Sri Lanka, Pallewela 22 June 2015 – A beehive of delightful little girls and boys dance to traditional drums welcoming the dawn of a fresh new beginning for the small village preschool of Pallewela. Their voices reach a joyful crescendo as they sing their favourite nursery rhymes in unison to the group of parents and […]
HEALTHY, SAFE AND A JOYFUL LEARNING ENVIRONMENT FOR PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN
Sri Lanka, Pallewela 22 June 2015 – A beehive of delightful little girls and boys dance to traditional drums welcoming the dawn of a fresh new beginning for the small village preschool of Pallewela.
“It’s a brand new day for all of us, especially these little ones” says Ms Muduka Lakmali, a teacher at the Lakmini Pre-school in Pallawella.
The once dilapidated and crumbling 18 year old building has been transformed to a brightly coloured, safe and open space for children to learn, grow and thrive.
“It was in a terrible state of disrepair, we were so scared for these little ones, that they might get hurt by falling debris, gaping holes in the wall and unsafe conditions of the structure” says Lakmali.
The problem was further compounded with the issue of water supply. Many parents did not want to send their children to the pre-school, as it did not have any water for drinking, washing and sanitation facilities.
“We used to spend our time between protecting children from injuries to fetching water from homes and shops in the neighborhood, rather than teach” she says.
Fresh paint, firm roof and larger cemented wall spaces were created and the most essential water supply was provided to serve the needs of 30 bubbly pre-school children. “These spaces will define their lives” says, UNICEF Education Officer, Sugath Adikaram.
Founded in 1987, the Lakmini preschool was originally set up to serve the needs of the children in the remote village of Pallewela. Located 30 kilometers from the Moneragala town, in the Uva Province of Sri Lanka, this ancient village is home to just 110 families of primarily “Chena” farmers.
The pre-school was identified as part of a needs assessment by UNICEF and local NGO Plan Sri Lanka. Through the European Union Support to District Development Programmes; the old pre-school building was repaired and the roof, wall, floor and pavement was restored along with an added extension of a learning space and water supply facilities.
A fresh new beginning;
Children have safe and adequate spaces to learn
Conducive space for children to interact, socialize and learn through play
Storage space for teaching & learning materials
A teachers time will now be invested in core teaching and learning functions, as opposed to fetching water.
Parents now have the confidence & peace of mind knowing that their children are learning in a safe and healthy space
More parents will be motivated to send their children to preschool
The mid wife of the village has a better space to conduct her monthly health check-up for all children under 5 as well as pregnant mothers
The project is part of a Euro 60 million partnership between the European Union, UNICEF and other UN agencies to create greater access to social infrastructure and services for vulnerable communities in the disticts of Ampara, Batticaloa, Mannar, Vavuniya and border villages of Puttalam, Anuradhapura and Monaragala.