Mankerni is a fishing village situated at the eastern coastal belt of Sri Lanka. This community needs development support, including literacy education. Members of the community belong to different religious groups. Good Shepherd sisters, with lots of enthusiasm, launched a child protection programme on 5 March 2018. Parish priests of Mankerni, Valachchenai and all our community sisters and parishioners were present at the launch of the project. God’s blessing was invoked by the priests who explained the value of the protection of their children and the importance of education for their future.
On the first day, 6 March, 35 students were gathered. The international organization ‘World Vision’, with their trained teachers conducted the programme for the children who were not attending school and needing education in reading and writing in order to update their knowledge. Daily the number is increasing and at present 75 to 80 children are attending the programme.
Various activities were conducted including games and competitions. The religious ceremonies were commemorated especially Sinhala Tamil New Year through sharing joy and happiness with other communities. These programs help children to integrate with other groups and to respect each other’s faith and practices.
We are planning to start tailoring class for young mothers and girls while motivating them for self-employment.
We are supporting many parish activities especially visiting families and guiding Legion of Mary, teaching catechism, preparing adults for sacraments. Daily coaching classes are being conducted by our sisters and staff while organizing the Child Friendly Safety area.
Sr. Lakshmi Fernando