We enjoyed our New Year holiday in beautiful Kandy with its mild temperatures and stunning scenery. While back in Kalmunai we caught up on Knowledge One classes. These classes are going smoothly as staff are learning about various mediums of communication including email, phone and face to face conversation. The RCSL staff are now working on writing mock emails to Sonia, using the etiquette and content they have learnt in K1. We have seen that working together with their peers is the most effective way of improving their English skills. After a couple days back in Kalmunai, Anthony and Rajeeshan took us to Trincomalai, north of Kalmunai. At the Trincomalai beach, it’s hard to see the difference between the blue of the sky and the blue of the sea. The full moon in the evening lit up the rolling surf as we listened the crashing waves on a quiet beach. On our drive home, we were lucky to see wild elephants and stopped to observe for a while. Though we’ve only seen a snippet of the country, we are struck by Sri Lanka’s diverse natural beauty.
As we travel and see more of Sri Lanka, we can’t help but notice the large proportion of children. During the school holidays, the majority of people we see and meet are under the age of 30. Boys and girls are playing cricket in the street or accompanying their mothers to the market, while young people spending time together under umbrellas in the park. Taking the bus from Kandy back to Kalmunai, Sonia constantly held babies in her lap as families filed in.
Statistics show that more than 40% of Sri Lanka’s population is under 30. With a civil war behind them, there is so much potential and energy in Sri Lanka’s young people, creating exciting prospects for future generations. However this is conditional on whether they are given the right tools. In other words, the need for education at every level is necessary in order to guarantee strong economic growth for Sri Lanka in future years. Providing young people with income generating skills so they can create their own jobs is just as important. Rose has served this growing need with academic and vocational training programs since 2006 and continues to do so in the Ampara District. Helping more than 3000 women and children, Rose is part of a large movement to kick-start Sri Lanka’s economy.