The Foundation of Goodness is a holistic rural development model that seeks to bridge the urban-rural divide in Sri Lanka via 10 empowerment divisions across 900+ villages island-wide, and reached over 307,000+ beneficiaries in 2022 alone by way of 15 Empowerment Centres, free of cost.
As Sri Lanka battles a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, existing disparities in opportunities and facilities between urban and rural communities grow deeper and continue to affect the most vulnerable.
Due to newly imposed health regulations, many of our empowerment courses have shifted online. During the previous lockdown, the “Digital Village” concept was formed to ensure uninterrupted lessons during this turbulent period. Many of our beneficiaries, determined to succeed despite the challenges brought on by COVID-19, joined the lessons from their homes.
However, as we marked World Telecommunication Day on the 17th of May, one of the most important inequalities was highlighted; the lack of access to the Internet in rural Sri Lanka, where many homes do not have a computer or a smartphone.
These beneficiaries had to be provided with printed work sheets, when travel restrictions allowed, in order for them to keep up with the course work. They also struggle to access online school classes.
For over 20 years the Foundation of Goodness has tried to bridge the Digital Divide, with Digital Literacy at the forefront of our education courses. Computer training is offered free of charge, for all age groups, at our flagship venue in Seenigama (where we are also in the process of introducing a smart classroom) and the 12 Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centres across the country. Additionally, desktop computers and laptops are donated to rural schools and individuals to ensure better facilities for all.
Moreover, we are always upgrading our courses to better serve our rural beneficiaries.
Our partnership with Microsoft will see rural women develop their fiscal strength by providing them with the necessary foundation and skills for employment and help increase their digital literacy.
A special thank you to companies such as Standard Chartered and InEight who enabled us to upgrade the IT facilities of several of our Centres, providing hundreds of rural beneficiaries with a better learning environment.
As of 2020, the Foundation of Goodness is proud to have empowered over 6100 rural beneficiaries in Information Technology!