Sri Lanka

Sep 22, 2020
By Kathya de Silva Senarath, Reporting Officer, USAID SCORE/Global Communities A public school in Gintota in the South of Sri Lanka is one of the schools that benefitted from USAID Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Activity (SCORE)’s COVID-19 island-wide response in mid-August. The school authorities struggled to clean and disinfect their premises due to lack of equipment and trained personnel until SCORE stepped in. Earlier in June, they had also received a letter from the Southern Province health authorities warning them of another deadly disease – dengue – that was found in their school. “The authorities instructed us to clean our school premises as they had identified dengue breeding sites inside. Although we clean our school premises daily, we did not have the equipment or the... Read more
Sep 17, 2020
N. Sridevi, a single mother of two from Maharambaikulam in the conflict-affected Vavuniya district in the North of Sri Lanka, had been concerned over the area’s drinking water for many years. The people in the North and North Central Provinces have been experiencing high levels of Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) for the last decade, and they believe the region’s polluted groundwater is the cause, although this has not yet been scientifically proven. Sridevi is still fearful of drinking groundwater, especially for her children. “There is a common belief among our villagers that the region’s water is contaminated and causes kidney diseases. So, we purchase water bottles from the town 2 km away at high costs,” she said. Seventeen percent of the families in the Vavuniya district have at least... Read more
Sep 16, 2020
The USAID-funded Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Activity (SCORE) provided training to 28 youth leaders from diverse ethnic backgrounds in the Monaragala District to counter the spread of fake news and hate speech online that became rampant following the Easter Sunday bombings, the group learned how to educate people on deciphering legitimate from fake news, in part by becoming savvy about news sources and photos, and what to do when they see coverage they know is disingenuous and intended to incite violence. In addition to receiving social media training, participants learned to play an advocacy role in their communities to raise awareness about important community issues through the positive use of digital and social media.  The participants verified social media posts with... Read more
Sep 10, 2020
There are various instances in Sri Lanka’s history when tensions between ethnicities have resulted in turbulence and bloodshed. Over the years, instances such as the insurgencies, three decades of armed conflict and the Easter attacks last year increased distrust and disharmony among ethnicities. Politicians take advantage of ethnic divisions for their political objectives which causes further fragmentation of society. While there are laws and citizens' rights promoting ethnic harmony, there remain structural social injustices which people don’t know how to counter. USAID SCORE, implemented by Global Communities, launched ‘Peace Incubators’ for youth between the ages of 16 – 35 years old belonging to different ethnicities and religions in Jaffna and Kandy Districts. This activity is... Read more
Aug 24, 2020
By Kathya de Silva Senarath, Reporting Officer, USAID SCORE Program in Sri Lanka As thousands of children returned to school in August following five months of closure, an initiative supported by the United States has helped disinfect schools and ensure a healthy learning environment for Sri Lankan students.  In cooperation with regional health and education directors, medical officers, and school development executive committees, the project disinfected 180 schools in 14 districts in the Southern, Central, Uva, Eastern, North and North Central Provinces.  This has enabled nearly 200,000 schoolchildren and teachers to resume their education safely.    “As schools reopen, the United States is working to safeguard the health of students and teachers, while giving parents the confidence to... Read more
Jun 11, 2020
View on USAID website Ireshika Somapala, a mother of two from the village of Bogahawewa in the North Central district of Anuradhapura, began a six-month sewing and tailoring course under USAID SCORE support through sub-grantee Rajarata Praja Kendraya (RPK), in February. By mid-March, Ireshika began to put her newly acquired skills to good use by sewing masks for the district’s hospital and her community. RPK engaged 10 women including Ireshika to stitch 5,000 masks and provided them to the Padaviya hospital and the area’s Medical Officer of Health offices.  “I stitched masks for the hospital and my community during the curfew period. I hope to... Read more
Apr 04, 2020
The Global Communities team in Sri Lanka is collaborating with government health authorities to protect communities from COVID-19. Activities proposed include addressing the urgent needs of hospitals, health facilities and health workers for personal protective equipment disinfectant equipment, setting up isolation units and other items, and  social messaging to raise awareness in targeted populations about how the virus is transmitted and simple measures that they can take to slow and stop new infections.  In Sri Lanka, the USAID-funded Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Activity (SCORE) program (2018–2021) is working to advance social cohesion and reconciliation, reduce socio-economic disparities and enhance community resilience, in part through its support to local... Read more
Feb 20, 2020
The recent ‘Cyber Guardians Forum - The Role of Social Media in Transforming Sri Lanka,’ organized by Search for Common Ground (SfCG)  with  USAID SCORE/Global Communities support, revealed several milestone achievements of the SfCG’s Cyber Guardians project under the SCORE program. More than 100 youths were trained in social media at three boot camps, resulting in more than 125 posts per month by 20 National Champions over 10 months, yielding a monthly reach of over two million social media users and engagement with over one million users per month. Ten youth social media projects also received 10 seed grants. The numbers show that the project, aimed at countering hate speech and fake news on social media to promote social cohesion and reconciliation by youth, had successfully achieved... Read more
Oct 16, 2019
USAID SCORE recently facilitated a group networking session and a workshop for 26 youth from Moneragala selected with the support of the National Youth Services Council based on their interest and capacity and has remained engaged with SCORE in promoting social cohesion and reconciliation on social media. The workshop was a follow-up to previous trainings provided for the youth in April and July of this year, and since the second training, the group has created a Facebook page titled ‘SCORE Monaragala’  with 200 followers from Monaragala alone. The group also created more than 10 videos related to SCORE activities. The activity in Colombo, held on October 5 and 6, aimed to  bring the youth out of their hometowns and create cohesive linkages between them  and Colombo-based social... Read more
Oct 02, 2019
In 2015, Global Communities' launched the One Good Idea Award as an opportunity to create, innovate and promote learning from within and capture the innovation and learning that occurs at both the headquarters and field level. The Award, which is supported by the Sanders Family Foundation, allows us to reflect on how we can strengthen our interventions, methodologies, and programming more broadly and use what we capture to position Global Communities as thought leaders in the industry. This year’s winner, announced on October 1, 2019, is the Entrepreneurship Development activity in Sri Lanka. Proposed by Global Communties' subsidiary in Jordan, Partners for Good, the Entrepreneurship Development in Sri Lanka... Read more
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