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.
For the past 20 years, the Foundation of Goodness has followed a unique rural development model, in order to bridge the gap in opportunities between rural and urban Sri Lanka. The heart of this model is the Village Heartbeat Empowerment (VHE) Centre. It embodies our values, lessons and aspirations, and pulsates it throughout rural villages, bringing them inspiration and hope. We now have ten empowerment centres in Monaragala, Batticaloa, Ampara, Badulla, Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Kilinochchi and Anuradhapura districts and two in the Galle district, spearheaded by our flagship centre in Seenigama.
These Centres offer much more than free courses on subjects such as Computer Studies and English language lessons. They also offer free extra-curricular activities that many rural children in Sri Lanka would not have the opportunity to enjoy otherwise, such as dancing lessons, table tennis classes and cricket practices. The VHE Centres also believe in Women Empowerment and vocational training for youth, and offer a myriad of courses ranging from cookery to sewing and even the chance to earn a National Vocational Qualification.
The Centres above all, offer a safe and secure place for rural children to gather and learn, as many of their parents are daily wage earners who work long hours to earn a living. Our Children’s Good Values Initiative also inculcates values and morals, such as cleanliness, punctuality, good habits and kindness, in all our students.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a lockdown style curfew in Sri Lanka, causing us to close down our Centres and bringing all activities to a temporary halt. However, although our classes are not in session, the little boys and girls at home are being kept occupied, with kindness challenges that adhere to social distancing guidelines and much more. In addition, the Village Heartbeat Empowerment Centres are furthering their environmental efforts, with many flourishing “home gardens” ready for harvest.
We await eagerly, with a newfound appreciation, to once again start our activities and continue empowering lives.