A holistic rural development model that seeks to bridge the gap between the urban and rural communities in Sri Lanka via 10 empowerment divisions across 900+ villages island-wide reaching over 68,000+ beneficiaries annually, free of cost.
Early childhood education is the first stage of a holistic model that creates supportive and constructive learning for children of all ages. Young children, especially those under 5, need exposure to early stimulation and need to learn life skills that will prepare them for school and day-to-day life.
From the age of 3 onwards, children benefit from the organized learning provided by preschools. However, a large majority of preschools in Sri Lanka are privately owned and managed, which many parents simply cannot afford. The schools themselves are largely unregulated and not standardized. With a lack of resources and technical guidance, they are unable to provide consistency in content or quality across different parts of the country.
Sri Lanka’s patchwork of preschool education standards, curricula and administration systems have resulted in poor or mediocre learning that fail many children and prevent them from realizing their full potential. (source: UNICEF)
It is from this hard reality that 14 years ago, the Lahiru Pre-School at our MCC Centre of Excellence in Seenigama Sri Lanka, was born. Little boys and girls from the poorest families are allowed a chance at a holistic and quality pre-school education, completely free of charge. In order to provide a sound foundation, their lessons include a variety of activities including arts and crafts, good values and practical life skills. The Lahiru Pre-School currently supports 59 children from 18 different villages in the vicinity of our Centre. We are now expanding this initiative to our Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centres islandwide!
We have a dedicated group of teachers, who continue to go above and beyond expectation to care for and nature the little boys and girls at our pre-school. This pre-school is also often a relief for many poor parents in rural Sri Lanka, as in most instances both parents work very hard all day long, to make ends meet.
We hope the Lahiru Pre-School will continue to offer opportunity and care to rural children for many more years to come.
A big thank you goes out to Mr. Sapan Nainani and the Elizabeth and Nicholas Nainani Foundation for sponsoring the pre-school education of these little ones since 2018, giving them access to a great foundation for their educational journey!