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.
This year, the Foundation of Goodness was happy to announce the introduction of two new compulsory courses at all our Centres; the Planetary Health Education Course and STEM activities. STEM education activities are designed to apply science, technology, engineering, and mathematics in contexts that make connections between the classroom and the world around them. For example, the primary level pupils engaged in making balloon rockets using simple material, to learn about the force produced by expelled air for dynamic power, while others built simple machines from cardboard. Our beneficiaries have thoroughly embraced and enjoyed the STEM activities conducted so far, as they required innovative thinking and teamwork, and they have gained invaluable knowledge.
The Planetary Health Education Course, meanwhile, creates awareness on important issues that are often ignored at schools but are so important to the holistic development of our beneficiaries. This includes lessons on COVID-19 awareness and mental health education. Many of the other lessons planned were restricted due to Centre closures and health regulations this year. We hope that next year our beneficiaries will be able to learn and experience much more.
In addition to this, the Goodness Agriculture Initiative (under the Planetary Health Education Course) is underway at all our Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centres (VHE) island wide. It teaches our beneficiaries the intricacies of agriculture, gardening and much more! Sri Lanka being a predominantly agriculture based economy highlights the importance of knowing the key challenges of agriculture, the best solutions and which plants are best suited for the climate in each area. Our beneficiaries get to go out to the home gardens at our Centres and have a hands on experience in gardening and planting!
A huge thank you to Dr. Anusha Seneviratne who had volunteered at FoG, for designing this timely programme for us. She is a scientist currently working to develop novel cell therapies to tackle inflammatory diseases such as diabetes and to help transplant patients, having previously researched cardiovascular disease for 9 years and obtained a PhD from Imperial College, London. Her concern about climate change and her time at FoG inspired her to create this course and educate the children of FoG to become future world leaders in sustainability and champions of nature!