A holistic rural community development model seeking to bridge the gap between the urban and rural communities via 10 empowerment divisions across 400+ villages island-wide reaching over 28,000 beneficiaries annually, free of cost.
The Foundation of Goodness Village Heartbeat Empowerment (VHE) Centres are designed to empower disadvantaged rural villagers. Following the success of our flagship venture in Seenigama, we branched out to offer a similar development model to rural villages around Sri Lanka. Key courses and resources are offered through a carefully designed curriculum and each VHE runs classes that suit the needs of the community in the area.
English Language and Computer Training are some of our most popular classes, while the Vocational Courses have also been in great demand. Sports, children’s activities, women’s empowerment and library facilities have transformed the Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centre in to a safe space that acts as the nerve centre of the village.
Since the first Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centre opened in August 2007 in Udumulla near Hikkaduwa in Southwest Sri Lanka, we have expanded to 10 Centres spread across 9 Districts in 4 Provinces. Last year an average of 6,308 beneficiaries were able to utilize the services provided free of charge at our VHEs.
The FoG VHE model is a rural community development model that can be replicated in villages across the island, designed to empower local people through the provision of services vital to the community in one location at the heart of the village. All programmes are offered free of charge and are taught by qualified teachers. Overseas volunteers work with them to develop new skills and these classes are open to all who wish to attend from the villages and surrounding areas.
The new shops opening up in Oddusuddan in the North of Sri Lanka need bright new signs to announce their services and products. It’s a great business opportunity for the locals, but the problem is the lack of knowledge in LED Sign Technology. As requested by the community, our FoG Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centre held a special LED Digital Name Board Designing Work Shop in February 2019 to empower our beneficiaries with the skills they need to fill this gap! 20 post Advanced Level and Ordinary Level students participated in the self-employment opportunity workshop.
Sinnaiya Thilakshan participated in this workshop and was determined to use the knowledge he learnt to start his own business. Losing his father during the war devastated Sinnaiya’s family, leaving the young man as the sole breadwinner. He became a daily-wage labourer to support his mother, finding work in the Mullaitivu and Oddusuddan areas. The Self-Employment, Capacity Building workshop was a life-changing moment for Sinnaiya. This was an opportunity to become an entrepreneur with a real chance at moving out of the cycle of poverty. Sinnaiya’s determination and hard work, combined with the simple chance to learn a new skill has now enabled him to open his own small business. Today, Sinnaiya runs his own LED Digital Name Board Designing Studio from his home. He is still at the start of his journey, but after a long time, the future is looking bright!
The Oddusuddan Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centre CCTV Installation and Repairing Course graduates K. Thanusanth and V. Vijinthan have partnered together to start their own CCTV Installation Business. Thanushanth and Vijinthan are graduates from our 2nd batch and were farmers by profession, before learning their new skill with FoG. The additional income that the CCTV Installation business provides is vital in ensuring a stable income. Writing to the Foundation, both beneficiaries spoke of the importance of practical vocational training courses like these for rural youth who are struggling to make ends meet.