Monday, 05 July 2021 07:54

Online Consultations to Meet Needs of Communities

Four online discussions were conducted Trincomalee, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu and Vavuniya under NPC’s Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (SCORE) activity with the participation of Co-Existence Society (CES) members, District Inter Religious Committee (DIRC) members and Local Inter Religious Committee (LIRC) members.

In order to engage communities with the reconciliation process in the country, SCORE is carrying out assessments to determine the needs of the communities at the grassroots level. The most important needs of the area were identified during the consultative discussions.

Education is one of the most important key factors for shaping a better society that respects values, rights and laws. Mrs. Sharmila Susikumar, a CES member from Killinochchi, explained the importance of enhancing education facilities in her area. She suggested providing study materials and furniture, conducting capacity building programmes for teachers, developing the study rooms and basic library facilities. She stressed the importance of moral education. ''Moral education teachers can make an impact in strengthening the values of the country. We should enhance the Sunday school system.'' Participants pointed out the need to develop common facilities that could be used by all communities in the area.

At the Mullaitivu discussion participants emphasised the importance of education in empowering marginalised communities. As a human rights activist and a parish priest in Kokkilai, Father Rene Beshman said "Education is one of our basic rights and an asset that can’t be stolen by anyone.

Kokkilai people are voiceless and marginalised. They have faced many calamities since the war ended in 2009. Apart from economic needs, educating these people is vital. There are no libraries in Kokkilai or even a book shop. We have to travel 75 km if we want to find a book.”

In Trincomalee, participants discussed the need for a common market, developing the library and providing vocational training. A CES member, Mrs. A.V.S Piumali, said many educated youth were addicted to gambling and drugs. “It is necessary to direct youth in the right direction. We hope this SCORE intervention will assist us to create a peaceful society,” she said.

In Vavuniya, the lack of drinking water facilities faced by villagers was a urgent issue because 800 families in the area did not have access to it. People have been affected by kidney disease.