Asia

Dec 22, 2020
By Kathya de Silva Senarath The Ministry of Health has instructed schools to take necessary steps to ensure basic precautionary measures against COVID-19. Among its many guidelines, the ministry recommends  setting up separate  health rooms at schools for isolation and related care when necessary. However, schools in marginalized areas have limited capacities to set up health rooms. There is a lack of proper equipment and beds to care for students in emergency situations. And even though some schools may have health rooms, many lack the proper equipment to provide good healthcare. SCORE supported 120 schools in the SCORE target districts of Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaithivu, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, Anuradhapura, Kandy, Moneragala, Batticaloa, and Ampara to set up health rooms. SCORE also... Read more
Dec 01, 2020
A panel discussion to mark the UN-declared 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence 9 December 2020, Wednesday, 03:30-05:00 p.m. To register visit: https://forms.gle/FgMw5KcGCAbKiGyS7 USAID Social Cohesion and... Read more
Nov 28, 2020
By Kathya de Silva Senarath Many agree that suspicion and cynicism against the Muslim community in Sri Lanka existed for some time alongside the larger ethnic tensions between Sinhalese and Tamils caused by the 30-year civil war. Competition on socio-economic gains, land issues – especially in the North and East – and the general lack of social cohesion between communities were some of the factors leading to longstanding conflict. Following the coordinated attacks by a terrorist group on Easter Sunday last year, hostility of extreme nationalists against the Muslim community became much more severe and led to widespread  hate speech, both  online and offline. These destructive acts led to a boycott of Muslim-owned businesses and even vandalism in some parts of the country. (Southern Sri... Read more
Nov 28, 2020
by Kathya de Silva Senarath The government opened its first regional Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH) in Kilinochchi in the Northern Province on November 11, 2020, as a part of an island-wide program to increase capacities to treat the growing number of Covid-19 patients in the area. The USAID-funded Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Activity (SCORE) project, implemented by Global Communities, is proud to be a part of this milestone achievement of the Sri Lankan health authorities since the new IDH hospital is now directing  the SCORE donations made earlier this year to the Regional Director of Health Services (RDHS) Kilinochchi, making it possible for the hospital to open to the public sooner than it otherwise would have. As a part of the coronavirus emergency response, SCORE supported... Read more
Nov 28, 2020
By Kathya de Silva Senarath Before Covid-19 hit Sri Lanka, long queues were the usual scene at hospitals, and patients had to wait a long time to get medicine. Such was the case at the Vavuniya General Hospital as Samantha Sebanesarani, an Urban Councilor recalls, when she went for checkups. Additionally, the pharmacy closes during lunch time without anyone being allocated to distribute medicines and patients had to wait till the pharmacy reopened after lunch. For many years Sebanesarani put up with these inconveniences, until she attended trainings conducted by the Association for War Affected Women (AWAW) under USAID’s Social Cohesion and Reconciliation Activity (SCORE) project, implemented by Global Communities. It was then that she realized she could change the situation.   “As a... Read more
Nov 28, 2020
By Kathya de Silva Senarath The Covid-19 pandemic is not only a health issue— it is also an economic issue with businesses declaring bankruptcy and many losing livelihoods due to lockdowns and other disruptions to the economy. While significant focus must remain on addressing economic shocks and treating the physically ill, the pandemic’s impact on mental health also requires priority attention. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Covid-19 has disrupted or halted critical mental health services in many countries already, and demand continues to increase. WHO adds that the coronavirus  has reduced access to mental health services and that “bereavement, isolation, loss of income and fear are triggering mental health conditions or exacerbating existing ones,” adding  that... Read more
Nov 13, 2020
USAID SCORE supports persons with disabilities start livelihoods By Kathya de Silva Senarath Thirty-three-year-old Isuru Piyumal, from the rural village of Nugeyaya in Sri Lanka’s most marginalized Moneragala district, had been a dependent all his life. His parents realized when he was just three months old that he had an intellectual disability, and they did everything in their power to make him better. But when his seizures didn’t stop, it became too dangerous for him to continue school. He stopped at age 12 and upon the doctor’s instructions, he was allowed to do what he liked at his father’s chena cultivation where he engaged in watering and weeding. He also showed particular excellence in athletics and won medals at games, which his parents encouraged.  However, Piyumal nor his... Read more
Nov 09, 2020
By Kathya de Silva Senarath Tamil and Sinhala villages of Aathiyammankerni and Samagipura in the Trincomalee district have been directly affected by the country’s 30-year conflict that continues to inflame tensions between the two communities. Tensions were aggravated further in 2006 when the LTTE blocked the Mavil Aru sluicegates that brought water to thousands in these villages through the waterways. This blockage also resulted in military action commencing from these areas, along with many reports of missing persons from the region, as well as persons who need psychological and livelihood support. Ever since then, it has  often seemed impossible for Aathiyammankerni and Samagipura communities to strengthen relations. The Sinhala community avoided the Tamil community altogether, and  ... Read more
Oct 21, 2020
Sri Lanka is gripped by another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic as children prepared to face crucial government examinations of Grade 5 Scholarship and the Advanced Level on October 11 and 12 respectively. The former enables children, especially those in rural areas, the opportunity to attend better schools with more facilities while the latter selects students for degree courses in state universities. Although education is free in Sri Lanka, there is high competition to enter good schools and universities, making these examinations decisive. As such, the government announced its plans to go ahead with holding them despite the threat of disease spread, but would take all health precautions. Before opening schools earlier in August after the initial shutdown, SCORE had already equipped 180... Read more
Oct 10, 2020
By Rebecca Wener, Global Communities Program Officer for Governance and Global Health
Read original article on Medium.com October 10th marks the 28th annual World Mental Health Day, and this year’s theme is a call to scale up investment in mental health. Mental health disorders represent a critical yet under-emphasized component of the global public health burden. The World Health Organization has estimated that around 10.7% of the global... Read more
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