New initiatives in 2010

In 2009/2010 some changes were made to the structure of the original organisation. Presently The Church of American Ceylon Mission is running the following programmes

Children and Youth Programs

The Church of American Ceylon Mission’s primary focus is on helping children and youth from economically marginalized and war hit communities in the North and East. Poor communities are badly affected by the lack of quality primary education for their children, as a result of which their children fall behind at an early age and that becomes a critical factor in perpetuating the poverty trap.

We build our work around a number of programmes, Early Child Care Programme (ECC), After School Programs, Children’s Homes (Orphanages), and Special Arts Programs for children and youth. As these centres take root in their communities, they become community centres around which other support programs such as community education and livelihood projects are run for the adults.

 Early Child Care Centres

The ECC’s provide pre-school learning and nutritional support for children. They also enable rural women who work with a place to leave their children during the day.  These centres provide the nutritional support needed and the early learning required helping these children have a good start when they enter primary schools.

Funding formula.  Rs.18,000 per child per year.  (approx £105) or Rs.1,500 per month (£9) per child.  This amount covers all costs for the centre, from nutritional feeding, annual uniforms, staff salaries, staff training, and admin costs.

Funding Support Needed.

Batticaloa District

In the Batticaloa district the CACM supports the following centres: Koppaveli, Kithul, Karadiyanaru, Kiran, Kalkudah, Raloddai, Kirimichchai, Kunjankulam, Mathurankernikulam and Omadiyamdu.

We currently require support for 60 children.

Donors can contribute the support needed for smaller units of children such as: 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 or the full number of 60.

 Wanni

The CACM currently supports the following centres: Poovarasankulam (25,x), Rajendrakulam (20,x), Maravankulam (45, x) , Kalmadukulam (15), Mallavi (45) , Kottaikattiyakulam (30,x) Jeyapuram (60), Akkarayankulam (35), Vannerikulam (30,x) , Anaivilunthanulam (40,x), Murikandy (55, x), Bharathipuram (30,x), Konavil (35,x), Murasumoddai (50,x), Mannar (15, x) and Murippu (60).

The numbers next to each centre indicate the number of children currently at each centre. The x indicates that the centre requires funding, partially or fully.

The total number of Wanni children currently needing funding is 375 and we would like to expand that number to 500 for 2011 as the need and request for support in the Wanni is very high.

Donors can contribute the support needed for smaller units of children such as: 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 or a full centre.

Donors can indicate if they would like to support a particular centre or we can allocate their contributions to a particular centre.

 Jaffna District

The CACM supports the following centres: Oori – Karainagar, Kudaththanai, Malvam, Alaveddy, and Chavakachcheri.

The number of children needing support is 150.

Donors can contribute the support needed for smaller units of children such as: 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 or a full centre 60.

Donors can indicate if they would like to support a particular centre or we can allocate their contributions to a particular centre.

After School Programs

After school programs are based in the communities where we have day care centres.  They provide further support for children and youth from these communities and provide critical support to strengthen their education.  Most of them go to schools with limited number of teachers and facilities and the after school supports play a key role in furthering their educational opportunities.  The primary goal is to provide extra tutoring in key subjects such as Tamil, Maths, English and Science.  We also seek to provide leadership development and soft skills training for youth.  At one such program in Kudaththanai, in the Jaffna Peninsula (near Nagercoil), 23 students have entered university in the last several years with the help of this program.

These cost Rs.30,000 – 40,000 (£175-235) a month.

Current Programs: Jeyapuram, Mallavi, Visuvamadu – Wanni; Oori-Karainagar, Kudaththanai – Jaffna; Mathurankernikulam, Karadiyanaru – Batticaloa.

Centres Needing Support: Kudaththanai – Jaffna, Visuvamadu – Wanni.  We would like to open more centres in the Wanni at the sites where we have early child care centres.

Donors who are interested in supporting such programs can specify the location where they would like to support a program.

Children’s Homes (orphanages)

These are homes for children without parents, or from homes that are not safe or healthy spaces for them.  The Children’s Homes, in addition to providing a safe place to live, also provide them with access to good schools and an opportunity to lay the foundation for their adult lives. These homes are located in the Wanni and the Batticaloa District.

The homes we currently run are: Boys Home (60) –Batticaloa, Girls Home (30) –  Periyaneelavanai, Boys Home (30) – Periyaneelavanai, and a Girls Home (30) – Vavuniya.

Costs: Rs.6,000(£35) per child per month. The costs cover meals, clothing, studies, home materials, staff salaries.

Sponsorship Needs: We are currently looking for sponsors for all 150 children and  we would like if possible to increase the number of children supported in Vavuniya as it is a centre for children from the Wanni

Donors can support a ranger of children from 1, to units of 5, 10, 15, 20 or 30 or the full number of one home.

 Special Arts Program for Children and Youth

Creativity is central to all learning processes, particularly to that of children.

Part of the diminishment in the quality of life and learning of poor children is the lack of access to the creative arts as a part of their school experience.  Their schools often do not have such programs and their parents lack the finances to support them participating in such programs where they are available.  Most teaching methods also follow rote learning and do not enhance the creative capacity of the children.

In order to provide poor children with access to the creative arts, and to stimulate their learning, we provide regular programs for children in rural communities that integrate theatre, music, painting and creative writing.  The programs are run by university trained instructors and merge modern methods with traditional art forms.  A particular emphasis is on valuing and stimulating the traditional art forms of the children’s communities, and to help strengthen their sense of self-respect and pride in their community.

Support Needed:  The projected cost for this program which will be run in the Batticaloa region is Rs.50,000 a month or (£290).

We are currently seeking donors who can support the full cost of the program or at least a significant part of it.

Centre for Handicapped Children

The CACM currently supports a centre for 18 mentally disabled children at Periyaneelavanai. They are provided transport to and from the centre.  They are taught basic academic skills, and are also helped to develop their social skills. The families are also supported as they do not have to provide care for the children during the day.

Support Needed:  The centre costs Rs.50,000 a month to run. (£290).  We are looking for donors who can help to meet the full cost of the program or at least a significant part of it.

Cost of Buildings/infrastructure

In the Wanni all our infrastructure was destroyed or severely damaged.  As a result early child care programs and after school programs are run from temporary sheds.  There is a need to rebuild permanent buildings for these programs. 

Day care centre and after school centre.                                 £5,000 – 10,000

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DARSHAN AMBALAVANAR

has taken over from Rev. Jeyanesan as the new Project Manager of the under the Church of the American Ceylon Mission. These projects are in various parts of the island,  Nuwara Eliya to Jaffna, Mannar to Batticaloa, ranging from relief to rehabilitation, vocational training to farming, children’s programs to elders homes.Prior to this he was in Toronto as a settlement worker assisting new immigrant families to settle and find work in Toronto. A large part of his time was devoted to youth related programmes.

From 1991 to 2006 he gained various educational qualifications from Princeton Theological Seminary to a Doctorate with Harvard University.  His original degree was gained from the University of Reading in the UK. He authored a number of publications during this period. Over the years he has gained much experience which he will find valuable working with the projects he is involved with now.

E-mail: darshan.ambalavanar@gmail.com

Please consider contributing to one of these projects.

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