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.
The Foundation of Goodness strives to bridge the gap between rural and urban Sri Lanka and the abyss created by access to opportunity that keeps them apart. This also includes making sure that rural Sri Lankans are given the same opportunities by us, irrespective of their gender. We are often blown over by the strength of their determination to succeed and the power of their dreams. There are little girls who want to become professional cricketers. There are young ladies who have been told all their lives that all they will be are mothers and housewives, but dream of becoming professionals and entrepreneurs.
The Foundation of Goodness is privileged to have trained and empowered over 6,000 women across a number of disciplines from business and vocational training, education and sports to go on to work in industries such as beauty, food, IT, BPO, electrical and professional sports through our programmes delivered via the MCC Centre of Excellence and 10 Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centres islandwide over the past 21 years.
This International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8th 2020, the Foundation of Goodness embraced the UN’s theme “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights” and held many special programmes, under the theme “Each for Equal”.
Our flagship centre, the MCC Centre of Excellence, celebrated International Women’s Day with a Financial Literacy Awareness program for 150 students from our Women’s Empowerment Centre in Seenigama. The programme was conducted and sponsored by HNB Bank and Central Bank. Guest Speaker Keerthi Dunuthilaka was accompanied by Chathuranga Welivita, Pujitha Jayawardena and Rohana Yagamuni. Sri Lankan women often still face significant barriers in entering the labour force, receiving equal pay and overcoming social restrictions.
Our VHE’s also celebrated women in different ways. In lieu of International Women’s Day, our Vinayagapuram and Murukandy VHE Centres held special programmes. Vinayagapuram saw the participation of 300 delighted beneficiaries while Murukandy saw the eager participation of 39 beneficiaries! Meanwhile, our Oddusuddan VHE Centre had a special programme for 42 beneficiaries, involving many fun-filled activities. Our Sittandy VHE’s celebration was organised by the Children’s Good Values Initiative members, with 197 beneficiaries taking part in a day full of speeches and performances.
Our Rathgama and Udumulla VHE’s too held special programmes. The Rathgama VHE had 31 beneficiaries take part in a programme teaching the importance of equality and adding value to their lives while the Udumulla VHE saw 32 beneficiaries learning all about the important role women play in society.
We are also immensely proud of our Women in Sport programme, a topic which is growing in recognition around the world. Here at FoG, we do not discriminate based on gender and anyone can enrol in our sports programmes! The best reward for our work is when our beneficiaries succeed. 4 outstanding ladies from our Seenigama Ladies Cricket Squad were selected to represent the Sri Lanka National Team for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup which commenced on the 15th of Feb 2020. Many congratulations to Kaveesha Dilhari, Umasha Thimeshani (Seenigama Ladies Captain 2019 ), Anushka Sanjeewani and Satya Sandeepani. They follow in the footsteps of many other incredible ladies who have gone on from our Sports Academy to join the National Ladies’ Team including Yashoda Mendis who was their opening batswoman.
In addition, we have taken strides into a more equal future, furthering our endeavours in rural sports development, introducing an Under 15 women’s football team in Mathagal, Jaffna who have already begun practices very enthusiastically. While striving to support and encourage rural girls to engage in sports, a kind donation of cricket equipment from Mario.R. Perera and his friend Brett from Australia have ensured that our newly formed ladies cricket team in Jaffna were fully equipped to begin their training! We are also proud of Dilhara Salgado who is Sri Lanka’s #1 Archery Champion, who also took part in the SAF Games in December 2019. Thanks to our generous donors she has been able to buy the latest equipment in order to reach her fullest potential.
Women in Sri Lanka and around the world have a long way to go, to reach equality. We hope our work at FoG will continue to support and inspire men and women alike to continue to strive for equality and never forget it’s importance.