the healthy development of their children and that this can only be achieved if they collectively play a pivotal role in them. That’s why, as we see in this publication, communities now actively participate in all aspects of ECD Programmes including building and equipping child friendly Preschools.
We are awed by the strategic focus and ground-breaking contribution that UNICEF and its partners have made towards ECD.
This will undoubtedly not just equip parents, guardians and teachers with in-depth knowledge on raising children in this most critical phase of their lives but will also provide a benchmark upon which development partners and policy makers in the East and other parts of Sri Lanka can act as a strong effective base for future ECD plans and activities. As populations grow, the challenges facing the world increase. The young ones of today are the capital, the drivers that will solve some of these challenges. We must, therefore, unreservedly invest in them, prepare and nurture them at family, community and at national levels in anticipation. The progress of a nation is measured by the quality of life enjoyed by its children. UNICEF and their partners including the Assembly of Social mobilization are now in the arena creating just sustainable spaces for our children..... The tomorrow of our Nation.
Assembly of Social Mobilization (ASM) and Department of Provincial Education - EP organized workshop for Developing a Functional map on ECCD with the state agencies in the Eastern Province held on 13 & 14 August 2015 at Sarvodaya Center, Batticaloa. The special invites were the Secretary of Provincial Ministry of Education Mr. J.S.D.M. Asanka Abeyawardana, Provincial Education Director Mr. M.T.A Nizam, Education Officer,UNICEF Mr. Nifal Alavudeen and Working Director of Eastern Province Preschool Education Bureau Mr. Varathaseelan.
As part of the disaster risk reduction component: Safety schools had provided the timely needed opportunity for young school children who will prepare themselves as resilient younger generations by learning the methods, approaches and guidelines related to disasters.
Activities included: Structural safety, discussion with Teachers, Linking schools to community and School disaster management planning.
As part of this School gardens were promoted in 6 schools to reduce risks pertaining to Disaster time food crisis.
Post tsunami reconstruction and relocation process has resulted in deforestation in many parts of the district. Identifying the consequences, ASM initiated a tree planting campaign in many of the relocation areas. Nearly 1100 saplings were distributed to the community to be planted in their plot of land. Apart from this, ASM initiated a Greening our Roads campaign to plant sapling along a 3km road.
Varieties of plants include Tambberine, Jak, Neemph , Mango, Naval, Illuppai.
Both the campaigns accommodated different stakeholders along with their more positive response and support. The Armed forces of Sri Lanka military, Gramasevaka officers, Divisional secretary and Members of Provincial council were among the stakeholders
Creating a model farm shop to generate market options and community outreach for organic produce, thereby facilitating community farmers to sell their produce to local markets, mitigate effects of exploitation by middlemen.
- Linking the existing community farmers, egg producers, model farm to market opportunities.
- Generate fair prices for locally produced vegetables, fruits, eggs and other agro products.
- Opening new avenues for local consumers to purchase healthy inland food.
- Creating a network among rural farmers, suppliers and consumers.
The first batch of 10 farmers completed their 3 months training conducted at the Model farm in January.
The model farm serves as a community farmers training centre initiated by the trainees themselves. The local seeds bank to be initiated by the farmers will be a potential channel for the access of indigenous seeds by the community.
These farmers will engage in organic farming on their own. Farmers are linked to agricultural extension services and potentially will get support from government departments.