Kilinochchi was at the heart of the civil war for many years in Sri Lanka. Ravaged by years of conflict, the people who live here understand suffering. No one was immune to the cruelty of war, displacement and loss.
Now the conflict is over, people are attempting to pick up the pieces of their lives and start over. This is a long-term process of recovery. At Child Action Lanka, we want to play a part in enabling this change. We want see transformation and reconciliation for the next generation in Kilinochchi. We want to give children opportunities to break away from poverty with education, counselling and vocational training.
In 2012 we opened an After School Centre on the outskirts of Kilinochchi town. Children and young people come daily for English, computer and Sinhala classes. They play sports and have a safe place to have fun. All the children are from families who have suffered from the civil war. To have this kind of opportunity helps them to have hope of a more positive future.
When we started, the children were so happy to have a place to come and learn that they asked if we could start lessons at 5.30am! The children are so excited about the possibility of changing their own lives and those of their families and community.
There is the opportunity to see genuine 'transformation for the next generation' in Kilinochchi.