Nuwara Eliya is in the Hill country of Sri Lanka. A cold area where many families who do not have electricity or running water. Alcohol abuse and domestic violence rates are high in this community.
Most of the parents of the children we help are everyday garden workers. They work hard all-day tilling, weeding and uprooting in vegetable gardens that belong to large-scale cultivators. Sometimes they take their children along with them to work, as they have no other alternative. The children sit in the hot sun (in the middle of the day) until they finish their work. These families have limited facilities, live in poverty and suffer due to the cold climate.
The CAL centre is open to all children in need, regardless of their background. The children receive a meal, clothes and a place to go while their parents work all day to earn a living. Not only do the daily garden workers get quality day care for their children, but their older children can go to school.
It is common in Nuwara Eliya to see older children missing out on school as they care for their younger siblings while their parents work. We believe that every child has a right to go to school.
In the morning the centre runs like a pre-school. The children are clever and they have learnt to sing in English, Sinhala and Tamil. In the afternoons we run an after-school club. Older children come after school to learn English and computer skills.
There are many children we would like to reach who cannot afford transport to the centre. We would like to be able to increase our support so that the children in most need can access the project. We want to play our part in breaking the cycle of poverty for the next generation in Nuwara Eliya.