Uva Province is considered as most under privileged area compared to other provinces in Sri Lanka. It comprises with two districts, namely Badulla and Monaragala. Most of the divisions in the province come under the dry zone and severe droughts are usually experienced. 80% of the families are farmers involved in agricultural activities. As most of them are utilizing the traditional methods of cultivations, they do not get sufficient income from the agriculture productions they make. 40% of the total population lives in below the poverty line and depend on Samurdhi subsidy and other government benefits and support. Climate is also negatively affects the agricultural prospects. The area is also ranks very low in terms of physical infrastructure and support service. Due to very low rainfall, improper and insufficient agricultural methods the productions are not enough to satisfy their income and most of them are suffering from economic crisis as a result. This poor economic conditions are adversely affects their children’s education, health and nutrition as well as the fulfillment of their basic and developmental needs.
Even though the children of Monaragala district have some facilities to carry on their basic education, facilities for further education and for vocational training are less after their ordinary level or advanced level examinations and they tend to hunt for odd jobs aimlessly.
Above factor was further rectified by caring out a CRSA analysis by SOS Children’s Villages Sri Lanka in the year 2000 and was decided to build a vocational training center for the under privileged Youth In Sri Lanka aiming remedy poverty by shaping up the lives.
Having built the SOS Vocational Training Centre at Monaragala, was dedicated to public service in the year 2006 to train and help the under privileged Youth of the area to make them skilled workers and for the last six years it has been able to give values for the lives of youth by shaping them in to skilled workers who have a great demand in the local and in the foreign job market.
Over the years, we have seen how youth have been benefited through this programme and that really gives us joy. They have found employments; some have even started self-employments and some have gone for further studies.
Saman Kumara is one such Youth trainee who joined the SOS VTC, Monaragala and shaped up his future and became self-reliant.
He lives in a most rural area called Suduwathuraara which is situated far away from the Monaragala city. He is the 5th child of seven children’s family. They all live with the less income earned by their mother who sells vegetables in the fair and the father who cultivates in several months of the year.
Saman who sat for G. C. E. Ordinary Level examination under much more hardships was recruited for the Carpentry course conducted in the SOS VTC in 2008. Through his dedication and enthusiasm he was able to acquire the knowledge for NVQ Level 4. He was encouraged by the institute by providing every facility including meals and lodging. It was a big privilege for him and for his family.
After the completion of training at the SOS VTC he was directed to Leema Creations (Pvt) Ltd in Colombo and to Harbor (port) in Hambantota for further training in the industry. There he shaped up his talents. He managed to save a reasonable amount of the allowance granted to him by the Leema Creations (Pvt) Ltd and from working at the Harbor in Hambantota for his future use.
In 2010 he was called back to SOS VTC for the final assessment which was conducted by the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission and was able to qualify himself for the NVQ Level 4. By this time he had already collected a fair amount of money to start a new business of his own. Finally he was able to realize his dream.
This is not the only example which proves the service rendered by the SOS Vocational Training Centre Monaragala. SOS VTC will always keep up in building families for children in need, help them to shape their own futures and we share in the development of their communities.