Our focus on community, welfare and education is exemplified in the Weligama Community, Education and Welfare Centre in southern Sri Lanka.
Weligama, a small village famed for stilt fishing was almost completely swept away as a result of the Tsunami. Here, IODR acquired a site and began building plans for the centre to house and educate orphans and those traumatised and otherwise affected by the disaster. It currently assists more than 150 children daily. Now substantially expanded the WCWEC child outreach work has assisted over 1,200 children in the Matara district alone.
WCWEC’s work takes the form of recreational activities and free educational facilities. There are English language, I.T. and hospitality training programmes to improve the future livelihoods of needy residents in Weligama and its surrounding areas. The selected children are amongst the very poorest in society, with absolutely no other means of support, and are all officially registered on the government’s poverty alleviation scheme, ‘Samurdhi’ is a pre-requisite for any child enrolled in an IODR scheme. This ensures that IODR aid directly benefits only those recognised as being the very poorest in society, focussing and maximising the impact and quality of the aid IODR provides.
We believe that education is the key to securing a future for needy children and their families. For this reason we will continue to build; not only by erecting, maintaining and running such centres but helping our children to build sustainable lives for themselves and their families.