There is a heavy dependence of aid and hand-outs among rural and underprivileged communities in Sri Lanka. Further, due to the lack of development training, such communities are affected by several socio-economic conditions caused by unwise borrowings, lack of long-term planning, entitlement mindset caused by welfare state and social stigmas such as discrimination of female entrepreneurs.
Due to these conditions, such communities are trapped in the vicious cycle of poverty and continue to be affected by malnutrition, underemployment, lack of education and lack of access to financial services. Recognising this as the situation that prevents rural poor and urban slum-dwellers from reaching better living standards, the Alliance Development Trust (ADT) works towards strengthening communities through community development initiatives. Through trainings, community leaders and other catalysts are equipped to take ownership of the development of their villages and communities. They are instructed on the tools available to them and are linked with local government authorities and other stakeholders so that they may have benefit from development that is sustained by the active contribution of all members of their community. All other development initiatives of the ADT are seamlessly integrated through the development education trainings with the aim of ensuring that the trained community members will continue to initiate development work even after the ADT has phased out.
Exchanging Development Strategies across the Palk Strait
The Alliance Development Trust in collaboration with Sanctuary House, Pamunugama, hosted three Indian students studying for the Masters in Social Work course at St. Joseph’s College, Bangalore from April – May 2018. At the ADT, the students were included in various planning meetings, trainings and field visits at which they received an opportunity to interact with war-affected persons, donor and partner groups as well as other non-governmental organisations. During their entire stay of 30 days in Sri Lanka, Neetha, Arundathi and Deepika learnt many lessons that complimented the lectures that they attended as part of their curriculum. On the field, they learnt a practical application to the theoretical frameworks formulated within a classroom. The interaction with war-affected persons and the social workers who work towards alleviating the various socio-economic issues of underprivileged communities proved to be an excellent learning opportunity.
Tamil Hotline at the Vavuniya Police Station
The Alliance Development Trust (ADT) worked with the Sri Lanka Police of the Vanni Range to establish an emergency response hotline which serves the Tamil communities in the area. This hotline service enables the Tamil communities to easily lodge complaints in their mother tongue. This service will be used at police stations located all over Sri Lanka in the near future.
Hotel Management Training
The Alliance Development Trust initiated a vocational training programme for school leavers, unskilled women and disabled persons with the aim of training them in hotel management so as to supply a skilled workforce to the tourism sector in the eastern coast of Batticaloa. A total of 250 persons will receive sponsorship for hotel management training at reputed institutes in their localities. Thereafter, the ADT will help them with job placement so that they can secure gainful employment in the tourism industry.
Currently, the ADT is sponsoring the training of more than 100 persons, out of which, 11 persons have finished they training and are receiving on-the-job training at hotels and other institutes.