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.
Many rural Sri Lankans are trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty, without the right skills and opportunities to help them break free. They are often born into poor families who are unable to afford continuous education or they leave school to help support their families by way of farming or daily wage jobs. As they grow older, the opportunities only grow rarer.
The Foundation of Goodness long recognised the importance of providing vocational skills training, in addition to educational courses, at our empowerment centres for anyone who wants to improve or acquire new skills. This includes special business skills courses in photography, electrical maintenance, public speaking, CCTV installation, mobile phone repair and even auto mechanic theory, which is offered free of charge across Sri Lanka. The courses vary from time to time, depending on the demands of the local community.
Moreover, other courses such as the dress making course, food processing course and sewing course are extremely popular among rural women, who have even fewer opportunities to earn a living. The Dive for Good Centre in Seenigama also offers a free PADI diving course to local youth in the area! These divers go on to earn a living in the booming tourism industry of the area and much more. In addition to this, the Centres also provide compulsory courses, free of charge, in computer training and English language, which we believe is integral in improving the opportunities available for rural Sri Lankans. As of the end of 2020, over 12,500 beneficiaries from all over Sri Lanka had graduated from our vocational skills courses.
The impact these courses have on the lives of rural Sri Lankans is undeniable, with amazing success stories such that of Suthanantharasa Eliliny, who became a CCTV Technician at her village in Oddusuddan (Mullaitivu District). She was one of the very few in the area, especially as a female technician who was pushing boundaries, and handled the installation and repair work for customers in the region. Or the story of Mrs. Luxan Mariya Jenista is from Mathagal (Jaffna District), who was part of the 1st Batch of the dress making course offered free of charge at the Mathagal Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centre. In December 2020, she started her own Tailoring Shop in Mathagal and now earns enough to support her family.
From the South of Sri Lanka we have success stories such as that of Nadeeka Chamali Pathiyagama, who is a mother of two and a proud owner of a small business which processes Tamarind! She learnt how to process Tamarind at the food processing class at the Seenigama Centre of Excellence. Menaka Sandamali is also one of our success stories, having been handpicked by the John Keells Group to join their team as an Accounts Assistant, when her skill and diligence was spotted by their management while she was the Team Leader at our Seenigama Business Process Outsourcing team. Despite never having touched a computer, Menaka joined our IT class in 2010 and graduated top of her class, after which she was absorbed into the Seenigama BPO team.
Sri Lanka has barely been tapped into the potential found in rural Sri Lanka, simply because of the lack of facilities and training. The Foundation of Goodness has made it its mission to reach out to these communities and offer them a second chance at improving their lives.