SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS IN VAVUNIYA, SRI LANKA
SEED is a not for profit Non Governmental Organisation (http:\\www.seed-ngo.org) established in 1995 to support the rehabilitation and resettlement of displaced persons in the Vavuniya District in northern Sri Lanka affected by the long ethnic conflict. As part of their programme SEED established a school for children with special needs in 2000 (termed the Empowerment Campus) when they found significant numbers of children among the returning displaced population required special attention and educational needs. The EC set up with initial support of the Sri Lankan government has developed into a model for children with special needs. Located in the town of Vavuniya the school provides for the varying educational needs of the children with a team of dedicated trained teachers.
About 65 children currently attend the Empowerment Campus with disabilities ranging from relatively mild to severe learning difficulties with conditions that include Autism, Downs Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy. There is a significant group who suffer from hearing and speech impairment.
The children are bused in from their homes as the parents are unable to afford the transport fares. No fees are levied from the majority of children as they come from very poor families. Since such special needs schools do not qualify for government financial support, SEED has to depend on donations from internal and external donor institutions and individuals. Given the current challenging climate for funding charitable causes SEED is seeking to widen its fundraising efforts with the support of Serendip Children's Home. Serendip Children's Home will be providing funding support to SEED and is enhancing this support by sponsoring SEED through Uinspire Giving Crowdfunding web page.
The Vocational Training Center that was set up a few years ago provided a valuable extra dimension to the education and development of the children. Many children with an interest and ability graduate to the VTC and receive excellent vocational training in a variety of skills including manufacture of leather products (shoes, bags etc.), sewing and needlework, woodwork, metal work, pottery and making greeting cards. The products are displayed and sold to visitors to the Empowerment Campus. The revenue (excluding the cost of materials) is credited to the account of the respective children and the accumulated funds are given to them when they leave. Many children who have completed their training at the VTC are able to continue earning an income with their work either in their homes or, in some cases, employed at local establishments in Vavuniya.
SEED's experience and committed work with specal needs children has been widely recognised and it is now assisting the Ministry of Education to set up Special Education Units in 34 mainstream schools in the Vavuniya district.
A priority financing gap for 2017-18 is the operation and maintenance of the two buses which are critical to ensure the attendance of children. Funding is also required to bridge the gap for the mid day nutrition supplement for the children (milk + fruit). SEED is launching this appeal to help bridge the financing gap and maintain the smooth operation of the Empowerment Campus.
PLEASE DONATE GENEROUSLY TO SUPPORT THE EMPOWERMENT CAMPUS!
Why Uinspire works with this partner:
Serendip is a registered, non-profit charity which is dedicated to improving the lives of vulnerable children and adults in the north east of Sri Lanka. The charity has grown year on year and now have a number of ongoing projects. Their educational projects support many young people from pre-school age all the way up to university including building pre-schools, funding vocational and non vocational courses, as well as providing ICT training and materials. They are committed to helping destitute adults and families for example through sustainable projects which empower individuals to set up their own business and support their family. They also provide essential financial and community support for children with special needs and autism. These projects are funded through their yearly fundraising events.